Course Title: Understanding Conflict and Mediation
Part A: Course Overview
Course Title: Understanding Conflict and Mediation
Credit Points: 12
365H Global, Urban & Social Studies
|Sem 1 2011,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 1 2013,
Sem 2 2007,
Sem 2 2010
Course Coordinator: Dr. Desmond McDonnell
Course Coordinator Phone: +(61 3) 9925 8267
Course Coordinator Email:Desmond.McDonnell@rmit.edu.au
Course Coordinator Location: 37.2.22
Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment
Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities
HWSS1144 Alternative Dispute Resolution
This course considers the issue of conflict resolution and mediation in our courts and our community. Through an engagement with theory and practical workshops the course assists students to understand conflict resolution and mediation at an advanced level. A social constructionist perspective is used to develop students’ ability to critique western concepts of conflict resolution. Students are asked to engage in depth with the most common method of dealing with formal conflict in our society mediation. Students will research and consider relevant legislation and case law dealing with the practice of mediation. Students will critique a number of different models of mediation practice, including the problem-solving, storytelling, narrative and transformative models. They will develop skills in the practice of these different models of mediation and deal with ethical dilemmas related to the practice of mediation.
Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development
At the completion of this course students will be expected to:
- demonstrate knowledge of the theory of conflict resolution at an advanced level,
- be able to critique the practice of conflict resolution, including mediation, in Australia
- be able to identify the legislative provisions relating to the practice of mediation and any relevant case law
- be able to identify various models of mediation, including the problem-solving, storytelling, narrative and transformative models of mediation
- be able to demonstrate skills in the practice of different models of mediation
- be able to critique these models, from a number of critical perspectives
- understand the issues relating to vulnerable groups in our society, including issues arising regarding gender, class, race, ethnicity, indigenous and disability and the practice of mediation
- be able to evaluate a range of possible reform options and identify and reflect upon ethical dilemmas that may present in dispute resolution practice
- be able to demonstrate creative initiative in formulating solutions to community and legal problems
Overview of Learning Activities
The topics outlined in the syllabus will be delivered in weekly seminars and include the following teaching and learning strategies: guided discussions; employment of audio-visual aid, group work, visits to courts, tribunals and agencies and the use of case studies and role-plays. Problem Based Learning (PBL) will be utilised in some parts of the course.
Overview of Learning Resources
Astor, H, & Chinkin, C, (2002) Dispute Resolution in Australia. 2nd ed. Sydney: Butterworths.
Astor H, (2000) “Rethinking Neutrality: A Theory to Inform Practice- Part 1,” Australasian Dispute Resolution Journal, v.11: 73-83.
Bagshaw, D, (2003) “Language, Power and Mediation,” Australasian Dispute Resolution Journal, v. 14: 130-141.
Boulle L (2005) Mediation: Principles, Process, Practice, 2nd ed. Sydney: Butterworths
Bush R B and Folger J, (2005) The Promise of Mediation: The Transformative Apporach to Conflict, revised ed., San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Bush R B (2004) “One Size Does Not Fit All: A Pluarlistic Approach to Mediator Performance Testing and Quality Assurance,” Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution 19: 965-1004.
Cloke, K. (2001) Mediating Dangerously: The Frontiers of Conflict Resolution, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Cobb, S, (2001) “Dialogue and the Practice of Law and Spiritual Values: Creating Sacred Space: Toward a Second-Generation Dispute Resolution Practice,” Fordham Urban Law Journal, v. 28: 1017-1033.
Cobb S (1993) “Empowerment and Mediation: A Narrative Perspective,” Negotiation Journal, v. 9: 245-259.
Cobb S & Rifkin J, (1991) “Neutrality as A Discursive Practice: The Construction and Transformation of Narratives in Community Mediation,” Studies in Law, Politics and Society, v. 11: 69-91.
Della Noce D, Bush R B and Folger J (2002) “Clarifying the Theoretical Underpinnings of Mediation: Implications for Practice and Policy,” Pepperdine Dispute Resolution Law Journal v. 3: 38-65
Fisher, T. (2006), ‘Transformative Mediation: Differentiating principles from Illusions-Part 1,’ADR Bulletin, vol. 9, pp. 44-47.
Fisher R, & Ury W, (1981) Getting to Yes, Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
Gaynier L. (2005) ‘Transformative Mediation: In Search of a Theory of Practice,’ Conflict Resolution Quarterly, vol. 22, pp. 397-408.
Goldman D (1995) Emotional Intelligence: Why it Can Matter More Than IQ, Batman.
Mack, K. (2003), Court Referral to ADR: Criteria and Research. National Alternative
Dispute Resolution Advisory Council and Australian Institute of Judicial Administration,
Mayer B, (2002) The Dynamics of Conflict Resolution: A Practitioners Guide. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers.
Mayer, B. 2004, Beyond Neutrality, Jossey-Bass Publishers, San Francisco.
Mills K. 2005, ‘Can a Single Ethical Code Respond to All Models of Mediation?’ Bond Dispute Resolution News, vol 21, pp. 5-41 http://bond.edu.au/study-areas/law/publications/drn/Vol21Dec05.pdf accessed 4th of April 2007.
National Alternative Dispute Resolution Advisory Council, (1997) Alternative Dispute Resolution Definitions. Canberra.
National Alternative Dispute Resolution Advisory Council, (1997) Issues of Fairness and Justice in Alternative Dispute Resolution. Discussion Paper Canberra.
National Alternative Dispute Resolution Advisory Council, (2001) The Framework of Standards for ADR: Report. Canberra.
National Alternative Dispute Resolution Advisory Council, (2004) Who Says You’re a Mediator: Towards a National System for Accrediting Mediators. Canberra.
National Alternative Dispute Resolution Advisory Council, (2004) ADR Research: A Resource Paper. Canberra.
National Alternative Dispute Resolution Advisory Council (2003), Dispute Resolution
National Alternative Dispute Resolution Advisory Council, (2006), Legislating for Alternative Dispute Resolution: A Guide for Government Policy-Makers and Legal Drafters, Canberra.
National Mediator Conference (2006), Mediator Accreditation in Australia, Report to the 8th National Mediation Conference, Hobart, Tasmania, 3-5 May,
http://www.mediationconference.com.au/html/Accreditation.html accessed 15May 2007.
Menkel-Meadow, C, (2001) ‘Commentary: And Now A Word About Secular Humanism, Spirituality, and Practice of Justice and Conflict Resolution’, Fordham Urban Law Journal, vol 28, pp. 1073-1087
Picard, C & Melchin, K. 2007. ‘Insight Mediation: A Learner Centred Meditation Model,’ Negotiation Journal, vol. 23, pp. 35-43.
Winslade J and Monk G (2001) Narrative Mediation. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Winslade J and Monk G and Cotter A (1998) “A Narrative Approach to the Practice of Mediation,” Negotiation Journal, v. 14: 21-41.
Overview of Assessment
- A short answer piece reflecting upon your understanding of conflict from different theoretical perspectives. Indicate also the legislative definitions of mediation by referring to and analysing three pieces of legislation. The short answer piece should not exceed 800 words. This learning task is worth 20% of the assessment
- Participation in online mediation role-plays and a journal reflection regarding the role-plays. Details are available on the DLS. This learning task is worth 30% of the assessment
- A Take home Examination. This learning task is worth 50% of the assessment