In the desire to win the confidence of the Courts in Appropriate Dispute Resolution (ADR), practitioners need to appreciate the court system to achieve the objective of ADR.
A good number of ADR Practitioners see the court system as a challenge to the practice of ADR, while lawyers also offer some resistance towards the increased adoption of ADR in settling cases before the courts.
But according to Togbe Hotormaho Amedzake III, Director of Amedzake ADR Centre, an appreciation of the workings of the courts would enable ADR practitioners to operate more efficiently in their dealings with the judicial system.
“It will be difficult for a practitioner who does not appreciate the court system to do his or her work,” he told ADR Daily in an interview in Accra.
Togbe Amedzake, who is a Court-Connected ADR Practitioner, indicated that since the ADR concept had not gained full acceptance by the courts, it was necessary for practitioners to understand the courts’ operational processes to overcome the challenges that seem to hindrances.
That, he said, would enable the practitioners to operate successfully by efficiently settling cases referred to them by the judges with the consent of the parties and their lawyers.
He believed that the successful settlement of cases, as well as continuous awareness creation, would help to change the perception of judges, lawyers and litigants towards ADR.
Nevertheless, he noted that many judges and lawyers have become in tune with ADR.
“Most lawyers who were bottlenecks are now appreciating the essence of ADR mainly due to the introduction of the Court-Connected ADR programme by the Judicial Service,” he added.
Togbe Amedzake, who chairs the Court-Connected ADR Practitioners of Ghana (CAPOG), described the future of ADR in Ghana as very bright but acknowledged that there was more work to be done.
The outstanding work, he said, involved increase advocacy in creating full awareness among Ghanaians about ADR, since a large section of the citizenry is currently unaware of the ADR option which is better than litigation.
He also encouraged young practitioners to specialise in the various sectors of the economy that need ADR services, adding that specialisation is key towards building a successful career.
“Specialisation is the way to go so that when the general practice is found wanting, specialists can be called in to help,” he stressed.
By: Nii Adotey/adrdaily.com