Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit


LAWS104 Foundations of Law and Legal Research , LAWS105 Contract Law , LAWS206 Torts

Teaching organisation

4 hours per week for twelve weeks or equivalent.

Unit rationale, description and aim

The Rule of Law, and access to legal advice, are the basis of free, democratic, and just societies which promote personal dignity, thriving communities, and the Common Good. Law graduates working in legal practice, in business, in government, and in the community play an essential role in promoting and upholding the Rule of Law in Australia and across the world. The Bachelor of Laws degree is an accredited degree for admission as a legal practitioner in Australia.

Civil Procedure and Alternative Dispute Resolution deals with the law relating to the resolution of civil disputes between two or more parties. It focuses on the resolution of such disputes using the court system, including how issues are identified through pleadings, how evidence is obtained and used, the conduct of trials, the nature and enforcement of judgments and the right of appeal. The unit will also examine alternative forms of dispute resolution (Alternative Dispute Resolution) such as mediation and arbitration as well as the skills of negotiation and persuasion.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Describe and critically evaluate rules governing the curial adjudication of civil disputes (GA4, GA5, GA6, GA8).  

LO2 - Draft some pleadings and other documents used in civil proceedings (GA6, GA7, GA9).   

LO3 - Describe and assess the advantages and disadvantages of alternative methods of resolving civil disputes (GA4, GA5, GA6, GA8, GA9).   

LO4 - Apply the law to factual situations and thereby advise clients and others of their rights and obligations in those situations and the advantages and disadvantages of the procedural avenues open to them (GA5, GA6, GA7). 

Graduate attributes

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA6 - solve problems in a variety of settings taking local and international perspectives into account

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 


Topics will include: 


  1. Jurisdiction  
  2. Commencing and conducting proceedings  
  3. Parties and causes of action  
  4. Pleadings  
  5. Discovery 
  6. Obtaining and using evidence  
  7. Trial  
  8. Judgment and enforcement  
  9. Appeals  
  10. Costs  
  11. Mediation and Arbitration 
  12. Negotiation and persuasion  

This content reflects the academic areas of knowledge required for accreditation, Schedule 1, Legal Profession Admission Rules 2015.   

(a) Court adjudication under an adversary system 

(b) The cost of litigation and the use of costs to control litigation 

(c) Service of originating process—as foundation of jurisdiction, including service out of the relevant State or Territory and choice of forum 

(d) Joinder of claims and parties, including group proceedings and the defence of prior adjudication as instances of the public interest in avoiding a multiplicity of proceedings and inconsistent verdict 

(e) Defining the questions for trial—pleadings, notices to admit and other devices 

(f) Obtaining evidence—discovery of documents, interrogatories, subpoena and other devices 

(g) Disposition without trial, including the compromise of litigation 

(h) Extra-judicial determination of issues arising in the course of litigation 

(i) Judgment 

(j) Appeal 

(k) Enforcement 

(l) Alternative dispute resolution 

(m) Obligations of parties and practitioners relating to the resolution of disputes, or topics of such breadth and depth as to satisfy the following guidelines:


The topics should embrace the general study of rules of civil procedure and alternative dispute resolution relevant in the State or Territory. The law concerning jurisdiction, the initiation and service of process, the definition of issues through pleadings and judgment and enforcement should all be included. 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Mode: Lectures, tutorials, electronic consultation, library tasks and presentations or Online lectures and activities. 

Duration: 4 hours per week over 12 weeks or equivalent. Students are expected to spend 150 hours in total for this unit.

This level two compulsory Law unit allows students to demonstrate knowledge, skills and understanding in a specialist area of law to meet the requirements of accreditation. 

Our strategy is to encourage students to creatively engage with unit content and to apply fundamental legal knowledge, skills and understandings to address legal problems. 

The unit is designed to be delivered in intensive, weekly or online mode. We have taken a blended learning approach to provide accessibility and flexibility to our students and a student focused approach that increases depth of learning and engagement through actively utilising LEO.  

Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessment strategy is designed to assess knowledge, skills and understanding in a specialist area of law required for accreditation. 

The assessment tasks for this unit are designed to demonstrate achievement of each of the learning outcomes listed. 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Communication and Engagement: Students are required to participate in a minimum of 8 out of 12 skills-based tutorials, in recognition that the development of skills in locating, referencing and analysing research materials is assisted by attendance and participation in weekly tutorials. A rubric will be utilised to assess students. 


LO1, LO2, LO3 

GA4, GA5, GA6, GA8, GA9 

Assessment based on experiential learning  


LO1, LO2, LO3 & LO4 

GA4, GA5, GA6, GA8, GA9 



LO1, LO2, LO3 & LO4 

GA4, GA5, GA6, GA8, GA9 

Representative texts and references

Required text(s)  

  • Bernard Cairns, Australian Civil Procedure (Lawbook Co, 12th ed, 2020)
  • Supreme Court (General Civil Procedure) Rules 2015 (Vic)*  
  • Civil Procedure Act 2010 (Vic)*  
  • Uniform Civil Procedures Rules 2015 (Vic)*   


*These can be accessed on line through under NSW Consolidated Act and NSW Consolidated Regulations respectively 


Recommended references  

  • Colbran S et al, Civil Procedure: Commentary and Materials (LexisNexis Butterworths, 6th ed, 2015) 
  • Boniface, Kumar & Legg Principles in Civil Procedure (Thomson Reuters 2nd edition 2012
  • Azize, El Khouri & Finnane Pleading Precedents Thomson Reuters 7th ed
  • Bamford, Leaver & Rankin, Principles of Civil Litigation, Lawbook Co, 2010
  • Spencer, Barry & Akin Ojelabi, Dispute Resolution in Australia: Cases, Commentary & Materials (Thomson Reuters, 4th ed, 2019)

Have a question?

We're available 9am–5pm AEDT,
Monday to Friday

If you’ve got a question, our AskACU team has you covered. You can search FAQs, text us, email, live chat, call – whatever works for you.

Live chat with us now

Chat to our team for real-time
answers to your questions.

Launch live chat

Visit our FAQs page

Find answers to some commonly
asked questions.

See our FAQs