Justice Philip Bright Mensah, Justice of the Sekondi High Court, says the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanism continues to be one of the reliable tools in handling disputes among aggrieved parties.
He said the ADR serves as a complement to the traditional court system and thereby making access to justice cheaper, easier, expeditious, non-adversarial and faster to the citizenry.
Justice Mensah was speaking at the launch of the of this year’s ADR week in Takoradi in the Western Region.
From January to December last year, a total of 3,318 cases were mediated out of which 1,432 cases were settled representing 43 per cent settlement rate.
Justice Mensah said: “It clearly indicates that the ADR mechanism is a reliable partner and must therefore, be embraced and nurtured for an efficient justice delivery system.”
Currently, the programme runs in 67 districts and circuit courts across the nation with three mediators assigned to each of the courts.
In all a total of 215 mediators have been trained to operate the 67 ADR courts.
Justice Mensah said the programme is largely financed by the UNDP, the Judicial Service, GTZ and MIDA and expressed gratitude to the organisations for bringing the programme that far.
However, the judicial service, has initiated a process to set up an independent ADR fund for payment of mediators to ensure the sustenance of the programme.
Mr Emmanuel Quashie, Senior Registrar and Regional Coordinator of the programme encouraged the public to resort to ADR process, which ensures that relationships are maintained.
He said the Region has initiated various education and sensitisation programmes to whip up interest in the ADR.