The Ashaiman Central Alternative Dispute Resolution Centre (ACADRC) has recorded a total of 500 rent-related cases in 2021 as against 201 cases in the first half of 2022.
This tops a list of cases mediated by the centre followed by debt cases 270, land litigation 80, family property disputes 63, marital problems 56, child maintenance 40, neighbourhood disputes 12, pregnancy denial 11, and utility bills cases, eight, all in 2021.
This came to light on Saturday when criminal law students from the California State University, Sacramento (CSUS) led by Professor Ernest Uwazie visited the 21-year old ADR Centre as part of their Students Study Abroad Seminar Programme.
She suggested that, proper knowledge about rent laws as well as transparency and consensus in rules and regulations enshrined in tenancy agreements, would help mitigate the trend.
Director of the Division of Criminal Justice, CSUS, Prof. Uwazie, said the tour was to assess the practice of ADR in Ghana which he pioneered in 1996 and also offer the students the opportunity as part of their Criminal Justice studies, to learn about Ghana’s justice delivery system particularly community-based justice systems with focus on cases that fall within the court system and those within the communities.
He commended the ACADRC for remaining a model in using ADR which had reduced the backlog of court cases and created more access to justice delivery at expeditious and minimal cost rates.
Satisfied with the work and progress of ADR in Ghana, Prof. Uwazie reaffirmed his institution’s support for ADR through training programmes and periodic visits to follow up on the progress of ADR.
Donating a brand new HP laptop to the centre, he hoped that ADR would receive the needed financial and logistics support from the society to expand its operations and serve the needs of the people.
Chairperson of the Ghana Association of Certified Mediators and Arbitrators (GHACMA), Lawyer Georgette Francois, believed non-acrimonious nature of settling cases makes ADR the best option as it is “win-win game for both parties.”
Touting its time and cost saving feature, she encouraged an intensified education on the practice and benefits of ADR to enable the people decipher the rudiments, benefits and differences between ADR and the adversarial court system.
FROM KEN AFEDZI, ASHAIMAN