Currently, there are segmented groupings of ADR professionals, but it is believed that a national association that would serve as an umbrella body is vital for the sustained growth of ADR practice in Ghana.
Mr. Alfred Gudonoo, a Director at the Inter-Community Mediation Centre at Ashaiman, who made the call in an interview with ADR Daily, said a national organ would help to ensure uniformity in the practice of ADR in Ghana.
“ADR practitioners operating under one body would be the key to the advancement of ADR in the country,” he stressed.
According to him, the present situation where the various associations operate different guidelines and rules “is not the best.”
He said although the various groups and centres are free to provide their own rules for facilitation, negotiation, mediation or arbitration, a general framework of rules and guidelines from a national association would be helpful to ensure uniformity in practice and adherence to ethical values.
He is of the view that in the absence of the National ADR Centre, which is stipulated under the ADR Act 2010 (Act 798) to act as the regulator, a national ADR association could actively play that role in ensuring professionalism.
“It shouldn’t be difficult for such a national body to be formed,” he said, suggesting that the leaders of the various associations should discuss the initiative and fashion the modalities for a national body.
Mr. Isaac Mensah, Head of the Zenu Liberty ADR Centre, supporting the call, noted that countries that have progressed in the adoption of ADR have strong national bodies that promote both the capacity of practitioners and efficient service delivery.
The notable ADR groupings in Ghana include the Ghana National Association of ADR Practitioners (GNAAP), Ghana Association of Mediators & Arbitrators (GHACMA), and the Court-Connected ADR Practitioners of Ghana (CAPOG), as well as other service-oriented groups like the Gamey and Co ADR Centre and Ghana ADR Hub.
Most of the groups are largely formed by the graduates of the training programmes of the respective associations or their affiliate training institutions.
By: Fred Gadese-Mensah/adrdaily.com