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Area of Law: Non-Adversarial Justice

What is Non-adversarial justice?

People talking around a table

"Non-adversarial theories and practices [can include] therapeutic jurisprudence, restorative justice, preventive law, creative problem solving, holistic law, appropriate or alternative dispute resolution, collaborative law, problem-oriented courts, diversion programs, indigenous courts, coroners courts and managerial and administrative procedures." (from Michael King, et al, Non-Adversarial Justice (2nd ed, 2014)

Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) - Dispute resolution processes by which matters are resolved outside the usual court-based litigation model. The aim of ADR is to encourage the settlement of a dispute between parties with the assistance of a neutral person.

ADR includes processes such as:

  • assisted negotiation
  • expert appraisal
  • mediation
  • conciliation
  • evaluation
  • early neutral evaluation
  • mediation-arbitration.  

(adapted from Encyclopaedic Australian Legal Dictionary)

Restorative justice - a theory of justice that emphasises repairing the harm caused by criminal behavior (Restorative Justice Online)

Therapeutic jurisprudencea branch of jurisprudence that focuses on questions of well-being in relation to those who come into contact with the law and the justice system. (Encyclopaedic Australian Legal Dictionary)

Commercial arbitrationThe system for final determination of disputes by a private tribunal constituted for that purpose by the agreement of the disputants. Domestic arbitration is governed by the commercial arbitration legislation of the States and Territories which is relatively uniform across all jurisdictions, except New South Wales. International arbitration in Australia is governed by the (CTH) International Arbitration Act 1974 as amended, which incorporates the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration 1985 as that law is itself amended by the UNCITRAL Model Law amendments to 2006. (Encyclopaedic Australian Legal Dictionary)

Other related terms:

  • Access to justice
  • Civil justice
  • Conciliation
  • Dispute resolution
  • Domestic commercial arbitration
  • International commercial arbitration
  • Mediation
  • Negotation
  • Problem-solving courts

Research at Monash

The Australian Centre for Justice Innovation (ACJI) is a research and teaching centre based at Monash University Law Chambers (MULC) in Melbourne, Australia.