ADR practitioners asked to enhance knowledge in real estate sector

Chief Justice (CJ), Justice Kwasi Anin Yeboah has encouraged Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) practitioners to enhance their knowledge in the real estate development sector and in land related matters to compliment the justice delivery system in the country.

He referenced that the new Land Law Act, (Act 1036) provides in section 98(1)-(2) that “an action concerning any land or interest in land in a registration district shall not be commenced in any court unless the procedures for resolution of disputes under the ADR Act 2010 (Act 798) have been exhausted”.

Justice Anin Yeboah said these in a speech read on his behalf by Justice Irene Charity Larbi (an Appeal Court Judge) at the Professional Executive Masters of ADR graduation ceremony of the 2021 Class-23rd Cohort and induction of 2022 Class-24th Cohort at Gamey and Gamey Institute at Community 26 on Saturday.

He stated that recent legislative reforms had extended the use of ADR to cover critical aspects of the country’s legal processes, such that the outcome of current ADR processes did not only affect domestic and traditional informal endeavours, but also assume critical equitable and legal interest of disputing parties including criminal justice.

However, he reminded the ADR practitioners to be knowledgeable about cases that were not amenable ADR.

Citing Section 1 of the ADR Act, he said the Act ousts the jurisdiction of Arbitrators, Mediators, and Customary Arbitrators established under the Act from resolving matters relating to national or public interest, the environment, enforcement and interpretation of the constitution or where an enactment provided that any matter could be resolved by ADR method.

Beyond the procedural ethical and legal obligations under the ADR Act which practitioners were required to observe, the CJ noted that ADR permeated other sectors of human endeavour with distinct legislative provisions and industry practices that must not elude ADR practitioners.

“Copyright Law, 1985 (PNDCL110), Minerals and Mining Acts, 1994 (Act 475), Ghana Investment Promotion Centre Act, 1994 (Act 478), Free Zones Act, 1995 (Act 504) and the Labour Act 2003 (651) are some of the other sectors where ADR principles are provided for which you need to be abreast with,” he told the fresh practitioners.

Chief Executive Officer of Gamey and Gamey Group, Austin Gamey, remarked that coming into force of the Labour Act 2003 (Act 651) and the ADR Act 2010 (Act 798), it was expected that all educational institutions, organisations and leadership at all levels go through a paradigm shift to discover the new creativity and innovation of negotiation and various forms of mediation and arbitration processes.

He expressed disappointment at the development, citing the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) and the employer impasse as an example.

Stressing on a place of ADR in national discourse, Mr Gamey believed that electoral disputes could be resolved using ADR.

Mr Gamey reminded the 29 graduands comprising 17 men and 12 women who were Human Resource practitioners, chiefs, trade unions, lawyers, pastors, engineers among others, to uphold the ethics and values of the profession which included confidentiality, impartiality, the use of neutral language and the retention of core values that could not be disregarded.

FROM KEN AFEDZI-TEMA

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