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LAW8549 : Dispute Resolution and Conflict Studies

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Myriam Gicquello
  • Owning School: Newcastle Law School
  • Teaching Location: Off Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


This class is designed to introduce students to key themes and concepts in dispute resolution and conflict studies. It deals with the historical origins (both ancient and more modern) of mediation as a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution and a discussion of where mediation fits within the hierarchy of dispute resolution processes. The class further examines the causes of commercial law disputes before analysing issues relating to dispute prevention, conflict analysis and individual conflict styles and the impact that these preferences may hold for dispute resolution. Finally, the class examines issues in neuroscience that may impact on dispute resolution including errors, biases and fallacies that blight negotiations to resolve conflict.

Outline Of Syllabus

The history and origins of Alternative Dispute Resolution (‘ADR’) including pre-industrial examples and the modern advent of meditation through the ‘Pound Conference’

The hierarchy of different dispute resolution processes including litigation, arbitration, mediation and negotiation, and new and emerging processes such as hybrids and online dispute resolution

The nature and causes of commercial disputes including legal and contractual issues, relationship problems, communication breakdown, extraneous pressures on costs and ability to deliver agreed obligations.

Dispute Prevention

Conflict Analysis

Conflict Styles including cooperative, competitive and compromising approaches

Neuroscience, including a discussion of biases, errors and fallacies that might blight negotiations

The different roles of third parties in resolving disputes (adjudicative/facilitative etc)

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion165:0065:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture12:002:00Synchronous Introductory session
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture12:002:00Synchronous revision session
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials122:0024:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching22:004:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery41:004:00There will be weekly drop-in sessions each one covering all classes taken by the students.
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study199:0099:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The methods set out here are based on a combination of approaches. The bulk of the student directed hours are found in the non-synchronous interactive online materials in which there shall be in-built formative feedback, short directed readings and reflective learning. These materials shall be bolstered by synchronous online seminars where specific topics shall be addressed in more detail after student reading designed to instil a deeper understanding in key areas. These seminars shall also help instil a sense of community and interaction between the students. Students shall also be encouraged to engage in online discussion board activity.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Prob solv exercises1M5Discussion Forum
Written exercise1M25MCQ
Research paper1M703000 word essay drawn from a range of offered topics.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

This class is assessed by a range of different methods. Students shall be awarded 5% on the basis of meeting a designated standard in discussion board engagement. This is to encourage engagement with studies and interaction between the students on an ongoing basis. Sophisticated, multiple choice assessment shall be built into the non-synchronous teaching materials to assess core learning in the module. The main assessment aspect for this module shall be a 3000 research paper which will see to evaluate the students’ abilities to engage critical with a key theme or issue covered in this class. Students shall choose from a number of essay options.

Reading Lists