The Ghana Institute of Governance and Security (GIGS), has strongly recommended the use of Appropriate Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanisms in winning the confidence of the citizenry in the justice delivery system.
According to the Institute, the law enforcement agencies, particularly the Police, need to deploy ADR mediation methods to amicably deal with complaints, especially civil cases that do not need to travel to the courts.
It believes that rather than prosecuting cases that take a long time to end in court and leaving the parties more aggrieved, the police could find ways of mediating and encouraging the parties to use communal spirit in settling disputes.
The recommendation comes in the wake of increasing mob actions across the country, which security analysts attribute to a disregard for the law resulting from citizens’ low confidence in the justice delivery system.
In the latest incidents, a military officer, Capt. Maxwell Mahama, who is said to have been mistaken for a robber, was lynched by a mob at Denkyira-Obuasi in the Central region, while a mob also attacked a police station at Somanya in the Eastern region, demanding the release of a youth leader. Recently, a mob besieged a court in Kumasi to free members of Delta Force, a political vigilante group from standing trial.
David Agbee, Executive Director of GIGS, in an interview with ADR Daily, explained that the recent happenings are indicators of a breakdown of law and order, adding that citizens only take such actions when they do not have confidence in the justice system.
He said, “As a society, conflicts are bound to occur but how to deal with them determines the efficiency and the effectiveness of law enforcement and judiciary systems.”
According to him, ADR mechanisms can be used to promote communal spirit in dealing with disputes, adding that such method enables parties to appreciate and protect each other’s interests for peaceful resolutions.