The public has been urged to embrace Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) as a vehicle for quick and amicable settlement of cases.
The court-connected ADR is very effective and guarantees the interest of both parties and agreements reached at the end of the process are adopted by the courts as a consent judgement, therefore binding.
Justice Irene-Charity Larbi, an Appeals Court Judge in charge of ADR, said using ADR allows the courts to have more time for cases that required litigation to do so for the benefit of interested parties.
Speaking at the Eastern Regional Launch of ADR week, she indicated that last year a total of 5,455 cases were mediated out of which 2,312 cases were settled, representing a 42 Percent settlement rate.
While 4,626 cases were referred to the ADR from January to June this year out of which 1,941 have been settled, 845 were referred back to the courts and 1,946 were still pending.
The ADR was instituted in 2005 as an intervention to ease pressure on the regular court system and to create a platform that would offer disputants the opportunity to play a key role in resolving disputes.
To promote and entrench this intervention, a one week in every legal year term is set aside to sensitize the general public.
Mr Alexander Nartey, National Coordinator of ADR, said the ADR was a critical component of the judicial system and every stakeholder including lawyers and judges were required to ensure it worked.
He debunked rumours that some lawyers were against ADR because it was not the best, adding, “Any attempt by any lawyer to frustrate any ADR proceedings constitute violation of the very laws guiding its operations”.
Cases such as murder, rape, defilement, felonious crimes and armed robbery are exempted from ADR proceedings.