The National Mandatory Continuous Professional Development Workshop (MCPDW) for ADR practitioners has kicked off with a call on ADR Practitioners to be more proactive in taking a centre stage for dispute resolution,
The two-day meeting, being held at the Pentecost Convention Centre, Millennium City in the Central Region, is organized annually by the Ghana National Association of ADR Practitioners (GNAAP), with the aim of enhancing the expertise of ADR practitioners in Ghana.
The MCPDW, which is being held in collaboration with the Institute of Paralegal Training and Leadership Studies (IPLS), offers the opportunity for ADR practitioners to discuss and fashion out solutions to emerging challenges in the profession.
It has the theme, “Packaging your ADR services as a product for marketing.”
The opening ceremony was attended by scores of ADR practitioners.
Mr. Wogbe Atta Dogoe, General Secretary of GNAAP in his opening remarks, lauded the increasing contribution of ADR practitioners towards the resolution of cases, but noted that there was opportunity to do more.
According to him, because ADR practice remains unknown to many Ghanaians, it behoves on the practitioners to create awareness and promote it use.
“Our society is used to the law courts so it requires us to create the necessary awareness about ADR and its benefits for people to accept it,” he said.
He believes the awareness creation could be done through engaging local communities and groups to advance the course of ADR by helping to resolve disputes.
“That is a good way of making our presence felt in society,” he said.
He also urged the practitioners to avail themselves to ADR Centers by offering pro-bono services, adding that that remains a good way of enhancing their expertise.
He urged the members to be committed to the progress of the GNAAP, and assured them of continuous support for capacity building.
Mr. Alex Nartey, National ADR Coordinator for the Judicial Service and the Life Patron of GNAAP, reminded practitioners that ADR has never been a state-led initiative across the globe, and therefore practitioners in Ghana should not expect extra-ordinary intervention from the government towards the promotion of ADR.
In that regard, he said the duty of promoting the practice remains that of private practitioners.
According to him, less than 20 per cent of disputes in Ghana, travel to the courts for litigation, leaving most disputes to be handled through other means including violence, “ others consult pastors and traditional priests to secure justice”.
That situation, Mr. Nartey noted, provides a huge opportunity for ADR to flourish as practitioners could intervene by availing themselves for the resolution of the numerous disputes across the country.
GNAAP is an association of ADR professionals in Ghana established in August 2013. It has as its membership people from different backgrounds such as Lawyers, Chiefs, Queens Mothers, Members of Parliament, Business Executives, Teachers, Engineers, Security Agencies, the Clergy and other professions.
Its objectives are to promote the acceptance and use of ADR mechanisms throughout Ghana and beyond, provide education, training and research in ADR, promote high professional standard in ADR practice, and promote the use of ADR to prevent, manage and resolve conflicts and disputes in line with the ADR Act 2010, (Act 798).
By Nii Adotey/adrdaily.com