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Resolution Institute partners with law school for arbitration course

Resolution Institute has partnered with an Australian law school to offer a new post-graduate program to upskill practitioners in arbitration.

user iconLauren Croft 19 February 2024 Big Law
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Following a notable surge in the adoption of arbitration as a dispute resolution mechanism, diverting complaints away from costly court and tribunal processes, the University of Adelaide Law School and Resolution Institute have teamed up to offer a new certification for lawyers.

The Professional Certificate in Arbitration focuses mostly on domestic commercial arbitration as a method of dispute resolution. The program provides students with a solid understanding of arbitration law and practice, and its role as a method of dispute resolution within the Australian legal system. Many commercial contracts in Australia now contain binding arbitration clauses, meaning disputes must be resolved through arbitration.

The course is designed to be completed in one year and is run over two university semesters. Students benefit from cutting-edge research in law from a Group of Eight university with one of Australia’s oldest law schools and the practical expertise of the Resolution Institute, whose membership spans across Australia and New Zealand. The program also offers a direct pathway to becoming an accredited arbitrator.


Dr Peter Kassapidis is the course coordinator for the Professional Certificate in Arbitration.

“The course encourages student interaction and promotes active participation in online discussion boards and fortnightly tutorials conducted via video conference. It also involves a ‘hands-on’ arbitration workshop in each semester that is facilitated by experienced arbitration practitioners from the Resolution Institute,” he said.

“The first semester provides students with an introduction to domestic commercial arbitration in Australia. We contrast arbitration with other processes within the dispute resolution spectrum and explore arbitration principles and the applicable statutory regime.

“We cover arbitration procedure from commencement, managing the proceedings and the hearing to ultimately rendering an arbitral award. We build upon arbitration fundamentals in the second semester, where we take a deeper dive into arbitral hearings and explore the fundamentals of award writing.”

The program enables students to build professional connections with other arbitrators, adjudicators and mediators, have access to a range of professional development opportunities, and take advantage of the grading and accreditation services that the Resolution Institute offers to resolution professionals.

A recent past student and legal counsel at CPB Contractors, Jessie Jagger, said it was “informative and worthwhile”.

“You will learn about the relevant legislation and its application in detail, as well as the various practical steps that an arbitrator must take when hearing and determining a matter,” she said.

“As a solicitor presenting in alternative dispute resolution forums, having a deeper understanding and appreciation for the decision-maker’s role has been very helpful.”

The skills-based accredited program is also not just for those already in the legal profession, added Professor Matthew Stubbs, director of post-graduate coursework programs at Adelaide Law School.

“This program is for anyone interested in gaining skills and knowledge in commercial arbitration as a form of dispute determination. It can be relevant both to legal practitioners and other professionals in industries where arbitration is common, whether they intend to practise in arbitration directly or to be able to advise clients from a position of greater expertise about arbitration as an option,” he said.

“It’s also for those who might already be in professional practice, who are sought after to provide expert advice and services as an arbitrator. Whatever your situation, because of the unique partnership between the Resolution Institute and the University of Adelaide, you will acquire transferable skills that benefit your career and the organisation for which you work.”

Toby Shnookal KC of the Victorian Bar, a barrister and arbitrator who teaches the Professional Certificate in Arbitration, noted that arbitration is becoming essential in a number of industries, including law.

“Everyone involved in dispute resolution nowadays must understand arbitration. From Clive Palmer’s 300 billion arbitration against Australia down to the smallest commercial dispute, arbitration is the go-to determinative method,” he said.

“The only Australian university course pathway to learning about it and becoming an arbitrator is the excellent Professional Certificate of Arbitration.”