Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) practitioners can now refer to a unified document containing simplified provisions, clauses and procedures for adjudicating cases.
The 100 page ADR rule book launched by the Ghana ADR Hub is expected to simplify clauses; arbitration initiating processes and rules governing arbitration.
The rule book launched is also expected to bring some simplicity and easy understanding to ADR arbitrators, disputants and administrators.
Alternative Dispute Resolution was introduced into Ghana’s judicial system in the year 2005 as an expeditious, friendly and flexible option to court litigation.
ADR is gaining traction especially for business disputants considering its discrete and expeditious nature which keeps trade secrets and discrete information out of the public courts.
Some 107 lower courts have already hooked unto the ADR platform with all circuit and magistrate courts expected to be tied into the court assisted ADR system by the end of this year.
Launching the document, the President of the Ghana ADR Hub, Lawyer Michael Gyan Owusu pointed out that the document will among other things; hasten proceedings, by addressing the problems of gabs found in the drafting of ADR clauses.
“What we have done is that when parties choose to use the ADR Hub rules, all the gaps in their arbitration agreements will be filled by the rules. What we have essentially done is to think ahead and solve all the problems that can arise out of arbitration agreements and all you need to do is to simply refer to our rules and those problems are resolved,” Lawyer Owusu explained.
An HR and Arbitration Consultant Senyo Agyabeng told Ultimate News, the document should inspire the state to begin instituting the much awaited National ADR Centre equipped with integrated rules that will facilitate the work of arbitrators, mediators and administrators.
“In the ADR Act, a national ADR Centre is suppose to have been established and we are hoping that when it is inaugurated, they will also pass national rules for mediation and arbitration just as today we have launched this which is a very good start,” he indicated.
A supervising high court judge in Kumasi Justice Kofi Akrowiah averred that there were plans to shore up the modest successes of ADR disclosing that out of the 2000 cases that were brought before Arbitration, 981 representing some 45% were expeditiously concluded.
Isaac Kyei Mensah, a developer with Delico Properties Investment Limited recounted to reporter, Ivan Heathcote – Fumador, how a case that took his company two years in court was resolved in less than six months when it was referred for ADR.
The document which has been hosted on the sites of the Ghana ADR Hub is expected to be used at no charge for training and direct adjudication of Alternative Dispute Resolution proceedings.