13 December 2022
By Norman Cooper
The Ghana National Association of Alternative Dispute Practitioners (GNAAP) over the weekend reiterated its call on the government to establish Alternative Dispute Resolution Centres across the country to facilitate settlement of disputes through arbitration and mediation.
The centres, it said would not only reduce the burden on the courts of the many cases before it that could easily be resolved through ADR, but also to make Ghana the ADR hub for Africa.
According to the GNAAP, conflicts were inevitable in a human institution like Ghana, adding it behooved the government to set up the necessary apparatus to resolve them as and when they occur.
The call was made in an address by the President of the GNAAP, Mr Daniel Owusu –Koranteng, during the 2022 Mandatory Continuing Development Workshop held in Accra on Saturday.
The annual event, among other things, was to upgrade the skills and knowledge of members to transform potential violent conflicts to peace building initiatives and their professional practice in accordance with law and the GNAAP.
According to Mr Owusu-Koranteng, GNAAP having been registered under the Professional Bodies Registration Act, 1973, N.R. C.D. 143 (National Redemption Council Degree), was ready to partner some state agencies with ADR tools to resolve disputes.
He mentioned in particular the Lands Commission, National Labour Commission, Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, Judicial Service, Department of Social Welfare and the Legal Aid Commission through the Court Connected ADR system.
With the increasing effectiveness of speedy, peaceful and cost-effective resolution of case through Court -Connected ADR system, the government needed to support the training of professionals and provide them with adequate remuneration to attain high ethical standards.
Earlier, a resource person and patron of the association, Mr Alex Nartey took participants through the Practical Approaches to ADR Practice via zoom and schooled them on cases that qualified for ADR and others that were not.
He mentioned first and second degree felony such as murder, rape and defilement and other high crimes that were off limit for ADR settlement.
Mr Nartey therefore, admonished ADR practitioners to continuously upgrade their knowledge and skills on ADR for a successful discharge of their duties.
The event, streamed live for members who could not attend in person saw the induction of a total of 45 new members into the GNAAP fraternity.
This followed their completion of an Executive Master Certificate Programme in ADR and Para-Legal Studies.
The induction and swearing in of the new inductees was performed by a retired Magistrate and Executive Director of the Institute of Paralegal Training and Leadership Studies (IPLS), Mrs Joana Abena Yankson.