Master of Employment and Labour Relations Law
- CRICOS Code: 074995F
What will I study?
Students must complete eight subjects in total.
Students who do not have a law degree from a common law jurisdiction must complete; Fundamentals of the Common Law and Principles of Employment Law, as well as at least three other subjects from the list of Employment and Labour Relations Law subjects. The remaining subjects can be taken from the Employment and Labour Relations Law subjects and the other subjects list.
Students with a law degree from a common law jurisdiction must complete at least four subjects from the list of Employment and Labour Relations Law subjects. The remaining subjects can be taken from the Employment and Labour Relations Law subjects and the other subjects list (excluding Fundamentals of the Common Law).
Subject timing and format
The Melbourne Law Masters program has been designed around the busy schedules of working professionals. Subjects are offered from February to December each year.
Most subjects are taught intensively, giving you the opportunity to immerse yourself in the subject content. Intensive subjects are typically taught over five days, either from Monday–Friday or Wednesday–Tuesday, excluding the weekend. This intensive format enables students from interstate or overseas to fly to Melbourne to attend class. Semester-length subjects are generally taught for two hours in the evening each week during the semester.
Subjects are taught in an interactive seminar style and class sizes normally range from 20 to 30 students.
As a student, you will need to enrol in at least one subject per semester and will have a maximum of four years to complete the course, including any leave of absence.
Sample course plan
View some sample course plans to help you select subjects that will meet the requirements for this degree.
Sample course plan - 1 year full time
Sample course plan - 2 years part time
Explore this course
Explore the subjects you could choose as part of this degree.
Employment and Labour Relations Law subjects
- Bargaining at Work12.5
Bargaining at Work
This subject investigates the legal regulation of workplace bargaining in Australia. With the requirement that bargaining be conducted in ‘good faith’ under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth), this has become one of the most contested areas of federal labour regulation. The subject is informed by the historical, political and economic factors that have shaped the development of the law, as well as relevant international legal principles. While the focus of the subject is on the system regulating workplace bargaining under the Fair Work Act, other relevant areas of law are analysed, including the common law regulation of strikes and industrial action and the contract of employment. The special regulation of bargaining and industrial action in the building and construction industry is also examined.
Principal topics include:
- The historical development of the law relating to workplace bargaining
- Relevant international legal principles and Australia’s obligations in this respect
- Common law regulation of strikes and industrial action
- The system regulating workplace bargaining under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth), including the conduct of bargaining and the taking of protected industrial action, and the role of trade unions
- The form, function and content of registered workplace agreements
- The relationship of workplace agreements to other means of regulating working conditions, including the contract of employment
- The ‘general protections’ under the Fair Work Act for freedom of association and the exercise of ‘workplace rights’ in relation to bargaining
- Special regulation of bargaining and industrial action in the building and construction industry.
- Employment Contract Law12.5
Employment Contract Law
Employment contracts have been a major source of litigation in recent years, with some cases leading to very large payouts. This subject examines the evolving law of employment contracts, and other related kinds of personal work contracts. Drawing on recent cases as well as leading articles by Australian and international scholars, the lecturers consider several key questions. These include determining and varying contract terms, employer and employee duties, non-compete clauses, termination and damages. The subject also looks at the interaction between employment contracts and major statutes, such as the Australian Consumer Law and the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth). The subject seeks to combine discussions of the practical realities of contracting with a broader analysis of the underlying assumptions in current law.
Principal topics include:
- The scope of employment regulation: which work relationships are covered?
- The regulation of independent contracting, such as agency relationships
- The content of the employment contract: express terms
- The content of the employment contract: implied terms
- Non-compete clauses and restraint of trade
- Employment, the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) and estoppel
- Variation and flexibility in the employment contract
- Termination and remedies at common law
- The relationship between contracts, awards and agreements.
- Equality and Discrimination at Work12.5
Equality and Discrimination at Work
Discrimination and sexual harassment in the workplace represent an overwhelming majority of total complaints made to anti-discrimination authorities. Equality and discrimination at work remain pressing concerns for employees, managers and, more broadly, for society. Achieving equality is elusive and, indeed, the very meaning of equality is highly contested.
This subject explores the legal meanings of equality, with a focus on the frameworks through which Australian parliaments have sought to address inequality, discrimination and harassment. It examines federal and state laws that deal with discrimination, including the four federal laws, the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 (Vic) and the adverse action provisions in the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth). Consideration is given to discrimination based on race, sex, disability, and pregnancy and family responsibilities. The lecturers in this subject combine many years of academic scholarship in this area, engagement in law reform debates and practical client-focused legal advice
This subject provides an examination of the development and current scope of Australian equality and discrimination law, as relevant in employment and work relationships. It will focus on federal and Victorian jurisdictions.
Principal topics include:
- A study of the framework and key features of federal and state legislative provisions dealing with equality and discrimination in the employment context, including theEqual Opportunity Act 2010 (Vic), the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth), the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth), the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth) and theAge Discrimination Act 2004 (Cth)
- An examination of the general protection provisions in the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth), including redress for certain types of adverse action
- Debates regarding the meaning of equality, discrimination and other contested concepts such as choice, especially as choice relates to carer responsibilities
- The Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 (Vic), and its potential impact in the interpretation of the Victorian Equal Opportunity Act
- Conciliation, dispute resolution and remedies
- Alternative regulatory regimes, including the National Employment Standards, equal remuneration provisions under the Fair Work Act, contract law and occupational health and safety issues such as bullying
- Current processes of legislative revision at federal and state level
- The potential for future developments in the field.
- International Employment Law12.5
International Employment Law
As labour and capital markets transcend domestic borders, the objectives of labour law can no longer be confined solely to actions within the nation state. The purpose of this subject is two-fold. First, to identify the diverse components of international employment and labour law, the institutions, the claims and the methods for advancing social protection to workers worldwide. This enquiry spans beyond traditional instruments that are associated with labour law, and includes trade law and corporate social responsibility. It further seeks to embed the study of legal instruments in the broader economic and sociological debates on globalisation. The second goal is to critically assess how international developments affect domestic labour law with a particular focus on the European Union, the United States, China and India.
Principal topics include:
- The importance of the concept of globalisation in understanding national systems of labour regulation
- The composition, powers and functioning of international organisations that regulate labour internationally, including the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the European Union (EU)
- The relevance of different theories of international regulation
- The usefulness of a comparative approach to labour law, including consideration of the major models of labour regulation like the Wagner Model in the United States and Canada
- The role of intergovernmental and corporate codes of conduct in securing international labour standards
- The emerging challenges posed by the use of migrant, contingent and precarious workers in the global economy
- The success of adopting a human rights approach to labour regulation in the face of changes to domestic and international labour law frameworks.
- International Equality Law12.5
International Equality Law
Equality and discrimination law is continuing to increase in importance, but remains controversial. This subject examines international and comparative aspects of equality and discrimination law. The subject is not confined to, but will include a focus on labour and employment issues. Equality and discrimination issues will be examined at four levels: international law, transnational, state constitutional law, and state human rights law. A review of the content and operation of the major United Nations (UN) and International Labour Organization (ILO) conventions relevant to discrimination generally and to equality at work is directly relevant to Australian domestic law as these treaties provide a constitutional basis as well as content for much Australian anti-discrimination legislation. For comparison, an overview of the European Union (EU) system for regulating discrimination law will be included. The focus then shifts to comparative national law, with an examination of protection of equality and discrimination rights at constitutional and legislative levels in Australia and other countries that take different approaches: some or all of Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States.
This subject provides a critical examination of the scope and operation of equality and discrimination law at international, transnational and national levels and utilises comparative doctrinal and policy analysis. While the major focus will be on work and employment, other areas will be considered where they cast light on the development of the law.
Principal topics include:
- An introduction to the different roles played by equality and discrimination at different locations and levels of the legal system
- Consideration of debates about the meaning of equality, discrimination and other contested concepts such as choice and responsibility
- Analysis of the roles, framework and key features of international treaties and conventions relating to equality and discrimination in both general (human rights) and specific (ILO) contexts
- Analysis of some of the key EU equality directives and their adoption in some Member States
- An analysis of constitutional protection of equality rights in countries with different modes of protection, chosen from Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States
- An examination of anti-discrimination and equality laws across several countries to contrast different approaches and conceptualisations of these rights, and also different social environments and barriers to achieving a more equal society
- Consideration of the role(s) of law in relation to equality and discrimination, and the uneven progress in the countries analysed
- Exploration of possible future directions for better protection of equality and discrimination rights.
- Labour Standards and their Enforcement12.5
Labour Standards and their Enforcement
This subject addresses the relevant provisions of the key federal statute governing minimum employment standards in Australia, the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth), which is the centrepiece of Commonwealth statutory regulation of working conditions. The subject examines the mechanisms by which minimum wages, working hours regulation and leave entitlements are set and reviewed, as well as the function and content of these standards. This subject also addresses the important topic of how compliance with labour standards can be enforced and considers issues such as the role of the Fair Work Ombudsman, and the challenge of enforcement in the context of different business models, such as franchise networks.
This subject covers federal statutory regulation of minimum employment conditions in Australia. It addresses the relevant provisions of the key federal statute, the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth).
Principal topics include:
- The scope of the national system of labour regulation
- The institutions that regulate labour standards and working conditions, including the Fair Work Commission and the Fair Work Ombudsman
- The role and content of the National Employment Standards (NES) as a means of maintaining a safety net of fair working conditions
- The form, function and content of modern awards as a mechanism for setting further minimum labour standards at an industry and sectoral level
- The relationship of modern awards and the NES to other means of regulating working conditions, including the contract of employment and enterprise agreements
- The legal mechanisms and sanctions relating to enforcement of minimum labour standards and working conditions by employees, unions and the Fair Work Ombudsman
- The administrative sanctions available to the Fair Work Ombudsman
- Emerging issues and innovative approaches in regulating and enforcing labour standards and working conditions, including protection of vulnerable workers such as interns, casual and part-time workers and outworkers, extra-territorial coverage of labour standards, and regulation of work/life balance.
- Principles of Employment Law12.5
Principles of Employment Law
Paid work is central to the lives of most adults. It not only provides an income but also is constitutive of their identities. For society at large, the organisation of paid work relationships is crucial because of the need to produce goods and services and to protect those engaged in production. Regulation of these work relationships by law is, therefore, important.
This subject provides a thematic overview of the legal regulation of work relationships in Australia in an industrial, social and political context. It examines how work relationships are regulated through statutory regimes as well as through contract law. A major focus of the subject is the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth), which sets minimum employment conditions, regulates modern awards and workplace agreement-making, provides redress in relation to adverse action and also provides processes to deal with issues of bullying at work. Anti-discrimination law will also be examined.
This subject is designed to be of particular assistance to students without previous (or recent) legal study in this area. Principles of Employment Law is compulsory for students who do not have a law degree from a common law jurisdiction, and it is strongly recommended that this subject be taken before any other employment and labour relations law subjects. Principles of Employment Law is also recommended for students who have not studied an equivalent subject in their law degree, or who have not done so recently. Principles of Employment Law is ideal for students undertaking a masters in another specialisation, or a Master of Laws, who wish to study one subject in the field of employment and labour relations law.
Principal topics include:
- The constitutional framework for Australian employment law
- Statutory standards under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) including unfair dismissal, minimum wage rates, hours of work, leave, adverse action and right to request regimes
- The regulation of employment rights and working conditions by modern awards and enterprise agreements under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth)
- Various aspects of the common law contract of employment
- Anti-discrimination and equal opportunity law.
- Workplace Health and Safety12.5
Workplace Health and Safety
In 2010 all Australian governments publicly committed to implementing nationally uniform laws about workplace health and safety. This development is bringing to fruition a process that began 30 years ago. However, Victoria is one of two states that have not implemented the agreed national laws. Therefore this subject examines in detail the content of Victorian law, as well as the new national laws.
By referring to the existing state, territory and commonwealth body of law, this subject considers the operation of Victorian workplace health and safety law in its historical and industrial setting as well as the likely practical operation of the new regulatory regime. The lecturer is a barrister with extensive practical experience in running cases under workplace health and safety laws.
Principal topics include:
- The problem of work-related injury and disease
- The history of the legal regulation of health and safety at work
- Nationally uniform workplace health and safety laws
- Standard-setting under the Australian workplace health and safety statutes
- State enforcement of the workplace health and safety legislation
- Workers’ rights under the Australian workplace health and safety statutes
- The anti-bullying jurisdiction of the Fair Work Commission
- Workers’ compensation schemes in Australia
- The rehabilitation of injured workers
- The role and impact of the common law duty to provide a safe workplace.
- Alternative Dispute Resolution12.5
Alternative Dispute Resolution
Dispute resolution and problem-solving lie at the core of modern professional life for lawyers, business people and anyone who works with more than one other person. This subject provides an overview of the range of dispute resolution techniques used internationally. This subject differentiates the most prominent dispute resolution methods, including traditional litigation, arbitration (in its many forms, including international commercial arbitration negotiation) and mediation (also in its many forms, including partnering, mini-trials and dispute resolution coordinators). It also includes skills training in negotiation and mediation, designed to increase effectiveness in both resolving disputes and enhancing problem-solving abilities.
Principal topics include:
- The nature and varieties of disputes, how they arise and how they are avoided
- The options for resolving disputes: litigation, arbitration, negotiation, mediation and conciliation
- Factors considered by people when they choose a dispute resolution method, including social, cultural and economic factors
- Relevant law reform initiatives, with an emphasis on Australia, other common law countries and selected Asian countries
- Cross-cultural issues in the dispute resolution process
- The roles of judges, lawyers and the courts in the alternative dispute resolution process
- An analysis and comparison of the dispute resolution processes in environmental and native land title disputes, with an emphasis on Australia, Canada and the United States
- Basic skills for successful negotiation and mediation, including theory and practical exercises.
- Business Negotiations and Deal-Making12.5
Business Negotiations and Deal-Making
This subject focuses on skills and strategies that are key to negotiating, swaying and influencing counterparties in business negotiations and deal-making. In this subject, skills will be developed by constantly improving as business negotiators by asking the right questions, framing issues, gaining lessons learned, defining success metrics and negotiating with others with different skill-sets, perceptions and backgrounds. The subject will have a particular focus on negotiations in cross-border settings. The teacher is a leading expert in negotiation training, having taught and researched at prestigious institutions such as Berkeley, Stanford and Harvard, and trained executives at some of the world’s largest companies. He will draw on both real-world transactional and academic experience in leading the subject.
Principal topics and skills include the following:
- Understand why conflict arises between people and business organisations, within both a domestic and international context
- Assess and apply various strategic frameworks in diverse settings (business-to-business, private-public sector, etc)
- Define specific success metrics within diverse teams and groups before, during and after business negotiations and deal-making settings
- Apply and leverage the main conceptual frameworks related to transaction planning and conflict resolution within diverse environments - including distributive, integrative, and mixed motive negotiation styles (among others)
- Analyse and synthesise business negotiation theories, skill-sets and studies as current or future business negotiation professionals
- Recognise implicit and explicit biases and nudges that may hinder or help business negotiations, while developing strategies on how to bridge and create value from such gaps
- Develop, and learn how to continually develop, a value-added business negotiation toolbox and confidence as business negotiators and deal-makers
- Understand key contractual terms that may pivot business negotiators and negotiations
- Enhance effective communication skill-sets, both verbal and nonverbal, and develop an empathetic understanding of how and why counterparties may see things differently from you and your business unit
- Possess an overall understanding of the nature of disputes and conflict resolution, including ethical, cultural, economic, psychological and emotional factors.
- Corporate Governance & Directors' Duties12.5
Corporate Governance & Directors' Duties
Corporate governance is of national and international importance. This subject has a strong focus on the law relating to corporate governance, particularly the duties and responsibilities of company directors and other officers, primarily from an Australian perspective but also considering the approach taken in other jurisdictions. The director has been described in one court judgment as “an essential component of corporate governance” who is “placed at the apex of the structure of direction and management of a company”. The lecturer is the author of leading publications dealing with corporate governance, including the major Australian book on directors’ duties, and he has also been involved in a number of corporate governance reforms enacted by Parliament.
Principal topics include:
- The concept of corporate governance
- Overview of the current framework of corporate governance and the duties of directors and other officers
- Who is subject to duties?
- To whom are duties owed?
- Duties to act with care and diligence, in the best interests of the company, and for a proper purpose
- Duty to avoid conflicts of interest
- Duty to prevent insolvent trading
- Role of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) in enforcing directors’ duties
- Role of shareholders in corporate governance
- Role of industry corporate governance guidelines and the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) Corporate Governance Principles and Recommendations.
- Development, Labour and Human Rights12.5
Development, Labour and Human Rights
The proper role to be played by labour standards and human rights in the construction of the international economic order, and in the development process, is an intricate issue and a matter of controversy. This subject examines the relationship between (economic) development and labour law – exploring the place of rights within both investment and trade-led development models, and the contrasting social justice-based developmental approaches.
In investigating the role of labour law in development, this subject interrogates the rationales, content, institutions and regulatory frameworks relating to labour standards and human rights at regional and international levels. This entails not only a technical analysis of transnational instruments and supervisory structures but also detailed consideration of underlying political and economic concerns. Such regulatory frameworks for labour that have prevailed in the global ‘North’ have been the basis of transplantation and experimentation in the 'South', and might obscure the actual characteristics of labour relations in the ‘South’. The subject examines the redefinition of labour law, paying close attention to North-South relations in the regulation of labour; to the relationship between labour rights and human rights; and to the limits of rights discourse.
Attention will be given to various case studies. Illustrative topics include:
- Introduction: Re-imagining labour law for development
- Labour and the turn to human rights discourse
- The changing nature of work: informalisation, ‘precariatisation’, and the rise in low quality work
- Defining labour in the global North and the global South: Unpaid labour, family employment and care work
- Setting, supervising and enforcing international labour standards
- ‘Core’ labour rights and the International Labour Organisation
- Development, free trade and labour rights: socio-economic rights as a condition of international trade
- Competing regimes and norms on migrant labour
- The regional and sub-regional dimension: the European Union, the African Union and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations
- Labour dimensions of codes of conduct, social labelling and investor initiatives: effectiveness and legitimacy
- ‘Post-industrial’ labour law in the global North and South: Alternative models of social protection and social justice, Universal Basic Income and employment guarantees
- Fundamentals of the Common Law12.5
Fundamentals of the Common Law
Fundamentals of the Common Law is a foundational subject in the Melbourne Law Masters (MLM), which is compulsory for graduates in disciplines other than law and for law graduates from countries with a non-common law system. It provides students with an opportunity to acquire the foundational legal skills necessary for studying and working in a common law system, such as that in Australia.
The common law forms one of the two principal systems of Western law that, through colonisation, have spread throughout the world. Common law systems have a distinctive approach to understanding the sources of law, the role of law-making institutions, and processes for resolving disputes. These characteristics of the common law system have had a profound effect on the development not only of the societies in the countries in which it applied, but also on international law and practice.
The aim of this subject is to acquire basic foundational legal skills that will assist you with other subjects in the MLM program. The subject teaches students how to read, use and interpret reported cases and legislation. The subject explains the sources of law, what influences them, and how they influence the development of the common law. These aims are given in context of some contemporary debates on common law reasoning by assessing the role of the High Court of Australia. The subject focuses on developing skills in analysis and legal writing, the tools of the common lawyer
Principal topics include:
- How to read and analyse a case
- The concept and use of precedent
- Evolution of a common law principle
- Common law issues: judicial activism, separation of powers
- The role of the High Court and an overview of the Constitution
- The relationship between the Constitution, case law and statute law
- Influences of other sources of law on the common law
- How to read and analyse statutes
- Approaches to statutory interpretation
- Legal writing skills and expectations in the MLM program.
- International Human Rights Law12.5
International Human Rights Law
The field of international human rights law is today composed of a multitude of legal instruments, implementation bodies, special procedures, human rights NGOs and transitional justice mechanisms. This subject provides the opportunity to examine this field in many of its dimensions, equipping students to navigate the system and critically assess its fundamental features. It will be of interest to all students who want to develop a detailed understanding of how the international human rights law system operates, including those with limited or no background in the area. The two lecturers have significant experience across a diverse range of topics and issues within international human rights law, which they draw upon to create an engaging and thought-provoking subject.
Principal topics include:
- Human rights and the challenges posed by state sovereignty and national security
- The contested universality of human rights
- The international institutional framework for the protection of human rights, with a special focus on the Human Rights Council and treaty monitoring system
- The interpretation and application of selected rights from the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR)
- Domestic measures for the implementation of human rights, such as judicial implementation of economic, social and cultural rights
- The norm of non-discrimination as it relates to race, gender, sexual orientation and gender identity
- The contribution of truth and reconciliation commissions to the protection of human rights
- Human rights law relating to refugees and asylum-seekers
- The challenges posed by economic globalisation.
- International Law and Development12.5
International Law and Development
The concept of development has been crucial to structuring international legal relations from the end of World War II to the present day. During that time, international law and institutions have taken on ‘development’ as a primary project. In both the public and economic domains, the vast majority of international institutions engage with the development project in some shape or form. This subject invites students to think about the nature and importance of development and its relation to international law. The history of development in relation to imperialism, decolonisation, the Cold War and globalisation means that this set of relations is complex and dynamic. Understanding it is crucial to understanding the place of international law, and the work development does in the contemporary world.
Principal topics include:
- Law and development as a field
- The ‘development’ concept and its precursors
- The relationship between the concepts of ‘law’ and ‘development’
- The institutionalisation of development
- Development, imperialism, decolonisation and the nation state
- Permanent sovereignty over natural resources and the new international economic order
- Debt crises and development(s) at the Bretton Wood institutions
- Trade and development
- Globalisation, governance and the rule of law
- Sustainability, democracy and human rights
- Resistance, alternatives and post-development
- The future: development and security.
- International Legal Internship12.5
International Legal Internship
International Legal Internship allows students to gain credit for undertaking advanced legal research and analysis on an approved international internship of at least eight weeks of full-time work in an approved international institution or organisation. This subject is focused on providing students with an opportunity to engage with legal and policy issues in contemporary society through work experience and further develop oral and written communication skills. Students are required to secure and fund their internships personally.
Students are encouraged to discuss their internship proposals with the subject coordinators. Students who successfully enrol in International Legal Internship must arrange a meeting with at least one of the subject coordinators both prior to their internship and upon completion, to develop a better understanding of research and the role of international institutions in international law and relations.
- Mediation in Practice12.5
Mediation in Practice
With a primary focus on experiential learning and interactive discussion, this subject will provide a practical guide to the use of mediation in resolving disputes and to the legal environment in which mediation takes place. The objectives of this subject are to identify where mediation sits among available dispute resolution processes; its distinguishing characteristics and advantages; the applicable legal environment; the styles of mediation generally employed in disputes such as insurance, construction, retail tenancy, intellectual property infringement and licensing and government regulation; to learn to apply mediation principles and techniques in the resolution of disputes; and to explore topical issues in mediation, including how and when to use hybrid processes such as Arb-Med-Arb, and different regimes applicable to the admissibility of evidence of communications within mediation.
The lecturers are lawyers who have led and been at the cutting-edge of developing mediation and other ADR techniques. They are nationally accredited mediators and also have substantial experience in teaching and training in this field.
Principal topics include:
- Identifying the characteristics of different dispute resolution methods
- The roles of facilitative and evaluative techniques in mediation
- Practising mediation techniques in mediation scenarios
- The legislative environment in which mediation takes place
- Case law and guidelines for lawyers applicable to mediation.
- Mediation: Principles and Practice12.5
Mediation: Principles and Practice
Mediation has become the likely forum for the resolution of most disputes – whether convened voluntarily, by contract, statute or court order – but its inherent confidentially makes it hard for outsiders to understand fully.
This subject will cover the majority of the material required for Accreditation under the National Mediator Accreditation Scheme (NMAS), but also recognise that mediation needs to be understood by all involved, not just future mediators. In light of this, it will examine the roles of solicitors and barristers, other advisers and experts, and the parties themselves. It will do this through teaching by Andrew Moffat, who regularly mediates commercial disputes in Melbourne and Sydney, supplemented by guest lecturers who fill these roles in mediations.
It also recognises that mediation is – and must maintain – a uniquely flexible process capable of very different approaches based on the context of the dispute. Guest lecturers who are expert practitioners in other dispute contexts will share their insights.
Students will develop a sophisticated understanding of current mediation theory and practice, and learn to put this learning into practice as mediators and mediation participants, through extensive involvement in simulations. Finally, students will learn about the mediation industry and the business and career elements of developing a mediation practice.
Successful completion of this subject, and a complete attendance record to all sessions, is expected to be credited for 60 per cent of National Mediator Accreditation Scheme training, under the auspices of the Resolution Institute, which will offer students the opportunity to study the remaining 40 per cent required for NMAS accreditation.
Principal topics include:
- Mediation within the broader context of dispute resolution
- Moving from positions to interests
- Standard NMAS mediation model
- Key concepts – voluntariness and empowerment
- Triggers for mediation – optimising timing where possible
- Mediator skills and when and how to intervene
- Changing dynamics in joint sessions
- Mandatory mediation as public policy
- Typical participants and their roles
- Alternatives and options in private sessions
- NMAS Approval and Practice Standards
- Setting the scene – the opening statement
- Mediation challenges – complexity and ethical issues
- Optimising mediation in cross-cultural disputes
- Mediation as a career.
- Negotiation Skills12.5
Irrespective of their speciality, lawyers must negotiate. Litigators resolve far more disputes through negotiation than by trial. Business lawyers in every domain negotiate on behalf of their clients. Public interest lawyers, in-house counsel, government lawyers, criminal lawyers, tort lawyers and commercial litigators all share the need to be effective negotiators. However few lawyers have any systematic understanding of why negotiations often fail or have suboptimal results, the dilemmas inherent in negotiations, or the characteristics of effective negotiators.
By combining theory and practice, this subject should improve students’ understanding of negotiation and effectiveness as negotiators. This subject should improve their ability to prepare for a negotiation, to engage others in joint problem-solving, and to select appropriate strategies when negotiations don’t go well. Above all, this subject will equip students to continue refining their skills as they gain more experience.
Florrie Darwin has taught negotiation skills to students, as well as a broad range of professionals, around the world.
Principal topics include:
- Introduction to negotiation principles
- Basic framework for preparing, conducting and reviewing a negotiation
- Giving and receiving feedback
- Creating value in negotiations
- The challenge of distribution
- Effective listening
- Managing interpersonal differences
- Negotiating via email
- Effective responses to difficult negotiation tactics
- Dealing with structural complexity in negotiation/multi-party negotiations.
- Regulatory Policy and Practice12.5
Regulatory Policy and Practice
Regulation has become a permanent feature of the way in which contemporary democratic economies, including Australia, are governed. There are few spheres of economic activity that are not subject to some form of regulatory oversight and control. Daily news programs rarely pass without some mention of a significant regulatory decision, proposed regulatory reform or allegations of some regulatory failure or scandal. For lawyers, dealings with regulators and regulatory regimes have become part of the staple diet of their work. Yet the practice of regulation is far from straightforward. Regulatory policy and practice has evolved considerably from its traditional origins in the form of ‘command and control’, accompanied by the growth of specific terminology and concepts that are likely to be unfamiliar to those other than regulatory technocrats. This subject provides an opportunity for students to develop an understanding of, and critically to evaluate, the basic tools, techniques and decision-making methodologies that are employed in regulatory design and practice. It will be of interest to both private and public sector lawyers who practise in regulated sectors of the economy, enhancing their understanding of how regulators go about the business of regulatory decision-making.
Principal topics include:
- Introduction: What is ‘regulation’ and ‘governance’?; the regulatory agency: institutional features, strengths and shortcomings; the rise of the ‘regulatory state’; regulatory regimes and the role of non-state actors
- Tools, techniques and instruments of regulation: command—traditional legal prohibitions backed by sanctions; competition—market based approaches; communication—information disclosure and publicity-based approaches; consensus (including self-regulation); code architecture and the use of ‘nudge’ techniques
- ‘New governance’ approaches to regulation: choice of Instrument; ‘hybrid’ approaches to regulation; responsive regulation, ‘smart regulation’ and its variants (including meta-regulation); cost-benefit analysis and regulatory impact assessment and ‘better regulation’
- Enforcement and compliance: problems with rules; principles-based regulation; the role of the criminal and civil law; punitive civil sanctions (the Macrory Review); regulatory enforcement styles; national styles of regulation; private enforcement, third party monitoring and certification systems
- Appraising Regulation: regulatory accountability; regulatory legitimacy: between democracy and expertise.