Ghana’s Court-Connected ADR programme, which aims at resolving disputes without court litigation, achieved a 50 per cent case settlement rate in 2018, recording a five per cent increase over the previous year’s rate.
Out of the 4,112 cases that were referred by the courts to be resolved through Appropriate Dispute Resolution (ADR), particularly mediation, 2,075 of the cases were successfully settled.
It means those cases were resolved in a speedy, less expensive, confidential and amicable manner without having to drag through the traditional adversarial court litigation process.
It is an improvement over the 2017 records of 3,486 cases out of which 1,571 case were resolved, representing 45 per cent settlement rate.
Since its inception, the settlement rate of the court-connected programme has averaged 48 per cent since 2007.
The increase in the settlement rate comes after renewed efforts by the Judicial Service to enhance the programme through various interventions.
Justice Irene Charity Larbi, the Judge-In-Charge of the ADR Programme, launching this year’s ADR Week at Koforidua in the Eastern region on Monday expressed optimism for improved outcomes.
She described the 2018 outcome as encouraging, saying the ADR concept is complementing the traditional court system, and helping to reduce the case load on the courts.
The programme, she said, has been extended to 107 lower courts with five mediators assigned to each of the courts.
The Judicial Service’s 2019 ADR Week, which is being marked with awareness creation activities, has the theme, “Application of ADR by the courts, a shared responsibility for quality justice.”
As part of the interventions to enhance the programme, Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo, last year, announced plans to enhance the remuneration for the court connected mediators, as well as provide logistic and infrastructure for mediation services.
She also indicated plans to extend the ADR programme to more courts, as well as revise to rules of court procedure to make ADR a mandatory precursor for all civil cases filed at the courts.
By Edmund Mingle & Nana Appiah/ adrdaily.com
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BREAK DOWN OF ANNUAL PERFORMANCE (2007-2018)
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