JJUA54016U Negotiation and Dispute Resolution in Theory and Practice

Volume 2015/2016

The main objective of the course is to provide the participants with theoretical knowledge and practical training in different negotiation techniques including preparations ahead of meetings, the negotiation process and the subsequent analysis. Emphasis will be placed on the understanding of the factors that will contribute to negotiation effectiveness, considerations regarding the tactical choices and strategic decisions available and the ability to develop wise agreements through developing interests that would otherwise be overlooked.
Settlement of conflicts by court is often - in any legal system - time as well as money consuming. Litigation may even complicate ongoing relations between the parties after a court decision. For these reasons only a small part of conflicts whether between organizations, between individuals and organizations or the state, end up in court. Knowledge and skills in negotiation and dispute resolution will, therefore, be useful to practising lawyers and business people everywhere.
These are three main approaches to dealing with conflicts: Domination, compromise and integration. During the course the differences between the three attitudes will be exemplified and discussed in connection with the ethical implications attached.
Also the differences between chairmanship, the role of the mediator and the judge will be emphasized and discussed.

All course materials are in English, and the class discussions will be conducted in English.
The course will be conducted as an interaction between theory, exercises and realistic negotiation-plays based on problems relevant to lawyers including constructive evaluation of each individual participant's activity. Video films will be shown and discussed. A thorough pre-analysis is a decisive qualification in reaching a satisfactory result as a negotiator. The pre-analysis must deal with definition of the parties' mandate, agenda setting, the possibility of coalitions, possible difficulties in keeping loyalty, the identification and framing of issues involved, power resources, possible alternatives to an agreement etc. The participants will be trained in preparing such pre-analysis.
During the simulated negotiations the participants will be faced with their own negotiation style and trained in the use of other techniques, trained in the use of objective criteria, in focusing on interests in stead of positions, in dealing with emotional outbursts, over-coming "no", identifying and dealing with dirty tricks etc. Following negotiation the participants must analyse to which extent the preparation was satisfactory, which techniques and strategies were used and might/should have been used, how much information was revealed, whether concessions were reciprocal, whether the results in general were satisfactory etc.
The course will include examples of which qualifications and techniques a mediator/facilitor should possess, and will give the participants an opportunity to practice these techniques to different types of conflicts and to test which techniques will be particularly useful to that participant in particular.

Learning Outcome

- Explain the concept of negotiation regarded as a process in which two or more parties in actual or potential conflict through communication attempt to reach a joint decision on matters of mutual/common concern.
- Explain the basic differences of legal negotiation from negotiation in general, emphasizing client representation
- Explain the different phases in negotiation, identifying, analysing and presenting arguments supporting the choice of elements, which have to be taken into consideration in the preplanning process
- Introduced to a practical example (case), analyse and identify to the case relevant elements, based upon which strategic decisions and tactical choices concerning an upcoming negotiation or dispute resolution can be merited
- Orally present in an independent and timely manner such analysis, its findings and conclusions
- Convincingly negotiate same case following the pre-planned strategy, however showing ability to flexibly adapt strategy as needed
- Explain and reflect upon the concept of conflicts
- Analyse and discuss in theory and illustrate in practice how to identify different types of conflict and how to deal with them (conflict management)
- Present at least 4 different types of dispute resolution possibilities and critical argue how to chose between them and analyse basic advantages and/or disadvantages that may derive from the choice of resolution type
- Handle negotiation preparations, the negotiation process and techniques and through post-negotiation analysis reflect upon the negotiation in connection with a practical example
- Present the ability to devise agreements based upon the interests of both/all parties involved.
- Communicate and formulate her/his knowledge and arguments professionally and linguistically correct and in a way that is structured and coherent

  • Donald G. Gifford: “Legal Negotiaton, Theory & Practice", Second Edition, by Donald G. Gifford, ISBN # 978-0-314-15912-0
  • Harvard Business Essentials: “Negotiation”, ISBN 1-59139-111-3
  • William Ury: “Getting past no”, ISBN 0-7126-5086-5 or 0-7126-5523-9
    If you like to read a little more, we highly recommend this extra-curricular literature:
  • Roger J. Volkema:"The Negotiation Toolkit" (Anacom), ISBN 0-8144-8008-X
  • Charles B. Craver: "Effective Legal Negotiation and Settlement", ISBN 0327159170
  • Larry L. Teply: “Legal Negotiation – in a nut shell”, ISBN 0-314-15417-5
Students must be able to fluently read, understand, and speak "everyday" (non-technical) English.
Negotiation and Dispute Resolution in Theory and Practice, Konfliktmægling/​Mediation and Forhandling og konflikthåndtering i teori og praksis are mutually exclusive. It is therefore only possible to follow and be examined in one of these three courses, during the course of study.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Preparation
  • 241
  • Seminar
  • 34
  • Total
  • 275
Type of assessment
Oral examination, 20 min
Oral exam with preparation, 20 minutes
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship
Exam period

Autumn: December 14-18, 2015 (preliminary dates)


Spring: May 23-27 + May 30 - June 3, 2016  (preliminary dates)