Disputing parties who opt for mediation have been advised to be willing for a resolution of their disputes, without which mediation cannot succeed.
According to Madam Serwaa Kanyagui, acting Greater Accra Regional Coordinator of the Court-Connected ADR (CCADR) Programme of the Judicial Service, the unwillingness of parties has been a challenge for court-connected mediation in the region.
“The challenge is the willingness of the parties. If the parties are willing, the cases are settled quickly,”‘she said.
In an interview with ADR Daily at the High Court Law Complex in Accra, Madam Kanyagui explained that cases with willing parties are often settled at the first mediation meeting.
The 22 ADR-connected courts in the region last year, mediated 2,826 cases, out of which 1,164 were settled, representing a closure rate of 41%. While 1,150 of the cases pended at the end of the year, 512 cases were referred back to the courts for litigation.
The 41% closure rate, Madam Kanyagui noted, could have been higher, but for the lack of full commitment of some parties to the mediation process.
To overcome that challenge, she noted that the mediators endeavor to educate the parties about the mediation process and its benefits before actual mediation commences.
In addition, she called on ADR advocates and stakeholders to support by promoting public awareness of the ADR mechanisms and their processes so as enhance public confidence in ADR practice.
She commended the court mediators in the region for their tremendous contributions towards the progress of the CCADR Programme and assured them of the necessary support to enable them to secure the relevant facilities for their work.