The integration of Appropriate Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanism to Ghana’s judicial system continue to make inroads, as more than 35,000 cases were referred by the courts to mediation between 2007 and 2016.
According to the Judicial Service, the Court-Connected ADR programme was yielding results as it was helping to reduce the burden on the court by effectively resolving cases out of court without acrimony.
Statistics from the Court-Connected ADR Centre shows that from 2007 to 2016 ending, a total of 35,925 cases were referred to mediation out of which 17,569, representing 49 percent, were settled.
The highest settlement was recorded in 2009 in which 3,871(72%) cases were settled out of the 5,358 cases referred to mediation.
The lowest settled cases was recorded in 2013 in which out of the 6,668 cases referred, 2,806 (42%) were settled successfully.
The Court-connected ADR Programme was adopted for incorporation into the judicial system in 2007 after the programme was piloted in selected District Courts in Accra and Tema between 2005 and 2007, with encouraging results.
An ADR Practice Manual was launched to guide practitioners and later reviewed in tune with the ADR Act.
In line with the ADR Act, 2010 (Act 798), the Court-Connected ADR Programme has been extended to 67 districts and circuit courts across the country, with at least three mediators assigned to each of these courts.
Last year, a total of 1,373 cases, in general, were mediated through the ADR process, out of which 605 cases were settled, representing 44 percent, under the National Court-Connected ADR Programme.
By Fred Gadese-Mensah/adrdaily.com