Mr Daniel Owusu-Koranteng, President of the Ghana National Association of ADR Practitioners (GNAAP), has urged Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) practitioners to be guided by professional ethics in their work.
Mr. Owusu-Koranteng also tasked them to maintain high standards of professionalism and integrity to promote peace in Ghana and the world at large.
He said, “as ADR Professionals, your work will expose you to a lot of private and confidential information of disputants in the course of managing conflicts and your qualities of confidentiality, neutrality, honesty, would be put to test.”
Mr Owusu-Koranteng made the call during the graduation of the 2022 (November -December) batch of Professional Executive Master in ADR, at the Institute of Paralegal Training and Leadership Studies (IPLS) in Accra.
In all, 55 students were presented with Professional Executive Master Certificates in ADR after a 20-week-long training programme.
Mr Koranteng said “you have been taught to appreciate that conflict exists in every area of human interaction including but not limited to the Church, Priests, Schools, Politicians, Chiefs, intellectuals, Workers, Public Servants, Media practitioners, Couples, ADR Practitioners.
“This means that as ADR Practitioners, your expertise will be required in all aspects of human interaction.”
Mr Koranteng reiterated the need for people appointed to manage important institutions of the country to be equipped with conflict resolution knowledge to make them efficient in the performance of their functions.
Mr Koranteng said GNAAP was registered as Professional ADR Body on January 17 2022 in accordance with the Professional Bodies Registration Act, 1973 (NRCD 143) to become the only ADR Professional body in Ghana, adding that graduating from IPLS qualified them to become members of GNAAP.
According to him, “Board of Directors is working hard to put in place committees and structures for GNAAP to function effectively as an ADR Professional body.
Mr Peter Apuko Awuni, Rector, IPLS, said ADR was seeking to make justice delivery real and accessible to all especially the poor and vulnerable and provided lawyers with happier clients, greater professional satisfaction and broader problem-solving skills than what traditional litigation would provide.
He explained that based on the advantages of ADR, it had been embraced by many nations as well as international organisations as the best approach for national and international conflict resolution and peace building.
Mr Awuni commended the Chief Justice of Ghana, Justice Anin Yeboah and his predecessors for their great work in fusing ADR into the court structure.
He called on the Chief Justice to ensure the quick establishment of the national ADR Centre provided under Part four of the ADR Act as its establishment was instrumental in the regulation, practice and development of ADR in Ghana.
He admonished the graduating class to preach the gospel of ADR and provide the peace that the world needed.
He also appealed to them to be productive in various fields, adding “you must remember to be principled and ethical in your practice and raising the flag of IPLS higher wherever yours found yourselves,” adding that “we have many stakeholders who are beneficiaries of conflict and disputes.”