Mediation in Legal Contexts

Course content

The main purpose of the course is to provide students with a theoretical and practical understanding of mediation in legal contexts and see mediation’s relationship to other dispute mechanisms as well as its societal role. The course builds on the students’ basic knowledge of legal analysis, legal institutions and jurisprudence.


In the course, we will present different paradigms of conflict and the underlying ideas of mediation, where a neutral third party, the mediator, assists the parties to a (legal) dispute in reaching their own solution to the matter through a structured process. We will examine this process step by step and in doing so look at the initial contact with the parties, the mediation meeting itself with the opening, storytelling, generation of ideas and negotiation of an agreement, and the post mediation activities. We will also discuss the legal challenges that are encountered in the process. Communication and dialogue are central in mediation and will be part of the course. In addition, we will map out the legal dispute resolution landscape and compare mediation to other mechanisms of dispute resolution such as negotiation, arbitration and adjudication. Mediation is practiced in many legal arenas such as commercial disputes, civil court cases, criminal matters and family matters, and during the course a number of these will be presented and analysed. The point of departure of the course is mediation in a Danish setting, but the course will include an international perspective, especially mediation in the EU. Online dispute resolution (ODR) and the use of AI is becoming increasingly popular and digital mediation is examined, too. The course will also explore a variety of issues relevant for mediation such as confidentiality, power, justice, ethics, restorative justice, neutrality and the role attorneys in mediation.

During class, theory will be put into perspective through exercises, such as role plays, that provide students with a more solid insight into mediation and the role of the mediator. Also, student will apply theory in the analysis of legal disputes.

Learning outcome


  • Thorough knowledge of mediation as a dispute resolution mechanism
  • Knowledge of the mediation process step by step
  • Knowledge of mediation in different legal contexts
  • An understanding of different approaches to legal conflict resolution
  • Knowledge of mediation in an international context
  • Knowledge of critical issues such as power and justice and how they relate to mediation and other dispute resolution mechanisms.
  • An understanding of online dispute resolution



  • Analyze pros and cons of mediation in a specific dispute and make recommendations on procedure
  • Reflect on own strengths and weaknesses as third party to a conflict
  • Reflect on own professional roles in conflict
  • Basic communication and mediation skills
  • Add other perspectives than jurisprudence to conflict situations such as justice and power



  • Advise clients and organizations on mediation
  • Analyze complex disputes
  • Make recommendations on dispute resolution approaches 
  • Represent parties in mediation
  • Communicate constructively in legal disputes
  • Critically reflect on the role of mediation and other dispute resolution mechanisms in law

Problembased roleplays and exercises, discussions in groups, discussions in plenum, student presentations, interactive presentations by the teacher and individual reflection on aspects of mediation.

Vibeke Vindeløv, Reflexive Mediation, DJØF 2012.

Collection of additional literature


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The course requires English skills at a reading and speaking level. The course also requires skills in analysis and critical thinking.

This course is related to Konfliktmægling (mediation) 15 ECTS and Legal Negotiation in Theory and Practice 7,5 ECTS. It can be taken in combination with Legal Negotiation in Theory and Practie whereas this course and Konfliktmægling (mediation) are mutually exclusive.

Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)

This course has multiple sourses of feedback. There will be peerfeedback following discussions and exercises in class. In addition, the teacher will provide oral feedback to the class in general following excercises and discussions and feedback on student presentations.

7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Home assignment, 1 day
Type of assessment details
Assigned individual written assignment, 1 day
The exam combines theory with practical understanding obtained though role-plays during the course.

Read about the descriptions of the individual exam forms, including formal requirements, scope and deadlines in the exam catalogue

Read about practical exam conditions at KUnet

Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Exam period




Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Preparation
  • 178,25
  • Seminar
  • 28
  • English
  • 206,25


Course number
7,5 ECTS
Programme level
Full Degree Master
Full Degree Master choice

1 semester

  1. Students enrolled at Faculty of Law or holding a pre-approval: No tuition fee
  2. Professionals: Please visit our website  
Please see timetable for teaching time
Contracting department
  • Law
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Law
Course Coordinator
  • Lin Adrian   (10-706d72326568766d6572446e7976326f7932686f)
Saved on the 01-05-2024

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Courseinformation of students