Friday, November 3, 2017

CJ Asks Businesses To Utilise ADR

4:17:00 PM

The business community in Ghana should utilise the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) procedures at the countrys commercial courts for swift and efficient justice delivery, Chief Justice (CJ) Sophia Akuffo has urged.

This would, among other benefits, forestall the undue delays experienced in the treatment of cases and further improve the ease of doing business in the country.

In the latest World Bank Ease of Doing Business Report, 2018, Ghana dropped 12 places to 120 from 108. 

Speaking on the topic ‘Reforming the Judiciary to Enhance the Ease of Doing Business, at a meeting held by American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM), the CJ said the ADR rules, which are special rules of court, that have been formulated for the commercial courts remain very vital avenues for efficient justice delivery.

I must emphasise that one of the greatest secrets to efficient and effective justice is the role of ADR in dispute settlement.

According to the CJ, When a case is settled by parties through the ADR, the decision is legally binding on every party; it is also faster, and unlike traditional litigation, it fosters friendship among the parties and continuity of business.

She intimated that these benefits are the reasoning and resources made available for business disputants in the court-connected ADR that the Judicial Service has been vigorously promoting and pursuing since 2005.

Touching on pre-trial settlement conference at the commercial courts, Madam Akuffo said the rules of courts directed that every suit filed in the Commercial Division of the High Court be subjected to pre-trial settlement conference.

In the first instance, the rules allow the parties to take the mediation and negotiation outside of the courts to any expert forum that can better assist with dispute resolution, or work with assessors from the relevant industry within the confines of the court, she stated.

According to the CJ, the law on ADR ensured that the discussions in the process remained privileged and non-binding, whereas the final decision is binding on the parties.

While commending government for its efforts at making Ghana a more attractive place to do business, the United States Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Robert Jackson, said: We would like to see action and tangible results; we look to government to hold people accountable when the laws are broken.

The business community in Ghana, Mr Jackson said, wanted to see a court system that works more efficiently and is willing to prosecute and convict guilty parties no matter their wealth or status.

By Ghana Leaks Blog

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