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Dispute Resolution

Dispute Resolution


Avoid courtroom confrontation through mediation and dispute resolution

Providing an amicable resolution to a dispute can keep matters out of court, keeps costs down and clients happy. Expanding your skillset can deliver a broader range of options for clients, and even assist you in a career change.



Masters of Laws (Applied Law)
majoring in Dispute Resolution
- 3 DRP subjects
- 4 elective subjects or a second major
- Capstone project in Dispute Resolution


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Nationally Accredited Mediator Training & Assessment


DRP1 - Foundations of Dispute Resolution

With increasing demand for effective and efficient dispute resolution, lawyers must be familiar with the varieties of dispute resolution avenues available to their clients and competently advise their clients through the process.

This subject forms the foundation to the Dispute Resolution Practice major setting students up with the knowledge required for practice in their area. It will have a strong problem-solving and experiential focus, and allow students to put their knowledge into practice through role-plays and case studies.


  • Dispute resolution paradigm
  • Contexts for dispute resolution
  • Factors within disputes resolution
  • Written and oral communication in dispute resolution
  • Processes: Mediation, negotiation and collaborative law
  • Processes: Conciliation, expert determination and neutral evaluation
  • Processes: Arbitration
  • Processes: Litigation and finalising resolution agreements


DRP2 - Negotiation

All lawyers negotiate – this applies equally to litigation lawyers, to mediators and to commercial lawyers. This subject is relevant to lawyers and mediators of all disciplines. The content of the course includes both dispute resolution and transactional deal making.


  • Introducing negotiation
  • Models of negotiation
  • Preparing for negotiation
  • Implementing a planned negotiation
  • Managing the negotiation process
  • Applying critical communication skills to negotiation
  • Managing challenging issues in negotiations
  • Negotiating ethically


DRP3 - Advocacy

Advocacy skills are key for all lawyers. The ability to be able to persuasively put forward your client’s position is key, whether inside or outside the courtroom.

This subject is a skills-based subject, focused on developing your skill at preparation and argument and developing the foundations for advanced and integrated understandings of the subject. You will participate in various exercises such as presenting an opening statement, examination-in-chief, cross-examination, re-examination and argument. Throughout the workshop you will be provided feedback from senior practitioners and the opportunity to practise and hone your skills. Strong emphasis is placed on teaching you the skills of preparation which will make you a sucessful advocate, inside or outside the courtroom.

This is a general advocacy subject which will have direct practical relevance to you, regardless of your area of practice. Please note: This subject is intensive with a compulsory face-to-face workshop.


  • Fundamentals of advocacy and the advocate's role
  • Ethics and an advocate's duty to the client and the court
  • Rules of evidence
  • Examination-in-chief
  • Witnesses (lay and expert) and interpreters
  • Cross-examination and re-examination
  • Submissions and arguments


DRP4 - Mediation*

This subject discusses where mediation sits on the dispute resolution spectrum and how the process assists in the resolution of disputes. The mediation process and the skills used by mediators within the mediation process, are also discussed.

This is an intensive subject with pre-work followed by a compulsory four day intensive workshop.

This course structure satisfies the requirements under the NMAS. The College of Law offers the National Mediation Assessment. Find your course here.


  • The dispute resolution spectrum
  • Conflict analysis and pre-mediation preparation
  • Mediation models and processes
  • Communication skills in mediation
  • Facilitative mediation
  • Mediating a matter


DRP00 - Capstone Project

The Capstone Project is taken as your final subject, as a culmination of the knowledge and skills attained throughout your major. It will allow you to demonstrate your skills in a specialist practice area using real-life scenarios and case studies.

Throughout the intake, you will receive individualised feedback from your lecturer and will also have access to a rich array of skills modules that include guides, samples, and practice exercises for honing your legal skills.

The highlight of the Capstone Project is the final task, where you will prepare a Final Portfolio that demonstrates your legal writing, research, and oral skills.


  • Four short answer questions
  • Two legal writing samples
  • Oral communication (e.g. client interview) assessment held through online conferencing
  • Reflective analysis of oral communication


* Current Nationally Accredited Mediators are eligible for advanced standing for the DRP4 Mediation subject.





  • Laurence Boulle, Professor, Australian Catholic University
  • David Fairlie, General Counsel, Competitive Foods Australia Pty Ltd
  • David Francis, Principal, David Francis & Associates
  • Linda Kochanski, Practice Leader for Dispute Resolution Programs, The College of Law
  • Florence Thum, Lecturer, The College of Law
  • Mary Walker, Barrister



  • David Fairlie, General Counsel, Competitive Foods Australia Pty Ltd
  • Harold Werksman, Partner, Thomson Geer
  • Rina Sheftalovich, Lecturer, The College of Law
  • Martin Polaine, Barrister, Brooke Chambers