ADR

ADRA total of 28,672 cases was mediated by the Court Connected Alternative Disputes Resolution (CCADR) Programme of the Judicial Service between 2008 and 2013.

Ms. Justice Irene Danquah, a judge in charge of the CCADR Programme, who announced this, said 14,330 of the cases, representing 50 per cent, were amicably settled.

These were contained in a speech, read on her behalf, at a media briefing, at Cape Coast, on Monday, to herald this year?s ADR Week Celebration, on the theme: ?Access to Justice; Integrity in justice delivery?.

In the Central Region alone, a total of 257 cases were referred for mediation between January and August this year, of which 188, representing 73 per cent, were settled.

Forty eight cases were referred back to the courts, while 21 cases are still pending.

The Winneba District Court recorded the highest with 66 cases, out of which 45 were settled, 16 were referred and are six pending.

Agona Swedru District Court recorded the least with 28 cases, out of which 24 cases were settled, two were referred back to the court and are four pending.

A total of 49 cases were recorded in Cape Coast, the regional capital, out of which 31 cases were settled, 16 were referred back to the court with two pending.

Justice Danquah said following the upsurge of land related cases in the various courts throughout the country, 30 surveyors had been trained by the Judicial Service to serve as mediators on pilot basis in the Greater Accra Region.

The training, done in collaboration with the Land Administration Project, was to beef up the existing mediators as part of measures to reduce the backlog of land cases before Land courts in the region.

So far, a total of 215 mediators have been trained and assigned to 57 district and circuit courts across the nation, where the programme has been extended to, with at least three mediators assigned to each of these courts.

She said the vision of the Chief Justice was to expand the programme to all courts by 2017 and in the pursuit of this; a separate National CCADR Directorate had been established, based on a policy directive in June 2009, to coordinate all such activities within the judicial service.

She explained that regional CCADR secretariats, staffed with a regional coordinator and two supporting staff, had also been established in all the 10 regions.

She noted the CCADR concept had served as a complement to the Traditional Court System in making access to justice cheaper, easier, expeditious, non-adversarial and faster to the citizenry and had reduced the backlog of cases in the courts substantially due to the mass mediation exercise.

She said it clearly indicated that the CCADR mechanism was a reliable partner to the traditional Justice delivery system and must, therefore, be embraced and nurtured

Donor partners such as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA), German Technical Cooperation (GTZ), and Millennium Development Authority (MIDA) have been sponsoring the programme

She said DANIDA was currently responsible for the payment of mediators, adding that the Judicial Service had initiated a process to set up an independent ADR Fund to sustain the programme.

The Central Regional Coordinator of the ADR, Mr. Evans Abbeyquaye, recommended the ADR system to the less privileged in the society for its flexibility and its ability to allow tailor made solutions to disputes since, he said, it was relatively less expensive and enabled them to access justice within a short period of time.
GNA

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