Mr. Martin Nwosu, a Private Legal Practitioner, on Monday called on business institutions, particularly the Ghana Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) to patronize the Alternative Disputes Resolution (ADR) system to ensure effective and efficient conflict resolution in their companies.
He said ADR was a more flexible and cost effective mechanism in the resolution of conflicts and disputes in the contemporary business world.
Mr. Nwosu who is also an ADR expert, made the call at the opening of a five- day skills-based training workshop on Alternative Dispute Resolution for more than 25 selected staff of the Sekondi-Takoradi branch of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry at Ampenyi near Elmina.
The Workshop, which was jointly organized by the Judicial Training Institute (JTI), Judicial Service of Ghana and the Sekondi-Takoradi branch of the Ghana Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCI) is intended to provide skills and knowledge to fully equip the participants on ADR and particularly mediation to facilitate dispute resolution among internal and external clients in GCCI.
It would also enable the participants to understand the role of the players in the mediation process, as well as provide them with sufficient knowledge to appreciate the need to promote ADR concepts as an effective and efficient mechanism of dispute resolution in contemporary client service and the business world.
Mr. Nwosu pointed out that ADR apart from its flexibility also promoted rule of law and good governance, reduced time and cost of resolving disputes, instilled confidence in the judicial service delivery in the country, as well as help reduce the backlog of cases pending in the law courts.
Mr. Nwosu told the participants that being in the business world, they perfectly understand the importance of time and values and that it was imperative for them to patronize ADR instead of the law courts, which were characterized by interminable delays.
He said ADR encouraged some kind of division of labor in the delivery of justice, stressing that in the USA, 95 per cent of cases were resolved out of the law court and that in Ghana ADR was performing creditably, with a success rate of about 85 per cent.
He said ADR also provided a healthier method for resolving disputes, especially in cases like family disputes, landlord-tenant, business partners, labor disputes, and land boundary issues, adding that it was easier for people to comply with ADR outcomes.
He however pointed out that cases like constitutional issues, public policy and interest, Human Rights, criminal offences except minor or non-aggravated offences were inappropriate for ADR.
Mr. Michael Owusu, a legal practitioner and ADR expert who gave an overview of conflicts, mentioned Data disputes, values conflicts, behavioral conflicts, structural conflicts, relationships disputes as some of the varieties of conflicts, and stressed the need for the participants to always endeavour to understand conflicts before the appropriate mechanisms were put in place to resolve them.
The ADR became part of the nation’s judicial system in 2005. It is a concept basically aimed at ensuring that access to justice in Ghana is made easier, cheaper, non-adversarial, expeditious and flexible to all, particularly the poor and vulnerable.
The participants would treat topics, including "Understanding positions and interests in Negotiation", " Effective communication in mediation", ”Professional ethics and codes of conduct in mediation", "Victim Offender Mediation", and "Administration of court connected mediation process".
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