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Alternative Dispute Resolution records 16,000 cases within four years

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Between 2007 and 2011, 16,080 cases have been mediated, out of which 8802 cases were settled under the Court-Connected Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanism.

This represents 55 percent settlement rate.

Justice Irene Danquah, an Appeals Court Judge in charge of the ADR, said these on Friday during a launch of the ADR week in Ho.

She said in 2011 alone the Court Connected ADR successfully settled 2025 cases, representing 46.1 percent settlement rate.

Justice Danquah said the impressive figures were indications that the very effective conflict resolution system was catching on with the people.

She said the vision of “the Chief Justice is to expand the Court-Connected ADR programme to all courts by 2015”.

Justice Danquah said currently the programme had been extended to 47 District and Circuit courts across the nation with at least three mediators assigned to each of these courts.

She said other administrative measures put in place to support the programme included a regional secretariat with a Regional ADR Coordinator and two other supporting staff for every region.

Justice Danquah said activities for the week include public education on special efforts to get litigants to accept mediation under the ADR.

Giving historical circumstances of the Court-Connected ADR, Justice Danquah said the system, which was part of efforts to decongest the courts, was piloted in courts in Accra and Tema between 2005 and 2007.

Mr Alex Nartey, National ADR Coordinator, said the system was an old method of mediation practiced by our forbears.

He said it was cheaper, devoid of technicalities and better sustained comity among litigants even after settlements.

Mr Justice Marfo-Sau, an Appeals Court Judge, said ADR was available in even courts without the trained mediators, and that 40 more magistrates from the Eastern and Volta Region were being trained on the system.

Mr Thomas Gblorvu, Volta Regional Coordinator of ADR, said the procedure had been particularly helpful in settling inter family squabbles in the region over land, devoid of the hassle associated with the courts.

Source: GNA

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