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Disputes and Ethics (LAWS90140)

Graduate courseworkPoints: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelGraduate coursework
Subject codeLAWS90140
Semester 2
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

This subject introduces students to the theory and practice of civil dispute resolution and professional legal ethics. Students will develop a critical understanding of the operation of three key dispute resolution processes, namely, negotiation, mediation and litigation. Students will gain an appreciation of the role of lawyers in the resolution of legal disputes, in terms of the professional skills, ethical responsibilities and legal obligations involved, including an understanding of duties to the client and to the administration of justice. Through their experiences in a simulated civil dispute, and engagement with relevant doctrinal, socio-legal and jurisprudential literature, students will be required to reflect deeply on the processes and outcomes of civil disputes.

Intended learning outcomes

Students who successfully complete the subject will be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the substantive legal rules and principles governing civil dispute resolution and professional legal ethics;
  • Analyse and evaluate a civil dispute involving a reasonably complex factual scenario, and provide advice and assistance as to the most appropriate method(s) of resolving the dispute;
  • Identify relevant ethical issues and demonstrate appropriate professional judgment and decision-making skills in advising on legal matters;
  • Demonstrate basic skills of legal research, client communication, case management, and negotiation;
  • Research, analyse and evaluate current theories, perspectives and developments in civil dispute resolution and legal ethics;
  • Work effectively as a team member in the resolution of a civil case.

Eligibility and requirements


Code Name Teaching period Credit Points
LAWS50023 Legal Method and Reasoning
Summer Term
LAWS50026 Obligations
Semester 1
LAWS50025 Torts
Semester 1
LAWS50024 Principles of Public Law
Semester 1



Non-allowed subjects


Core participation requirements

The University of Melbourne is committed to providing students with reasonable adjustments to assessment and participation under the Disability Standards for Education (2005), and the Assessment and Results Policy (MPF1326). Students are expected to meet the core participation requirements for their course. These can be viewed under Entry and Participation Requirements for the course outlines in the Handbook.

Further details on how to seek academic adjustments can be found on the Student Equity and Disability Support website: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/student-equity/home


Additional details

  • Individual exercises (500 words) (10%)
  • Interim assignment (1,000 words) (20%)
  • Take home exam (4,000 words) (70%)

The due dates of the above assessment will be available to students via the Assessment Schedule on the LMS Community.

Hurdle Requirement: Students must complete both the interim assignment and take-home exam and must receive at least a pass in the take-home examination to pass the subject.

Dates & times

  • Semester 2
    CoordinatorStephen Sempill
    Mode of deliveryOn Campus — Parkville
    Contact hours48
    Total time commitment170 hours
    Teaching period29 July 2019 to 27 October 2019
    Last self-enrol date 9 August 2019
    Census date31 August 2019
    Last date to withdraw without fail27 September 2019
    Assessment period ends22 November 2019

Further information

  • Texts

    Prescribed texts

    • Adrian Zuckerman et al, Zuckerman on Australian Civil Procedure (LexisNexis Butterworths, 2018).
    • Specialist printed materials will also be made available from Melbourne Law School.
  • Available through the Community Access Program

    About the Community Access Program (CAP)

    This subject is available through the Community Access Program (also called Single Subject Studies) which allows you to enrol in single subjects offered by the University of Melbourne, without the commitment required to complete a whole degree.

    Entry requirements including prerequisites may apply. Please refer to the CAP applications page for further information.

  • Available to Study Abroad and/or Study Exchange Students

    This subject is available to students studying at the University from eligible overseas institutions on exchange and study abroad. Students are required to satisfy any listed requirements, such as pre- and co-requisites, for enrolment in the subject.

Last updated: 12 September 2019