Introduction to Lockdown Dispute Resolution 101

Welcome to the Australasian Dispute Resolution Research Network’s COVID-19 crisis inspired series on basic skills and strategies for effective communication, negotiation and dispute resolution practices. The series is written by dispute resolution experts who are members of the Network and is designed for this difficult and challenging time of worldwide lockdown.

Covid-19 | New Scientist

It is clear that relationships are being tested as a result of the social isolation strategies currently in place in response to COVID-19. As we spend more time confined in our homes, and work remotely from our colleagues, it can be a struggle to maintain civil communications – it’s a perfect environment for nerves to become frayed and for disputes and conflict to develop. The reliable advice seems to be that we are really only at the beginning of trying to overcome the virus – so now is an absolutely critical time to equip ourselves with positive strategies to support relationships – personal relationships, work relationships and relationships with others we encounter when we get to go outside.

There are many stories of acts of kindness and generosity in families and the community. See for example. However, the significant stressors of living through this pandemic cannot be denied. A man in Woolworths the other day pushed rudely in front of me and then turned around and said abruptly ‘It’s all for one these days’. I think he actually meant ‘It’s every person for themselves’ (?!). In any event his actions demonstrated that he was losing his capacity to be civil and to cope.

1993 Skybox The Three Musketeers All For One, And One For All! #73 ...

The ADR Research Network is a network of leading dispute resolution scholars who collaborate to foster, nurture and enrich high quality dispute resolution research and scholarship. The Network is inclusive and forward-looking, highly collegial and supportive. In ‘these troubling times’ we want to share some of our expertise in support of individual, family, workplace and community harmony and peace in lockdown.

Starting today we will be positing a new Blog every day for the rest of April exploring ways in which we can all prevent disputes from arising, as well as manage and resolve disputes when they do arise. We’ll be covering topics such as effective communication strategies (for example, effective listening, appropriate ways to ask questions and the benefits of using tools such as summarising and reframing in communications), mental health strategies relevant to dispute resolution practice (such as reflective practice, resilience-building and self-management), conflict management approaches (conflict analysis and de-escalation) and dispute resolution practices with a focus on negotiation tips and tricks. We’ll be highlighting some of the great work of Network members and pointing you towards additional useful resources.

We always welcome your comments and feedback. Please be in touch with us via the comments function on the Blog.

Tomorrow’s Blog: Dispute resolution agency – it’s our responsibility at this time to take agency and build our communication, negotiation and dispute resolution skills.


Coronavirus image:

All for one and one for all image:–73

This entry was posted in Dispute resolution by Dr Rachael Field. Bookmark the permalink.

About Dr Rachael Field

Rachael is a Professor of Law in the Law Faculty of Bond University. Her key teaching and research interests are in legal education and dispute resolution. Rachael was awarded an Australian Learning and Teaching Council Citation in 2008 and was made an ALTC Teaching Fellow in 2010. In 2010 Rachael worked with Professors Sally Kift and Mark Israel on the development of the Threshold Learning Outcomes for Law. In 2013 Rachael and Prof Nick James published a first year law text entitled "The New Lawyer". Rachael has been a member of the First Year in Higher Education Conference organising committee since 2007 and now chairs that committee. She was awarded the 2013 Lexis Nexis Australasian Law Teachers’ Association Major Prize for Teaching Excellence and Innovation jointly with her colleague James Duffy. In 2014 Rachael was awarded an Office of Learning and Teaching national Teaching Excellence Award. Rachael has also been a member of the Women’s Legal Service, Brisbane Management Committee since 1994 and has been President of the Service since 2004. In 2010 Rachael, along with the Women's Legal Service Brisbane, was commissioned by the Federal Attorney-General to design a model of family dispute resolution for use in matters where there is a history of domestic violence. This model was implemented in 5 locations around Australia for 18 months and was evaluated by the Australian Institute of Family Studies. In 2011 and 2012 Rachael was invited by the Australian Human Rights Commission to contribute to their International Program by presenting the model to bi-lateral workshops with the All China Women's Federation. Rachael completed her PhD through the Faculty of Law at the University of Sydney under the supervision of Professor Hilary Astor in 2011. Her thesis explored the notion of neutrality in mediation and offers an alternative paradigm based on professional mediator ethics. Rachael was named Queensland Women Lawyer of the Year for 2013. Research Interests • Dispute Resolution • Women and the Law • Restorative Justice • Family Law • Legal Education

2 thoughts on “Introduction to Lockdown Dispute Resolution 101

  1. Hi all I posted a comment re the article, did it work?Pauline I did some DR in the shop last week.Sent from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone.


Post your comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.