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ADR is Appropriate Dispute Resolution. It is the right approach every individual has to use in the resolving differences. Although virtually two-thirds of users of ADR erroneously call ADR “Alternative Dispute Resolution”.  

However, a careful diagnosis of what constitutes ADR indicates that ADR belongs to a continuum process of getting parties or groups to resolve their differences or disputes. Parties may choose one of the options available as they may deem it appropriate.

  • It may be by way of negotiation without a facilitator
  • It may be by way of self-mediation  without the intervention of a professional mediator
  • It may be by way of managerial mediation without  the manager /conversation leader being a professional mediator
  • Executive mediation which is an organisational wide method of resolving a conflict by way of a facilitated mediation without the executive being a professional mediator or
  • Preventive mediation which is deliberate crafting of policy and weaving it into the fabric of the organisation for ownership and implementation. These features of core competencies should permeate through any organisation seeking to enhance its Labour Management Cooperation or community leaders seeking to promote unity in diversities for growth and development.


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As stated earlier, a facilitated Interest -Based-Negotiation (IBN) is a professional method of two people/groups resolving their differences in any matter that may be of concern to them.  Failure to reach an agreement, the parties, may be willing to shift to professional mediation (meaning an impartial third party will facilitate the process and help resolve the dispute).

Again, should they fail to reach agreement at this level, the parties are free to choose an arbitrator/ panel of arbitrators who will listen to their grievances and proceed to give reasoning and consequently render a binding agreement which can only be challenged on the point of law.

The parties are free to choose the way of adjudication in the court especially in matters of high criminal nature such as murder, rape, assault, armed robbery and the likes, which are often regarded as first-degree felony cases and therefore cannot be considered as alternatives.

The case of first-degree felony cases are such that there could be a custodial sentence which can only be ordered by a competent court of law and not even an award by an arbitrator is acceptable by law and practice.

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Austin Gamey is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Gamey and Gamey Group, and an affiliate of PULSE Institute, Calgary, Canada and Mediation Training Institute, Kansas City, USA, and Work Meter on the Continent of Africa on how to increase and measure productivity. He possesses several years of consultancy and training experience gained from work activities, training, research and benchmarking programmes in Ghana, U.S.A., Switzerland, Italy, Japan, Canada, Denmark and Norway.