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2019/20 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

LAW5345M Alternative Dispute Resolution

15 creditsClass Size: 60

Module manager: Professor Iyiola Solanke

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2019/20

This module is approved as an Elective

Module summary

This module considers the growing use of non-judicial forms of dispute resolution through examination of alternative methods used around the world in commercial and non-commercial contexts. It will explore the evolution of methods of alternative dispute resolution, and examine the social and political causes and consequences of this as well as the different philosophies that inform ADR and the structures that support it. It will also explore the use of ADR in response to various issues within national, regional and international arenas as well as the outcomes for the parties involved and for society.The module will identify the tensions and conflicts that surround ADR, for example its interaction with traditional forms of dispute resolution, and highlight the way in which these determine its success.


1. DESCRIPTIVE: The module will provide a detailed knowledge of forms and application of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), how these arise and function in practice. The central issues at stake in the evolution and practice of ADR will be observed. ADR will be explored as a non-judicial mechanism used in national, regional and international arenas.

2. THEORETICAL: To use this information to its full potential, the module will develop your understanding and use of general theoretical explanations in political science and law. Among other things, these theories help us explain: why non-judicial forms of dispute resolution emerged; why ADR has gained in use and popularity; why ADR works and why it does not; why it is appropriate in some contexts but not in others.

3. ANALYTICAL: There must be a purpose to this information and theory. The module also aims to develop a critical/analytical approach to many of the issues arising from ADR: how should it be designed and applied? How effective is it in the long term? What is its ongoing relationship with judicial forms of dispute resolution – does this interaction legitimise or delegitimise ADR? Does ADR compete with or complement traditional forms of dispute resolution? Is it a new legal beast that is here to stay – if not why not? Does it help all who seek to use it?

4. EMPIRICAL: Research forms an integral part of the life of the lawyer or entrepreneur. A key component of this module is to expose participants to the exercise of primary research, gathering data on an area determined together with the module organizer.

Learning outcomes
Upon completion of the module students will:
- understand the factors informing the establishment and management of ADR mechanisms;
- be familiar with the literature and debates central to the field of alternative dispute resolution;
- have an understanding of the theoretical and political context underpinning ADR;
- be able to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the different methods of dispute resolution;
- be able to discuss in a theoretically informed way the advantages and disadvantages of ADR;
- be able to identify the opportunities and scope for ADR in fields in their own countries.

Skills outcomes
By the end of the module, students will:
- have in-depth knowledge on the growing use of ADR;
- be able to place the evolution and use of ADR in a comparative context through exploration of the various forms of ADR in different fields and countries;
- have a critical understanding of factors and philosophy informing the evolution of non-judicial forms of dispute resolution;
- be able to use theory to critically analyse the outcomes of ADR;
- have insights into the institutions and management of alternative methods of dispute resolution;
- be familiar with some methods of empirical legal research.


The module will cover the following:
Introduction to the module and overview
Foundations: the emergence of non-judicial forms of dispute resolution
Designing ADR mechanisms
ADR in practice I: Creating and maintaining consensus
ADR in practice II: Trade disputes across borders
ADR in practice III: Corporate identity and dispute management
New forms of ADR: Online dispute resolution
Workshop on Mediation'

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Revision Class11.001.00
Private study hours135.00
Total Contact hours15.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

135 hours are allocated to private study. It is expected this will consist of preparation for seminars, reading and reflection following each teaching session and prepartion for assessments.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

- Attendance will be monitored to provide early warning of possible extra-curricular problems that may be inhibiting progress.
- The lecturer will strive to ensure active and equitable participation by all who follow the course.
- The assessments will provide an objective measure of student progress and performance.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay1 x 4,000 words90.00
Presentation1 x individual presentation10.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 30/04/2019


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