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Regional News Sun, 30 Nov 2008

ADR Forum held at Tarkwa

Tarkwa (W/R) Nov. 30 GNA - Decisions arrived at after mediation cannot be appealed against unless natural justice was breached in the process, however, if mediation were unsuccessful, disputants could go back to court without making reference to the mediation. Mr Emmanuel Lodoh, Member of Judicial Service Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Committee, said this in an answer to enforcement and execution of mediation results at Court-Connected Alternative Dispute Resolution (CCADR) Forum at Tarkwa recently.

The forum was to sensitise court users about the need to take advantage of other alternative forms of seeking redress and relief other than the commonly known traditional channels of courtroom litigation. He said the idea of ADR came into being when the Late Chief Justice, Justice George Kingsley Acquah in 2003 issued a policy directive to pilot the ADR using the approach as a component of the justice system.

Mr Lodoh said CCADR was one of the responses to the complaints from the public for the need to promote and improve the access to justice for all persons, especially the vulnerable in society and the need for faster and more efficient mechanism for the adjudication of cases pending at courts with the objective of decongesting the courts. He said Court connected version of ADR has impacted tremendously on the justice and justice delivery in the country by reducing the backlog of cases, adding, between January and September 2008, about 45 per cent of cases referred for mediation have been successfully settled. In the Greater Accra alone, he said 583 cases were resolved during the period.

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Mr Bright Baiden, a representative of Ghana Bar Association, said ADR was very effective in dealing with secrets sometimes on matrimonial beds, which out of extreme necessity need not to be divulged to the public.

He said GBA was in favour of amicable settlement but there were certain criminal offences amounting to felonies like murder, manslaughter, robbery, defilement and rape among other crimes that could not be settled out of court.

Madam Juliana Millicent Ocran of a Tarkwa Magistrate's Court, who presided, told the participants to inform the communities for them to be aware that there was no need to contest all cases at court.

Source: GNA
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