Experiential learning for dispute resolution: Developing a curriculum for alternative dispute resolution (ADR) skills, theory, and practice


The Initative Team

Initiative Lead
University College Cork

Primary Contact
Professor Mark Poustie

Initiative Budget


Initiative Type


Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) has become an integral part of national (Arbitration Act 2010; Mediation Act 2017; Labour Relations Commission) and international (UNCITRAL Model Law; ADR Directive 2013) legal practice.

There is a demand for ADR to be taught in law schools, with a heightened emphasis on developing core lawyering skills (e.g. negotiation), which are largely unaddressed in doctrinal legal education. The current absence of such offerings by the School of Law is a significant gap.

The core aims and objectives of this T&L initiative are to:

• Develop a skills-based ADR curriculum
• Develop professional networks with leading legal and ADR practitioners (nationally and internationally)
• Establish the School of Law as a leading provider of ADR teaching and learning
• Create a student-led ADR Clinic


• Curriculum design consultancy with expert ADR practitioners; clinical education academics; and students
• Establishment of a masters (LLM) ADR module as a first-step, with the view to developing a suite of ADR offerings (undergraduate, postgraduate, and executive – including mediation training)
• Networking workshop to solicit feedback on design
• Benchmarking visit to Law Schools (University of Strathclyde; Columbia University) with established ADR curricula and leading clinics

Expected Outcomes:

This T&L initiative will enable a number of short (S), medium (M), and long-term (L) outcomes, including:

• The development of ADR offerings (S;M;L)
• The establishment of professional networks and partnerships (S;M;L)
• More sophisticated graduate attributes (S;M;L)
• The development of an LLM in ADR (M;L)
• Attracting PhD students (M;L)
• The establishment of a student-led ADR Clinic (M;L)