University of Technology Sydney

77760 Family Dispute Resolution

Requisite(s): ((22 credit points of completed study in spk(s): C04264 Master of Legal Studies OR 22 credit points of completed study in spk(s): C07122 Graduate Diploma Legal Studies) AND 79771 Dispute Resolution) OR (79771 Dispute Resolution AND 78101c Postgraduate Legal Research) OR ((94 credit points of completed study in spk(s): C04236 Juris Doctor OR 142 credit points of completed study in spk(s): C04250 Juris Doctor Master of Business Administration OR 94 credit points of completed study in spk(s): C04363 Juris Doctor Master of Intellectual Property OR 94 credit points of completed study in spk(s): C04364 Juris Doctor Graduate Certificate Trade Mark Law and Practice) AND 70106c Principles of Public International Law AND 70107c Principles of Company Law AND 79771 Dispute Resolution) OR (94 credit points of completed study in spk(s): C04320 Juris Doctor Graduate Certificate Professional Legal Practice AND 70106 Principles of Public International Law AND 79771 Dispute Resolution)
The lower case 'c' after the subject code indicates that the subject is a corequisite. See definitions for details.
These requisites may not apply to students in certain courses.
There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.
Anti-requisite(s): 78139 Family Dispute Resolution


Australia is recognised as a world leader in the field of family dispute resolution. Over the past 25 years Australia has led the way in developing responsive, innovative ways to support families through the difficulties of separation, family break down and divorce. Recognising the limitations of the judicial system in this regard, reforms to Australia's Family Law system have focused on developing less adversarial methods and structures for the resolution of family disputes, including embedding conciliation counselling into the court system, family relationship centres, and compulsory mediation as a prerequisite for accessing the courts, and ongoing exploration of issues such as child-inclusive practice, the effect of family violence on mediation and the continued expansion of non-court based solutions for separated families.

This subject covers the theory and practice of non-adversarial techniques for resolving family disputes. The impact of new legislation and developments in dispute resolution practice, including collaborative law practice and compulsory community-based services, are considered in the context of the 'new family law' framework. This framework emerges from recent Family Law Act 1975 (Cwlth) amendments and the Family Court of Australia's less adversarial approach to trials in relation to disputes over children. It addresses financial aspects of family disputes, children's issues, domestic violence, and power dynamics in family disputes.

It is taught over a four-day intensive block which is designed to provide a participatory and engaging approach to learning and applying family dispute resolution theory and practice. Students are introduced to the legal, psychological and social aspects of family disputes in formal lectures, experiential learning, and independent research. Through case studies, role-plays, and exercises, students engage with and practice different approaches and skills used in family dispute resolution processes. Additionally, this subject challenges students to critically engage with and analyse the ethical issues in conducting family dispute resolution processes. Finally, students may choose their area of research for a final written paper and seminar presentation.


This subject was formerly called Interpersonal Conflict Resolution.

Detailed subject description.

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Access conditions

Note: The requisite information presented in this subject description covers only academic requisites. Full details of all enforced rules, covering both academic and admission requisites, are available at access conditions and My Student Admin.