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ADR Week: Judge charges litigants to adopt ADR to decongest the court


The Justice of the Court of Appeal and Judge in-charge of ADR, Her Ladyship Justice Angelina Mensah-Homiah has admonished litigants to adopt the court-connected Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) to resolve disputes.

This according to her would help decongest the court and the prisons as well.

“Our court-connected ADR programme uses mediation for the resolution of cases. ADR has a lot of benefits and it is a strong pillar upon which Justice Administration in Ghana rests”, the Judge emphasized.

Alternative Dispute Resolution denotes a wide range of dispute resolution processes and techniques that parties can use to settle their disputes with the help of a third party.

By these processes and techniques, parties are able to resolve their disputes without resorting to litigation.

The Judge in-charge of ADR stated that “the court-connected ADR is very effective and guarantees the interests of both parties”.

Justice Angelina Mensah-Homia indicated that “modern litigation system holds that the court ought to be a multi-door setting that promotes ADR procedures such as arbitration, reconciliation and mediation rather than a single door where parties litigate”.

She further stated that “Section 72(1) of the courts Act 1993 (Act 459) provides that ‘Any court with civil Jurisdiction and its officers shall promote reconciliation, encourage and facilitate the settlement of disputes in an amicable manner between and among persons over whom the court has Jurisdiction”.

The Judge in-charge of ADR was speaking at a public durbar on ADR in Cape Coast.

The durbar precedes the launch of  ADR Week, which is slated for 18th to 26th March, 2024.

Activites during the period include: Mass mediation of cases at all the One Hundred and Thirty–Six (136) ADR connected courts across the nation, sensitization of court users on ADR and nationwide media engagement among others.

Justice Angelina Mensah-Homiah admonished litigants to take advantage of the ADR week to settle their disputes, indicating that a lot of disputes would be resolved amicably during the period.

So far, as many as seventy-seven thousand, two hundred and sixty-four (77,264) cases have been mediated and Thirty-six Thousand One Hundred and ninety-One (36,191) successfully settled, representing a 47percent settlement rate.

The Justice of the Court of Appeal, maintained that the ADR concept had served as a complement to the traditional Court system in making access to justice cheaper, easier, expeditious, reliable and faster for the citizenry.

She however cautioned mediators to not receive any payment, whether in cash or in kind from disputants.

Justice Angelina Mensah-Homiah assured that the court operated a multi-door setting and that the courts were not set up for only litigation.

She indicated that with the ADR options, disputants could decide how long their cases stay in court and urged court-users to choose ADR instead of litigation, except where settlement was precluded by law.


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