The importance of teaching dispute resolution in a 21st century law school

Waters, B. (2014) The importance of teaching dispute resolution in a 21st century law school. In: 50th Annual Conference of the Association of Law Teachers, March, 2014, Cardiff.

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Abstract

Civil justice reviews over the past 20 years have encouraged the use of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) and particularly mediation. Mediation in particular is arguably now becoming more mainstream in terms of dispute resolution process choice. In some instances law changes have been introduced requiring parties in dispute to consider using mediation; similarly, lawyers have an ethical responsibility to provide advice to clients about the range of dispute resolution processes available. What is lacking however is a corresponding appreciation of the changing attitudes to dispute resolution in the majority of UK Law Schools, where the promotion of adversarialism appears to remain the focus as the primary and only method of dispute resolution. This paper will argue that this is unreflective of current attitudes and thinking towards dispute resolution in most common law countries, where litigation is no longer the primary dispute resolution process of choice. Whilst there was token appreciation of the importance of mediation advocacy and inclusion of this within the BPTC recommended, the LETR was silent on any suggestions about the inclusion of dispute resolution based curriculum content at any stage of legal education in England and Wales. This paper will explore the historical development of lawyers’ attitudes to dispute resolution within the civil justice arena and academics’ teaching of it in UK Law Schools. The paper will pose questions on why recent legal history suggests that Law Schools should now perhaps think differently about their curriculum content and embrace the teaching of dispute resolution as a defined subject area for the 21st century.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Additional Information: Draft version restricted to registered users only until 31st March 2015.
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
L Education
Divisions: pre Nov-2014 > Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences > Law and Criminal Justice Studies
Depositing User: Mr Ben Waters
Date Deposited: 22 May 2015 11:12
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2016 10:46
URI: https://create.canterbury.ac.uk/id/eprint/13419

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00