Disputing in the Built Environment

Sidoli, Julian Silvano (2021). Disputing in the Built Environment. PhD thesis The Open University.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21954/ou.ro.00012894


Aim: This PhD argues, in the context of conflict resolution in the built environment, that negotiated settlements are a human good – and ergo are worth pursuing in most cases – and that pragmatism, rather than ‘rights’ talk, is properly at the forefront of most decision-making in the private law context. This challenges the dominant discourse, which sanctifies rights, views court-based litigation as a panacea, and lawyers and binary win–lose scenarios as ‘resolutions’. This thesis shows, through the interaction of theory and practice, that the private law sphere is distinct from the public law paradigm. Contrary to the orthodoxy of the theorists criticised in the PhD, alternative dispute resolution works for the good of the parties and for the common good. Grounded lawyers, with due humility, can work with clients and opponents to reach honourable compromises, encouraging people on all sides of many private law disputes to move forward in their lives with a due sense of proportion.

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