Tuesday, 05 March

ADR is not here to take lawyers’ job – Appeal Court judge

Her Ladyship Justice Angelina Mensah-Homiah

Her Ladyship Justice Angelina Mensah-Homiah, an Appeal Court Judge with oversight responsibility of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), has assured lawyers that the use of ADR mechanism will not threaten their work.

According to her, there is no way the livelihood of lawyers can be threatened by the use of ADR.

She called on lawyers to settle their minor cases using ADR mechanisms.

She appealed to lawyers to encourage their clients to take advantage of ADR.

She assured that ADR will not take food from the “lawyer's mouth.”

She said the use of the ADR mechanism is cost-effective as compared to the regular courts. 

The Justice of the Appeal Court was speaking at the launch of a national awareness week on the use of ADR held in Accra on Monday, March 13, 2023.

She stressed that ADR can help to reduce litigation times.

“ADR often results in a win-win situation unlike the bench situation which results in a win or lose situation,” she argued.

She noted that ADR judgement is the same as the judgement of a mainstream court.

She revealed in 2022, 211 cases sent to ADR and 88 were settled representing 42 per cent of cases settled by ADR.

She noted that not all cases can be settled through ADR, mentioning that some of these are cases of national interest and cases involving the environment.

“Felonies such as rape and manslaughter are not the domain of ADR,” she mentioned.

She said the challenge with ADR is that court users are not aware of its mechanism. 

For his part, Mr Alex Nartey, the Director at the ADR secretariat, said ADR officers will be attached to all 132 courts comprising 33 Circuit Courts and 99 District Courts across the country.

He appealed to the general public to take advantage of ADR to help settle disputes.

Source: Classfmonline.com/cecil Mensah