Ghanaians urged to embrace ADR

Justice Irene Danquah, an appeal court judge in-charge of the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), on Monday urged the public to embrace the ADR process as a reliable partner to the traditional justice delivery system.

She said ADR concept had complemented the court system by making access to justice cheaper, expeditious, non-adversarial and faster to the citizenry.

Justice Danquah was speaking at this year’s ADR celebration, which took place at the Adjabeng Magistrate court in Accra.

At every ADR week, parties who have cases pending in courts that are connected to ADR get the opportunity to have their cases settled through mediation.

Justice Danquah stated that the ADR process had helped in reducing backlog of cases in the courts substantially due to the mass mediation exercise.

She said currently, the ADR programme had been extended to 47 districts and circuits courts across the country with at least three mediators assigned to each of these courts.

She said between 2007 and 2011 a total of 16,080 cases were mediated out of which 8802 cases were settled representing 55 per cent settlement rate. Justice Danquah also noted that with land related cases becoming dominant in the courts, the Judicial Service in collaboration with the Land Administration Project had trained 30 surveyors to be used as mediators on pilot basis to reduce the backlog of land cases in the Land courts in Greater Accra.

Ms Elizabeth Quansah, the Magistrate in-charge of the Adjabeng court, said the ADR system was efficient, fast and not time wasting.

She added that ADR was very effective and guaranteed the interest of the parties in every aspect of the process.

Mrs Naa Afarley Dadson, a representative of the Ghana Bar Association (GBA) dismissed the notion that lawyers were averse to the ADR process.

She said the ADR system was a mechanism which enabled parties to litigation to talk and come out with their own solutions to the problem.

Source: GNA

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