Justice Larbie at the Event.
Justice Irene Charity Larbie, a justice of the Court of Appeal, has disclosed that a total of 605 cases were settled though the Court Connected Alternative Dispute Resolution (CCADR).
The number, she said, is out of a total of 1,373 cases mediated between January and December last year.
According to the judge who is also in-charge of ADR, the platform as a 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.
Justice Larbie was speaking at the launch of the ADR week at Amasaman in the Ga West municipality in Accra.
She said the concept had also helped in reducing the backlog of cases in the courts substantially due to the mass mediation exercise.
“It clearly indicates that that ADR mechanism is a realizable partner to the traditional justice delivery system and must therefore be embraced and nurtured for an efficient justice delivery system,” she posited.
Justice Larbie indicated that currently, the ADR programme has been extended to 67 district and circuit courts across the nation with at least three mediators to each of them.
“Regional ADR secretariats staffed with a Regional ADR Coordinator and staffs have been established in all the ten regions. A total of 295 mediators have been trained and assigned to these 67 courts connected to the ADR programme,” Justice Larbie indicated.
The judge disclosed that with the realization that land-related cases have become dominant in the courts, the Judicial Service in collaboration with the Land Administration, had trained 30 surveyors to be used as mediators on pilot bases to reduce the log of the land cases in the Land Courts in the Greater Accra Region.
Chief Justice Georgina Theodora Wood in 2001 in recognition of the need for a mechanism that would complement the operation of the regular court system for faster and efficient resolution of cases pending in the courts, set up a task force with the objective to determine an appropriate and customized policy direction that incorporates ADR in the court adjudication process.
Based on the recommendation of the task force, the Chief Justice issued a policy directive adopting and incorporating the CCADR as a core component of the justice delivery system of the country as an option to parties whose cases are pending in the courts.
By Jeffrey De-Graft Johnson