Faculty of Law

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2013 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

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FacultyFaculty of Law
OfferedNot offered in 2013


The unit explores four models which exist within the field of mediation, and examines their connection with various jurisprudential approaches. Mediation is an alternative method to litigation, in which a third party facilitates negotiation between at least two other parties. Mediation is the paradigmatic alternative to adjudication and its basic principles are unique and different from those of the adversarial model. The course examines the notion of mediation by referring to four conceptual frameworks to understand it: Traditional communal; Pragmatic problem solving; Humanistic Transformative and Narrative Cultural. Each model of mediation will be studied both in practice and theory, and its relation to jurisprudential streams of thought will be examined. Theories such as legal feminism, legal pluralism, multiculturalism and postmodernism will be studied as possible foundations for the various models, and their application will be examined critically through the use of case studies, films and simulations. The overall sequence of the course will show the transformation of mediation from a pragmatic efficient alternative to litigation to a public narrative based method for the resolution of public dispute.


On completion of this unit, a student should be able to:

  • understand the theoretical frameworks which underlie the process of mediation
  • be able to explain the differences between distinct models of mediation
  • understand the relationship between jurisprudential ideals and the ADR movement
  • explore the intercultural aspects of the process of mediation
  • apply mediation in various contexts, including across cultures and jurisdictions.


Class participation: 10 %
Response paper: 10%
Take home examination: 80%.

Chief examiner(s)

Contact hours

9 Hours per week