Teaching dispute resolution ethics in the law curriculum

Field, Rachael & Duffy, James (2014) Teaching dispute resolution ethics in the law curriculum. In ADR Ethics Symposium, 30 October - 1 November 2014, Bond University, Gold Coast, Australia.


Dispute resolution processes such as mediation are now central to contemporary legal practice. For this reason it is critical that the law curriculum includes instruction on mediation ethics, so that law graduates enter the profession equipped to deal with ethical dilemmas arising in this context. However, our recent content analysis of the unit outlines for professional responsibility subjects in Australian law schools indicates that this important area of legal ethics is often excluded from the curriculum. In most Australian law schools, dispute resolution subjects (where mediation ethics might also be considered) continue to be offered as stand-alone electives in the law degree. This means that many law students are graduating without the ethical knowledge and judgment-making skills needed in dispute resolution environments. This is contrary to the intentions of the Threshold Learning Outcomes for Law.

This paper argues that the current paucity of mediation ethics instruction in the Australian law curriculum is problematic, given mediation’s relevance to contemporary legal practice. The paper discusses the importance of including mediation ethics in the law curriculum, and the importance of dispute resolution more broadly as a mandatory component of the law degree in Australia. It offers an outline of a possible mediation ethics module that could be included in professional responsibility subjects.

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ID Code: 78580
Item Type: Conference Item (Presentation)
Refereed: No
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Alternative dispute resolution, Ethics, Legal education
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000) > LAW (180100)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Schools > School of Law
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 [please consult the author]
Deposited On: 10 Nov 2014 22:30
Last Modified: 10 Nov 2014 22:31

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