The importance of teaching dispute resolution in a twenty-first-century law school

Waters, B. (2016) The importance of teaching dispute resolution in a twenty-first-century law school. The Law Teacher, 51 (2). pp. 1-19. ISSN 0306-9400.

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Civil justice reviews over the past 20 years have encouraged the use of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) and particularly mediation. Mediation 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 their clients about the range of dispute resolution processes available. What is lacking however is a corresponding appreciation of the changing attitudes to the teaching of dispute resolution in the majority of UK Law Schools, where the promotion of adversarialism within the curriculum appears to remain the focus as the primary and only method of dispute resolution. The article argues that this is unreflective of current attitudes and thinking towards dispute resolution in most common law countries, where litigation is no longer necessarily the primary dispute resolution process of choice. Whilst there was token appreciation of the importance of mediation advocacy and its inclusion recommended within the Bar Practice Training Course (BPTC), the recent 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. The article will explore the historical development of lawyers’ attitudes to dispute resolution within the civil justice arena and academics’ teaching of curriculum associated with it in UK Law Schools. The article will pose questions on why recent legal history suggests that Law Schools should now perhaps take a more socio-legal approach to their curriculum content and embrace the teaching of dispute resolution as a defined subject area for the 21st century law school.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education > LB2371 Graduate education
Divisions: Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences > School of Law, Criminal Justice and Computing
Depositing User: Mr Ben Waters
Date Deposited: 20 Oct 2016 10:43
Last Modified: 26 Feb 2019 14:00

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