Ghana’s Judicial Service has launched its 2021 annual ADR Week during which the courts would devote more attention to the resolution of cases through the use of Appropriate (Alternative) Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanisms.
A total of 131 courts, comprising 33 circuit courts and 98 district courts will activiely participate in the Court Connected ADR Week from Monday, April 12 to 16, 2021, to settle court cases with ADR.
The Week, which was declared by Chief Justice Kwasi Anin-Yeboah, will be observed on the theme, “Making our courts user friendly through the use of ADR.”
A statement issued by the office of the National Court-Connected ADR Coordinator said the focus of the Week is to use ADR processes, particularly mediation, to reduce the backlog of cases at the 131 participating courts.
It noted that Justice Irene-Charity Larbi, a Court of Appeal Judge, who is in charge of ADR, will address a press conference at the District Court in Ada in the Greater Accra region, on Monday, April 12, to mark the official opening of the Week.
Since its inception in 2007, the Court-Connected ADR programme continues to achieve success in the settlement of cases referred to court-connected mediators, recording an average closure rate of about 49 per cent.
The year-on-year increase in the settlement rate comes as a result of renewed efforts by the Judicial Service to enhance the programme through various interventions, including the extension of the programme to more courts, and capacity building for court connected mediators.
In addition, the Judicial Service has revised the Rules of Court procedure to make ADR a mandatory precursor for all civil cases filed at the courts.
According to the Service, the prime objective of adopting and promoting ADR is to ensure that access to justice in Ghana is made easier, inexpensive, non-adversarial, expeditious and flexible to all, particularly the poor and vulnerable people in the society.
By Edmund Mingle/ www.adrdaily.com