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Over 9,000 cases mediated by the ADR programme between 2007 and 2010

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Mr Alex Nartey, National Coordinator of the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), has said that between 2007 and 2010, a total of 9,572 cases were mediated by the institution.

Speaking at the official opening of ADR week celebration in Koforidua on Monday, he said 6,777 cases out of that number were successfully settled, representing about 71 percent rate of settlement.

“This encouraging achievement gives cause to expand and strengthen the ADR programme nationwide” he said.

A week in each legal year is set aside to intensify the use of ADR in all district courts nationwide by giving parties who have cases pending in the courts the opportunity to have them settled through mediation.

The Week is also used to create public awareness in order to educate the citizenry on the use of ADR and also to sensitize stakeholders like judges, magistrates, Court officials and Lawyers.

Registrar Summons exercise is carried out as a major intervention to identify inactive cases that are pending in the courts.

Under that exercise, Registrars of the courts apply on notice to parties for the striking out of those cases that had been idle for 12 months without any sign of interest by the parties to pursue them.

Mr Nartey said the vision of the Chief Justice, Mrs Georgina Theodora Wood was to expand the Court Connected ADR programme to all courts by 2015.

He said it was in pursuit of that vision that the Chief Justice established a separate National ADR Directorate to coordinate all ADR activities within the Judicial Service.

Mr Nartey said the objectives of the Court Connected ADR in the country were to promote the rule of law and good governance, to reduce time and cost of resolving disputes and to ensure effective, speedy and efficient delivery of justice.

It also aimed at instilling public confidence in the justice delivery system in the country to assist parties to resolve disputes without much acrimony and thus preserve relationships and also to help reduce the backlog of cases pending in the courts.

He said a new judicial culture of resolving disputes in the world through ADR mechanisms had emerged, adding that Ghana’s efforts at attracting foreign investors would receive a boost if ADR took firmer roots and was effectively incorporated into the justice delivery system in the country.

“Litigations in the courts have become unattractive to business entities and individuals and as a nation we need to develop ADR mechanisms such as Commercial Arbitration, negotiation, mediation and Conciliation to make our country attractive to international investments”.

“The Court Connected ADR is therefore preparing the judiciary to embrace the new international culture of resolving disputes other than through litigation.

Mr Nartey said that the Court Connected ADR had proved to be very effective and guarantees the interest of disputants adding that all settlements or agreements reached at the end of mediation process were adopted by the court as consent judgments, which become enforceable.

He mentioned a major challenge facing the Court Connected ADR as lack of adequate funding and said currently the mediators were not well remunerated.

“For this same reason, the Judicial Service has to limit the number of cases that mediators would want to handle, because there are no adequate resources to pay for additional work”.

Mr Nartey said the Court Connected ADR had largely been funded by donor partners such as UNDP, DANIDA, GTZ and MiDA and took the opportunity on behalf of the Chief Justice to thank them for their continued support.

Source: GNA

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