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Don’t Resolve Criminal Cases — ADR Practitioners Advised

Practitioners in Alternative Dispute Resolution processes have been advised not to use their skills in resolving cases that border on crime, including rape and defilement.

He said it was not proper for any ADR practitioner to encourage a parent or guardian of a rape or defilement victim to take money as settlement of the case outside the limits of the law.

They should limit themselves to civil related matters involving commercial, marital, family, labour, chieftaincy or other matters that are likely to cause dislocation in communal or national cohesion,” he said.

Mr Gamey said this in an interview with radioxyzonline at the closing ceremony of a course dubbed, Master of ADR, in Accra last Saturday.

The course which was of 25 weeks duration, was under the auspices of the Pulse Institute of Canada. Gamey & Gamey is affiliated to the Pulse programme facilitated by the University of Virgin Islands Institute for Leadership and Organisational Effectiveness.

National ADR Centre 

With increasing deadlock situations in the country’s courts, Mr Gamey said a lot more needed to be done to increase the use of ADR for dispute resolution. Accordingly, he has called for the establishment of a national ADR centre.

Mr Gamey who was once a deputy Minister of Employment and Social Welfare, observed that although the National Labour Commission was doing well, it’s mandate was not all the time to engage in settling labour-related issues, but rather to engage mediators to resolve labour conflicts.

ADR in schools 

He further urged policy makers to include the ADR process in the managerial operations of the country’s educational system in order to encourage peer intervention in disputes.

“There are all kinds of problems in the country because people simply don’t know how to resolve their differences. At the height of it all what people do is to organise people to demonstrate or organise people to fight.” he said.

He also said many people were in court to terminate their marriages, adding that because pastors did not have the requisite training in ADR, they found it difficult to counsel people not to opt for divorce.

Network

Giving an insight to the course, Mr Gamey said “ADR is for people who don’t want to waste resources and also break relationships. It is about restoring ties and helping the parties to overcome strained relationships.”

He said ADR was in its infancy in Africa and therefore, it was incumbent on all practitioners to network and find the best way to advance the practice.

He said West Africa ought to embrace ADR in resolving conflicts in the face of religious militancy, suicide bombing, election disputes and insults in the media by journalists, religious leaders, politicians and the society in general.

 

 

Source: radioxyzonline.com

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