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Advanced Dispute Intervention (LAWS90080)

Graduate courseworkPoints: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2017
Subject levelGraduate coursework
Subject codeLAWS90080
Availability(Quotas apply)
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

As lawyers’ roles change and complex issues that do not fit within traditional boundaries increasingly arise, new sets of skills and capacities are needed. These skills and mental habits set the most successful negotiators, dispute intervenors and advocates apart from others. Participants in this interactive subject will increase their practical effectiveness as representatives and third parties by learning a series of mental habits and concrete skills to deepen their capacities as change agents. Leveraging new material on neuroscience, empirical studies of negotiation, effective negotiators’ cognitive habits and systems theory, the subject will both complement and challenge longheld assumptions about optimal ways to engage disputes. Via experiential and case study approaches, we will deepen our capacities and skills for complex dispute analysis, creative problem-solving and cultural fluency. The subject will be useful for those working on a wide range of complex issues in a range of contexts including commercial, environmental/public policy and human rights.

Drawing on current interdisciplinary literature and case examples from scholarly and practice sources, students will:

  • Learn an original framework for dispute analysis and associated processes to address deep-rooted disputes
  • Analyse personal and shared cognitive habits, patterns and biases in relation to dispute engagement, identifying optimal cognitive habits and developing strategies for integrating and applying these new habits
  • Critically analyse implicit meanings and cultural values of a continuum of dispute resolution processes as applied in a variety of sectors and settings, including private and public sector organisations and communities, and learn principles of culturally fluent design
  • Practice simulated intervention in complex disputes in ways that synthesise and apply creative problem-solving informed by systems theory and neuroscience
  • Experience and apply a wide range of ways to increase intuition, improve focus and enhance lawyers’ capacities to accompany or lead change processes
  • Learn tools and heuristics to evaluate how and when creative problem-solving approaches can be integrated into existing dispute-engagement systems.

Successful completion of the subject will expand participants’ abilities for complex issue analysis, intervention and follow-up as third parties, participants or advocates in negotiation and dispute resolution processes. Students will learn valuable skills of integrative thinking and creativity through experiential exercises and the final paper.

Intended learning outcomes

A student who has successfully completed this subject will:

  • Have a sophisticated appreciation of and the know how to apply a range of tools informed by neuroscientific research to effectively analyse disputes and accompany clients in change processes
  • Be able to cultivate and practice a set of mental habits conducive to effectively negotiating and engaging legal disputes
  • Be able to demonstrate a facility in creative problem-solving in advocacy and dispute processes in ways that improve results
  • Have an advanced understanding of a range of Australian dispute resolution processes and provide meaningful input into process design and engagement for private or public clients and organisations
  • Be able to Integrate creative approaches to complex legal problems into all aspects of their practice.

Last updated: 11 January 2018