Story by Enock Akonnor firstname.lastname@example.org
The adoption of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) program by the Judiciary has slashed down the load of courts in Ghana by 29,558 cases; His Lordship Justice Anin Yeboah-Chief Justice of the Republic of Ghana has announced.
He has indicated that but for its introduction and implementation, the load of cases “would have been borne by the courts under more stressful conditions”.
Prior to the adoption of ADR, the Chief Justice said “it became clear around 2001 that the demand for justice by the citizenry had become so huge that the backlog of cases in the courts had rendered the rate at which cases were determined by Judges and Magistrates very slow thereby creating backlog of cases in courts”
The above disclosure was made at the launch of ADR week program held in Kumasi on Monday 25th July 2022.
Speaking at the event, the Chief Justice underlined that relevance of ADR demands that management of the Judicial Service focus attention on ADR and resource the ADR Directorate to do more so as to make the court system more efficient, user friendly and make access to Justice real.
“Almost all our judges and Magistrates have been trained in ADR and are all familiar with the fundamental principles that underpin the use of ADR”, he mentioned.
To the general public he admonished that “ADR has become a core component of Ghana’s adjudication system. What this means is that, a case in court in Ghana today can be finally determined either through ADR or litigation. Therefore when a judge refers a case to ADR parties in the matter should not feel slighted.”
“As such I recommend ADR to everyone in appropriate cases. I do so because benefits in using ADR far outweigh that if litigation”, Chief Justice added.
The theme for the event was; “Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR): A Tool for Peace and Stability”.
Alternative Dispute Resolution was instituted in the year 2005 as an intervention to ease the pressure on the regular Court system and to create a platform that would offer disputants the opportunity to play a key role in resolving their disputes.
Per the address of Her Ladyship Justice Irene-Charity Larbi, Justice of the Court of Appeal and Judge-in-charge of ADR, a week in every legal year term is set aside to sensitize the general public so as to promote and entrench this intervention.
She used the occasion to highlight two major activities which are carried out during every ADR week.
The use of ADR (mediation) to resolve cases and the creation of public awareness.