This course surveys the major methods currently in use for resolving disputes by situating Alternative Dispute Resolution [ADR] in its historical, social and legal context. In tandem, three streams of investigation will be pursued:
1. Conflict – understanding what it is, it’s nature, various types and models, etc…
2. ADR - what it is, various ADR processes and techniques.
3. Interpersonal and other supporting skills and processes, which are essential underpinnings to successfully implement the various ADR processes and techniques.
“Mutual Adjustment” is situated at one end of the ADR spectrum. Adjudication lies at the other end, and is the step past ADR - it is what ADR is intended to avoid.
The comparative advantages and disadvantages of various ADR techniques and mechanisms [both formal and informal] will be examined, recognizing the appropriate situations in which to apply them.
Negotiation models, and the practical techniques necessary to negotiate effectively, are also covered. Developing mediation skills [facilitated negotiations] and critical issues such as getting parties to the table, ethical issues of the mediation process, power imbalances, the appropriateness of mediation and issues of culture, race and gender are addressed. Technical aspects of the mediation process covered include: stages in the mediation process, how to determine the interests of parties, how to generate options for settlement, and how to get beyond impasses.