Chief Justice Gertrude Sackey Torkornoo has launched the last 2023 Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Week in Sekondi in the Western region of Ghana, with a call on the public, particularly disputants, to patronize ADR services at the courts for swift resolution of their cases.
Justice Torkornoo described the benefits of ADR to the judicial service and court users as immense, and urged all who have civil cases at the courts to opt for ADR mechanisms, particularly mediation.
The launch of the annual week-long event, held three times in a legal year with the aim of promoting public awareness of ADR benefits and services at the courts had the theme, “Building the pillars of justice through ADR.”
As part of the Week celebration, which is being marked from today, 13th to 17th November, 2023, a total of 135 Courts comprising 35 Circuit Courts 100 District Courts across the country, shall participate by devoting the whole week for the settlement of Court cases using ADR.
According to the Chief Justice, the theme for the Week is indicative of the Judicial Service’s commitment to enhance justice delivery by making it easily assessable, affordable and expeditious.
Touting the benefits of ADR, she explained that “ADR offers a platform for open dialogue, preserves relationships, ensures efficiency, promotes fairness and equality, and encourages innovative problem-solving.”
Stressing that litigation could be time-consuming, costly, and emotionally draining, Justice Torkornoo indicated that “ADR is a strong pillar of conflict resolution.”
In addition, she described ADR as an invaluable asset in building the pillars of social justice, fostering open and constructive dialogue, whereby parties cooperate in a coordinated and non-adversarial setting, to resolve their disputes.
The Chief Justice commended all stakeholders, particularly court-connected mediators for their contribution to the growth of the ADR industry in Ghana, and gave assurance of the Judicial Service’s continued support in that direction.
For her part, Justice Angelina Mensah-Homiah, a Court of Appeal Judge with oversight responsibility on the Court-Connected ADR (CCADR) Programme, noted that the use of ADR was helping to significantly reduce the backlog of cases burdening the courts, and noted that efforts were being made to connect more courts to ADR.