Ms Diana Asonaba Dapaah, Deputy Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, has urged Ghanaians to adopt mediation for the effective resolution of disputes.
According to her, the benefits of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), particularly mediation, remained enormous, and should be taken advantage of, for the amicable settlement of disputes, including labour issues.
Ms Dapaah made the call in a speech read on her behalf at the opening of the 3rd annual Mediation Expedition, held on Afadjato, Ghana’s highest mountain, in the Volta Region, at the weekend.
Organised by ADR Daily and the Gamey and Gamey Group, with support from Consolidated Bank Ghana (CBG), the annual national expedition was on the theme: “The relevance of mediation in addressing labour disputes.”
Ms Dapaah explained that because mediation has been given strong legal recognition in Ghana’s legal framework, with many state institutions mandated to use mediation as a dispute resolution mechanism, the public need to use it more rather than engaging in court litigation.
She said the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), National Media Commission, Lands Commission and the National Labour Commission as few institutions which used mediation to resolve disputes.
For instance, Ms Dapaah noted that since 2000, CHRAJ has on average, received about 12,000 complaints annually, of which 95 per cent are resolved using mediation, with approximately 87 per cent closure rate.
In addition, she said the court has also adopted ADR mechanisms with the introduction of Court-Connected ADR, which instructed for particular cases to undergo mediation in the resolution of disputes.
“Mediation is here to stay, and ought to be the first point of call, following negotiations, when a dispute arises,” Ms Dapaah stressed.
The Deputy Minister commended ADR Daily, a specialised media organisation, for the dedicated contribution to the promotion of the professional practice and use of ADR mechanisms to settle disputes in Ghana, and assured it of the ministry’s cooperation.
Mr Austin Gamey, Chief Executive Officer of the Gamey and Gamey Group, urged the public to seek the services of professional mediators, to help in resolving disputes.
He gave the assurance that the Group would through the Gamey ADR Institute, continue to build the capacity of ADR practitioners, by providing quality training services to enhance the growth of the ADR sector in Ghana.
Over 60 professionals from various sectors participated in the two-day event which blended mediation practice learning with adventure.
Mr Edmund Mingle, Editor of ADR Daily & Coordinator of the Expedition, expressed appreciation to all the partner institutions, especially CBG, for the collaboration and support.
He said the experience and lessons from the expedition are expected to equip the participants with practical conflict resolution skills, to enable them to help their businesses and organisations to either prevent or effectively resolve disputes.
By Times Reporter