some of the dignitaries at the fuction

Some of the dignitaries at the function

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mediators receive only GH?5 as allowance per sitting and they get GH?10 for settling cases.

The Regional Coordinator of ADR, Christiana Puorideme, said this while responding to questions from the media on the benefits of ADR programme during the launch of the ADR week in Koforidua in the Eastern Region on Monday.
The mediators, she said, were not supposed to receive gifts from parties.

However, unattractive remuneration of the mediators is a threat to the programme, as some mediators have threatened to quit.
She noted that in situations whereby  professionals such as accountants were needed in the mediating process, the cost was passed onto the parties.

The ADR programme commenced in 2005 and 2007 on pilot basis in Accra and Tema.

Currently, a week is set aside each legal year to create public awareness and to allow persons with pending cases in various courts connected to the ADR programme to opt for the ADR programme.

In the Eastern Region alone, a total of 248 cases out of 508 were settled in 2013.

According to supervising High Court judge, Justice S. G. Suurbaareh, the ADR system is faster and cheaper.

He spoke on behalf of Justice Irene Dankwa, Head of ADR.
He noted that the Chief Justice Mrs Theodora Georgina Wood intends to extend the ADR system to courts countrywide by 2017.
Meanwhile, 47 courts are currently connected to the ADR with some 180 mediators while Eastern Region has nine courts connected to ADR with three mediators.

They include the Koforidua Circuit and District Courts A and B, Mpraeso, Nsawam and Akropong Circuit Courts, Asesewa and Akim Oda District Courts.

In addition, some 30 surveyors have been trained to mediate on land cases in Accra.

According to Justice Suurbaareh, efforts were being made to set up an independent ADR fund to ensure the sustenance of the programme, which is currently funded by donor agencies like DANIDA, UNDP and GTZ.

He explained even though cases of petty theft, land issues and other minor criminal cases could be referred to ADR, cases which were deemed to set precedents were not allowed to be settled by ADR.

Cases related to theft, fraud, sexual abuse, custody of children do not fall under the ADR programme.

Magistrate Cynthia Wiredu, Justice Fred Awuah and others, were graced the event.

From Rocklyn Antonio, Koforidua

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