Justice Irene-Charity Larbi, Justice of the Court of Appeal, yesterday launched this years’ Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) for the legal term in Ho, with a call on the citizenry to embrace the system for a speedy justice system.
According to her, the ADR mechanism was a reliable partner to the traditional justice system and must be nurtured to grow.
Justice lrene-Charity Larbi who is also in charge of ADR explained that currently the ADR programme has been extended to 131 courts across the country with 635 mediators trained and assigned to these courts.
The week-long programme which is under the theme: “Making our courts user friendly, through the use of ADR”, was meant to promote and sensitise the general public about the usefulness of ADR.
Her Ladyship Justice Irene-Charity Larbi noted that ADR concept 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 their disputes.
She stated that the High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules 2004 and the Courts Act 1993 (Act 459), prescribe amicable resolution of cases before the courts as the most innovative way by which justice can be done to disputants without delay.
Our courts can only be said to be friendly when the adjudication process is expeditious, devoid of unnecessary expenses.
It also ensures that as far as possible all matters in dispute between parties are completely, effectively and finally determined and the multiplicity of proceedings concerning such matters are avoided.
She was of the view that ADR equally helps parties to willingly comply with agreements they make after the process.
“People who design solutions to their own conflicts are more satisfied with the outcome than people who leave the resolution of their dispute in the hands of another person or authority adding that they have a stronger commitment to comply with such agreements than those for which they have had no say”, she said.
Justice Larbi further noted that the efficiency of the justice system is one of the elements investors look out for when deciding whether to invest in a particular country or not.
“The availability of these processes are to assist judges to maintain a high sense of integrity with the resultant satisfaction and confidence of court users in our judicial system.
She, however, noted that it is not all cases that are allowed to be settled using ADR, like child abuse cases, cases on statutes and constitutional matters among others.”
She advised the public to continue to use the ADR concept since it is less expensive and the outcome of the resolution is acceptable to all parties.
Justice George Boadi, Supervising High Court Judge, Ho, in his remarks noted that ADR sustenance is particularly critical in our goal of promoting excellence speedy and efficiency in our judicial administration.
“But the courts are always handicapped for the public who are witnesses at crime scenes to come and testify before the courts for speedy adjudication of cases”, Justice Larbi added.