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12.01.2006 Regional News

ADR concept thrives in Ga East

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Accra, Jan 12, GNA - Some families, clans and individuals in the Ga West District have withdrawn cases pending before the Amasaman District Magistrate Court and have resorted to the Alternative Dispute Resolution concept that seeks to settle cases out of court. Mr Justice George Kingsley Acquah, the Chief Justice, launched ADR concept launch on January 05.

A visit to Amasaman on Thursday showed that more than 20 cases including land litigation, assault, rioting and defamation cases had been withdrawn from the courts. At the launch of ADR concept, Mr justice Acquah called for support for it to reduce workload on the courts.

Mr Charles Turkson, the Court Registrar, briefed journalists on the ADR concept in the Amasaman District and said on January 09 it received 17 cases out of which 10 were settled amicably.

He said on January 11, out of the five cases registered, one was settled and on January 12, it received nine cases out of which three had been settled while the rest were pending.

Some chiefs urged the Judicial Service to extend the ADR concept to all the regions especially to chieftaincy institutions, which were saddled with many cases.

Nii Klotia II, Gbawe Gbamse Mantse, said if the ADR concept was spread to all parts of the country, most chieftaincy disputes would be settled amicably thereby improve development projects in communities. Nii Acquaye II, Chief of Otuapre, lauded the ADR concept, which, he said, had assisted them to settle rioting between him and Nii Tettey Fio during a festival.

He said the ADR concept ensured speedy trial and was less expensive. "All the monies that we will be giving to lawyers can now be used for other purposes."

Hajia Anatu, a visually impaired woman who had her 880,000 cedis' rent case pending before the court since August 2004 and adjourned for 30 times, had hers also settled.

Mrs Georgina Mensah Datsa, the Magistrate of the Amasaman District Magistrate Court, said the ADR concept was very beneficial, less expensive and urged the public to embrace it. Mrs Datsa said with the 20 cases recorded for the ADR, only two had been sent back to the court.

She said all the cases settled during mediation would be forwarded to the courts and a consent judgment would be delivered. "Decisions arrived in the end bind all."

The ADR week, to be held from January 9-13 is under the theme, "Settling Cases Out of Court."

Under the ADR, experts and persons with specialized skills will be assigned to deal with civil, commercial, child custody disputes and maintenance cases among others.