Date published: February 18, 2014
Most Reverend Francis Lodonu, Catholic Bishop of Ho on Monday urged traditional rulers to discourage their subjects from ‘rushing’ to the law courts and instead make maximum use of the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) system of adjudication.
‘We have to go back to the bottom-tree way of resolving disputes. That is what our forebears were doing. They gather under the big tree and resolve disputes on Sundays. They don’t leave the place without resolving the disputes,’ he stated.
On the contrary, the law courts only focus on legal justice and ‘do not bring peace,’ Bishop Lodonu explained.
He was opening a two-day workshop on ADR for 90 traditional rulers from 15 communities in Ho. The workshop, under the auspices of the Ho Diocese of the Catholic Church was on the theme: ‘Enhancing Human Resource for Growth and Development at the Community Level-Access to Justice Through Alternative Dispute Resolution.’
It was sponsored by STAR-Ghana, a multi-donor pooled funding mechanism, funded by (DFID, DANIDA, EU and USAID). Bishop Lodonu explained that, by their mandate, the law courts were strict on the application of the law and legal documents at the expense of social justice. He asserted that the law courts did not promote peace.
Bishop Lodonu recounted how some verdicts and judgments in the law courts caused separation of some families and close friends and said the ADR is faster and peaceful.
He said, for instance, the Ho Diocese Peace Council was able to resolve two major cases referred to it by a Ho High Court within a day through ADR.
Sister Magaret M. Ankamah, Project Officer at the Ho Diocesan Development Office said the cost of accessing justice at the local level had made ADR crucial for community dwellers. She said after the training, her team would do follow-ups and monitoring to ensure that quality ADR services were provided in the communities. GNA
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