PRACTITIONERS of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) have been urged to embrace digitalisation in the discharge of their professional duties.
President of the Ghana National Association of ADR Practitioners (GNAAP), Daniel Owusu-Koranteng, at a mandatory continuing professional development workshop for its members on Saturday in Accra charged ADR practitioners to develop interest in digitalisation in order to speed up the practice of ADR both locally and internationally.
He also encouraged them to broaden their scope of professional competence beyond the local environment to be able to understand developments at the international stage as it concerns legal practice, particularly when it came to matters of ADR.
Speaking on the theme: “United Nations Convention on International Settlement Agreement Resulting from Mediation: Singapore Convention on Mediation”, Mr. Owusu-Koranteng disclosed that records from the Judicial Service indicated that 26,568 cases out of a total of 56,361 court-connected cases were settled through mediation, representing a cumulative settlement rate of 48 per cent between 2007 and 2020.
This, he said, indicated that the settlement rate of court-connected mediation was far ahead of the cases handled by the courts.
Mr. Owusu-Koranteng also called on government to establish ADR Centre as provided in section 114 of the ADR Act, 2010 (ACT 798) as it would enable the association to perform its functions as provided in the act in the promotion of ADR practice in the country.
He noted that provision had not been made in the ADR ACT, 2010 (ACT 798) for representation of ADR professionals on the Governing Board of the ADR Centre.
“These are very serious challenges that confront us as ADR Professionals in Ghana,” said Mr Owusu-Koranteng, adding “even as we make such demands, we are challenged to engage in continuous improvement of our professional competencies and skills as ADR practitioners to match up to changing dynamics in the practice of ADR at home and at the global level.”
A prevailing issue discussed at the workshop by participants was the lack of mediation courts in the country to fast-track resolution of cases.
In response, Ace Ankomah, who is a resource person, said that several petitions had been sent to Parliament for the establishment of such courts but they are yet to receive any positive feedback.
The workshop brought together several ADR practitioners as well as experts who took turns to share knowledge and experiences.