Ms. Diana Asonaba Dapaah Deputy Attorney-General & Minister of Justice, has urged Ghanaians to adopt mediation to effectively resolve disputes in all sectors.
According to her, the benefits of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), particularly mediation, remain enormous, and therefore should be taken advantage of for the amicable settlement of disputes, including labour disputes.
The Deputy Minister made the call in her speech read for her at the opening of the 3rd annual Mediation Expedition held on Afadjato, Ghana’s highest mountain at the weekend.
Organised by ADR Daily and the Gamey and Gamey Group, with support from Consolidated Bank Ghana (CBG), the annual national Expedition had the theme, “The relevance of Mediation in addressing Labour Disputes.”
Ms. Dapaah explained that because mediation has been given solid legal recognition in Ghana’s legal framework, with many state institutions mandated to use mediation as a dispute resolution mechanism, the public need to use it more rather than engaging in court litigation.
She cited the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), the National Media Commission, the Lands Commission, and the National Labour Commission as a few of the institutions that, in accordance with their respective regulations, use mediation to resolve disputes.
For instance, she noted that since 2000, CHRAJ has on average, received about 12,000 complaints annually, of which 95% are resolved using mediation, with an approximately 87% closure rate.
In addition, she said the courts have also adopted ADR mechanisms with the introduction of Court-Connected ADR, which instructs particular cases to undergo mediation in the resolution of those disputes.
“Mediation is here to stay, and ought to be the first port of call, following negotiations, when a dispute arises,” she stressed.
The Deputy Minister commended ADR Daily, a specialised media organisation, for the dedicated contribution to the promotion of the professional practice and use of ADR mechanisms to settle disputes in Ghana, and assured it of the Ministry’s cooperation.
Mr. Austin Gamey, Chief Executive Officer of the Gamey and Gamey Group, in his remarks, urged the public to seek the services of professional Mediators to help in resolving disputes.
He assured that the Group would through the Gamey ADR Institute, continue to build the capacity of ADR practitioners by providing quality training services to enhance the growth of the ADR industry in Ghana.
Over 60 professionals from various sectors participated in the two-day event which blended mediation practice learning with adventure.
Mr. Edmund Mingle, Editor of ADR Daily & Coordinator of the Expedition, for his part, expressed appreciation to all the partner institutions, especially CBG for the collaboration and support.
He said the experience and lessons from the expedition are expected to equip the participants with practical conflict resolution skills to enable them to help their businesses and organisations to either prevent or effectively resolve disputes.