Commercial Dispute Resolution

10 Units

This course will cover the theory and practice of commercial dispute resolution. It will examine and critically analyse a range of dispute resolution processes, including litigation and alternative dispute resolution processes: negotiation and mediation. Students will develop specialised cognitive and technical skills used by practitioners to resolve disputes and develop a deep understanding of their ethical responsibilities and legal obligations.
This course examines the legal and policy considerations that shape the dispute resolution process and explores the role of the judges and courts in developing responses to current perceived problems with the system.
The course also examines, in depth, the stages of the litigation process from commencement to cost recovery.

Faculty Faculty of Business and Law
School Newcastle Law School

Not currently offered

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to: 1. Demonstrate advanced knowledge and understanding of the current theoretical and practical issues relating to commercial dispute resolution. 2. Demonstrate a critical understanding of a range of commercial dispute resolution techniques and apply principles of law to determine the most appropriate dispute resolution methods to resolve disputes. 3. Demonstrate the ability to analyse and critique current theories, perspectives and developments in commercial dispute resolution. 4. Identify ethical issues that exist in an adversarial dispute resolution system and demonstrate judgement to resolve those ethical issues given the competing duties of practitioners to their clients and the Court. 5. Apply the principles in relevant legislation, court rules, court practice notes and cases to resolve disputes in the most just, quick and cheap way possible.


The topics in this course include: 1. Understanding and analysing conflict 2. The role of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms in resolving commercial disputes in the continuum of the dispute resolution process 3. The conflicting pressures on lawyers in using the most appropriate dispute resolution process to resolve clients’ disputes 4. Ethical issues faced by practitioners and advocates 5. The role of judges and courts in managing cases in the court system 6. The cost of resolving disputes and the role that cost allocation plays in attempting to control dispute resolution and access to justice 7. The stages of litigation, including identifying appropriate jurisdiction and limitation periods, pleadings, service, discovery, preparation of evidence, joinder, judgment, appeals, interlocutory applications and enforcement 8. Law reform in the area likely to affect access to justice and costs with a particular look at the effect of recent legislative change.

Assumed Knowledge LAWS6001, LAWS6002A, LAWS6002B, LAWS6003A, LAWS6003B, LAWS6004A, LAWS6004B, LAWS6005, LAWS6018.
Assessment Items
  • Essays / Written Assignments - Research Paper
  • Online Learning Activities - Reflective blogs
  • Presentations - Individual - Individual presentation on research
Contact Hours
  • Seminar: for 2 hour(s) per Week for 12 weeks
Compulsory Requirements
  • Requisite by Enrolment Enrollment in this course is limited to students enrolled in the Juris Doctor/Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice.
Timetable 2018 Course Timetables for LAWS6030
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