The Ghana National Association of ADR Practitioners (GNAAP) has hailed plans by the Judiciary Service to make Appropriate Dispute Resolution (ADR) mandatory in the judicial system.
Describing the decision as “good” and “timely,” the Association believes that the move would enable Ghanaians to derive maximum benefits from ADR which has been acclaimed as the best mechanism for resolving disputes compared to court litigation.
“I would like to thank the Chief Justice for her recent comments on ADR practice and how the Judicial Service intends to make ADR mandatory in all civil cases,” Mr Robert Sarfo-Mensah, President of GNAAP said in his welcome address at the opening of the 5th GNAAP Annual General Conference in Accra on Saturday.
Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo, launching Gamey and Co ADR Centre in Accra last month, announced plans by the Judicial Service to make ADR mandatory in the judicial system for all civil disputes before trial.
She said “it will be proposed to the Rules of Court Committee to make provision in the rules of the various courts to demand evidence that parties have first tried ADR before hearing the matter,” believing that the intervention would “lead to widespread use of ADR and promote rapprochement.”
The President, whose speech was read by Mr Wogbe Atta Dogoe, General Secretary of GNAAP, assured the Judicial Service of the association’s support in that regard.
“It is our prayer that her wishes become a reality for the good of the country. We pledge our utmost support,” he said.
In that regard, the President reiterated the association’s call on the government to set up the National ADR Centre, as stipulated by the ADR Act 2010, (Act 798), to control and oversee ADR matters from the national to the district ADR facilities.
He called for an end to the lip service being paid to the full implementation of the ADR Act and urged the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General to act in that respect.
The annual conference, which provided the platform for practitioners to discuss the progress of the association and the ADR industry in general, had the theme, “ADR, a complement to quality justice delivery.”
Touching on the performance of the association, Mr Sarfo-Mensah described their participation in the justice delivery system in Ghana for the past five years as a “great achievement.”
“GNAAP as a justice delivery institution in Ghana through the practice of ADR has made remarkable inroads in the education, research, publication and advocacy activities on behalf of the vulnerable in society through its Centre for Citizens Empowerment,” he said.
Giving statistics, he said the Centre received 692 cases between 2014 and 2017, out of which 398 were settled representing a 57.5 percent success rate.
Justice VCRAC Crabbe, a retired Supreme Court Judge, and the guest speaker, commended GNAAP for its various interventions that were helping in the progress of the ADR industry.
He also urged the members to adhere to the ethics of the profession so as to promote the integrity of the association of the benefit of Ghanaians who resort to ADR services.
By: Edmund Mingle/adrdaily.com