The Judicial Service of Ghana has extended its Court-Connected ADR Programme to 107 courts across the country.
It has been extended from 87 district and circuit courts to 107 courts, meaning those courts have been directly assigned to resort to ADR to help parties to resolve their disputes instead of litigation.
Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo, announcing this when she launched this Legal Term’s ADR Week celebration at the Supreme Court in Accra today, also indicated that five Mediators each have been assigned to the ADR-connected courts.
In addition, she said 590 Mediators have been trained and assigned to the respective courts.
Providing statistics on the outcome of ADR usage by the courts, she noted that in 2017, a total of 3,486 cases were mediated by the courts, out of which 1,571 cased were successfully settled, representing a 45 per cent settlement rate.
Although it is a good achievement, she believed that more needed to be done to enhance the settlement rate, saying “we can do better.”
In that regard, she said the Judicial Service has initiated a number of interventions to reinforce the use of ADR by the courts.
The Secretariats, which are staffed with a Regional ADR Coordinators and officers, are to promote an effective adoption of ADR by the courts in the various regions.
She expressed optimism that the ADR concept has good prospects and would continue to grow in Ghana for the benefit of the citizenry.
“This has helped in reducing the backlog of cases in the courts substantially due to the mass mediation exercise.
“This clearly indicates that the ADR mechanism is a reliable partner to the traditional justice delivery system, and must, therefore, be embraced and nurtured for a quality justice delivery system,” she stressed.
Justice Vida Akoto-Bamfo, a Supreme Court Judge and Supervising Judge of the Court-Connected ADR Programme, explained that the celebration is being marked nationwide.
As part of the celebration, she said mediators have been assigned to all the courts to propagate ADR, and also help litigating parties to resolve their cases that have been referred to ADR by Judges and Magistrates
In addition, the week would be used to create mass public awareness in order to educate all stakeholders including Judges, court officials, lawyers, as well as the general public on the use of ADR.
The weeklong celebration has the theme, “Quality justice: the role of ADR.”
By Edmund Mingle/adrdaily.com