Judicial Service expands ADR programme

The Judiciary
The Judiciary

The Alternative Dispute Resolution programme adjudicated 11,524 cases out of the 22,004 presented for mediation between 2007 and 2012 and this represents 52.3 percent settlement rate.

Mr Justice Ato Mills Graves, Deputy Judge-in-Charge of ADR, said this at the opening of ADR Week at the Accra Central and La Magistrate courts.

The programme is to give parties who have pending cases before the courts to have their cases settled through mediation as well as create public awareness in order to educate the citizenry on the use of the ADR.

Mr Justice Mills Graves said the Chief Justice in 2001 set up a task force to determine an appropriate policy direction that incorporates ADR into the court adjudication process.

He said the between 2005 and 2007 the programme was piloted in some district courts in Accra and Tema with encouraging results.

He said in pursuant of this vision the Chief Justice  established a separate National ADR Directorate to coordinate all ADR activities within the Judicial Service in June 2009.

Mr Justice Mills Graves said the ADR programme had helped in reducing the backlog of cases in the traditional court substantially due to mass mediation.

He said the concept had also served as a compliment to the court system by making access to justice cheaper, easier, expeditious, non adversarial and faster to the citizenry.

He said currently the programme had been extended to 47 district and circuit courts with at least three mediators assigned to each of these courts’ Regional ADR Secretariats staffed with a Regional ADR coordinator and two other supporting staff in all the 10 regions.

Mr Justice Mills Graves said the ADR mechanism is a reliable partner to the traditional justice delivery system and must therefore be embraced and nurtured for an efficient justice delivery system.

He said so far 180 mediators had been trained and assigned to the 47 courts connected to ADR programmes, adding that DANIDA was responsible for the payment of mediators but the Judicial Service had initiated a process to set up an independent ADR fund to sustain the programme.

Source: GNA

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