LL4L1      Half Unit
The Theory and Practice of Dispute Resolution

This information is for the 2016/17 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Linda Mulcahy NAB 7.15


This course is available on the MSc in Law, Anthropology and Society, Master of Laws and Master of Laws (extended part-time study). This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

 This course will be relevant to the following LLM specialisms: Legal Theory

This course is capped at 60 students. Students must apply through Graduate Course Choice on LSE for You.


None, but The Theory and Practice of Dispute Resolution is a pre-requisite for Advanced Mediation

Course content

This course focuses on the dynamics of disputes and distinctions between the principle methods of dispute resolution. Students on this course will be asked to look at a variety of theories of dispute resolution which draw on insights offered by law, sociology, anthropology, psychology and economics. Topics include 1. What prompts and fuels disputes? 2. Typologies of third party roles in disputes 3. The trial, arbitration and theories of adjudication 4. Negotiation and bargaining in the shadow of the law 5. International civil justice reforms and their impact on the litigation process 6. Histories of informalism and ADR movements 7. Mediation 8. Dispute resolution hybrids e.g., early neutral evaluation and med-arb The course is designed to complement the option on Commercial Arbitration and Advanced Negotiation and Mediation.


20 hours of seminars in the MT. 2 hours of seminars in the ST.

There will be a Reading Week in week 6 of MT.

Formative coursework

One 2,000 word essay.

Indicative reading

Simon Roberts and Michael Palmer's 2005 (second edition) Dispute Processes: ADR and the Primary Forms of Dispute Resolution, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press. Genn, Hazel, (2009) Judging Civil Justice (The Hamlyn Lectures) Cambridge, Cambridge University Press. Damaska, M., 1986, Faces of Justice and State Authority: A Comparative Approach to the Legal process. New Haven: Yale University Press. Roberts, S., ‘Listing Concentrates the Mind’: the English Civil Court as an Arena for Structured Negotiation, Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, Volume29, Issue3 Pp. 457-479. Roger Fisher and William Ury (2012) Getting to Yes: Negotiating an Agreement Without Giving In by Random House.


Exam (100%, duration: 2 hours, reading time: 15 minutes) in the main exam period.

Key facts

Department: Law

Total students 2015/16: 29

Average class size 2015/16: 28

Controlled access 2015/16: Yes

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Communication
  • Commercial awareness
  • Specialist skills