The caseload for the courts in the Greater Accra region was reduced significantly as 1,171 cases were settled through mediation last year.
The 1,171 cases are out of some 3,011 cases that were mediated, representing a closure rate of 39 percent for the region.
Statistics from the Judicial Service show that 749 unresolved cases at mediation, were returned to the courts, while 1,205 were pending before court-connected mediators at the end of 2022.
As part of the Court-Connected ADR (CCADR) Programme by the Judicial Service, 23 District and Circuit Courts in the region has been designated as ADR-Connected Courts where mediators have been attached to mediate cases referred to mediation by the Judges.
The Amasaman District Court is the best performer for 2022. It mediated 746 cases out of which 425 cases were settled amicably, representing a closure rate of 57 percent.
It is followed by the Family and Juvenile Court which mediated 244 cases and had 137 settled, representing 56 percent.
The Weija District Court follows with the settlement of 114 disputes out of 228 cases, showing a 50 percent closure rate.
The Kaneshie District Court takes the fourth spot with 86 settled cases, out of 405 mediated cases, followed by the Madina District Court, which mediated 104 cases, out of which 54 were settled successfully.
All the ADR- connected courts in the region mediated a significant number of cases despite a number of logistical challenges the mediators continue to grapple with.
Chiefly among the challenges is inadequate space for mediation sessions, and ADR analysts believe that the court mediation process can yield more positive results with the provision of good facilities for mediators, such as well-furnished mediation rooms.
That, according to the analysts, would inspire public confidence in the mediation system at the courts.
Currently, 132 Courts across the country, comprising 33 Circuit Courts and 99 District Courts, are designated ADR Courts as part of the CCADR Programme. Some 635 trained mediators have been engaged by the Judicial Service, with at least five mediators assigned to each of the 132 ADR-connected courts.
The Judicial Service has also initiated a special initiative to open 100 new ADR-connected courts.
By Edmund Mingle/ www.adrdaily.com