Page last updated at Tuesday, December 10, 2013 7:07 AM //
The Judicial Service says it is collaborating with the Land Administration Project (LAP) to train 30 Surveyors as mediators on pilot basis, to reduce the backlog of land cases at the land courts in Accra.
The collaboration between the two organizations has become necessary, because land-related cases have become dominant at the courts.
Justice Irene Danquah, Justice of the Court of Appeal and Director in-Charge of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), made the revelation when she gave an overview of the court connected ADR programme at the Madina District Court.
The programme forms part of activities to mark this year’s ADR Week celebration, as well as educate the citizenry on the use of ADR.
Currently, the ADR programme has been extended to 47 District and Circuit Courts across the country, with at least three mediators assigned to each of these courts. Besides, Regional ADR Secretariats have been staffed with a Regional ADR Co-ordinator and two other supporting staff in all the regions.
So far, a total of 180 mediators have been trained and assigned to the 47 courts connected with DR programmes.
Justice Danquah also noted that between 2007 and 2012, a total of 22,004 cases were mediated through ADR, out of which 11,524 were settled, representing 52.4 percent settlement rate.
She said the ADR concept has served as a complement to the traditional court system in making access to justice cheaper, easier, expeditious, non adversarial and faster to the citizenry.
She said the ADR has also helped in reducing substantially the backlog of cases due to the mass mediation exercise.
Justice Danquah further noted that the ADR is very effective and guarantees the interest of both parties, since the parties are involved in every aspect of the process.
She said agreements reached at the end of the process are sent to the court for adoption as a consent judgment, thereby making the terms of settlement enforceable by the court.
She said a court at any stage of proceedings can refer a matter to the ADR at the same time, any of the parties involved in a case could also request for ADR during trial.
She stated that the ADR mechanism is reliable, and must therefore be embraced and nurtured for an efficient justice delivery system.