On Alternative Dispute Resolution in Ghana

From the ever-interesting Africa Power and Politics Programme, through the latest working paper by Prof Richard Crook

In spite of its current limitations, the record of the Court-connected ADR programme therefore confirms the crucial role of the state in organising and sustaining a genuinely informal, popular and accessible form of dispute resolution….The ability to give ADR agreements the force of a state court’s judgement is particularly important; but so too is the capacity to provide a form of mediation which manages to be responsive to, indeed share, popular values and expectations whilst maintaining a consistency of standards. The practical hybridity of the Court-connected ADR is at the core of what success it has enjoyed, even though it has yet to change a well-entrenched culture of resistance to amicable settlement amongst those who go to court to settle their disputes.

The paper notes that the ADR system faces critical challenges in mediating in cases where the stakes are high and even if the parties do agree on a settlement, enforcement remains a key issue. 

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