Speaking at the official opening of the ADR week program at the Sekondi High Court on Monday, she said ADR has become a core component of Ghana’s adjudication system which means cases in Court can also be determined through ADR.
The Judicial Service of Ghana in 2005 adopted the Alternative Dispute Resolution program as a core component of Ghana’s adjudicating system to complement the regular court system for faster and more efficient resolution of cases pending before the courts.
In order to ensure accessibility, a week in each legal year is set aside to observe ADR week during which parties with cases pending in the court that fall under ADR are given the opportunity to have their cases settled using mediation. There is also awareness creation during this period.
At the official opening of the program at Sekondi in the western region, Chief Justice Gertrude Torkornoo said it has been of immense support to the traditional courts.
“One and half decades the ADR programme has, to a large extent performed impressively by helping the Judiciary to reduce the load on the Courts by 32,745 cases.
“This is a positive support ADR has offered the Judiciary without which this load would have been borne by the Courts under more stressful conditions,” she said.
She added “The good news is that this number of cases resolved at ADR are resolved absolutely without parties coming back into the court for appeals.”
Madam Torkornoo urged the public not to feel slighted when their cases are sent to ADR as cases can also be determined there.
“To the general public, ADR has become a core component of Ghana’s adjudication system. What this means is that, a case in Court in Ghana today can be finally determined either through ADR or litigation.
“Therefore when a judge refers a case to ADR parties in the matter should not feel slighted. As such I recommend ADR to everyone in appropriate cases. I do so because the benefits in using ADR far outweigh that of litigation,” she said.
This year’s ADR week is on the theme, ‘BUILDING THE PILLARS OF JUSTICE THROUGH ADR’.