Mr Daniel Owusu-Koranteng, President, Ghana National Association of ADR Practitioners (GNAAP), has called on Government to establish the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Centre as provided in section 114 of the ADR Act, 2010 (ACT 798).
This, Mr Owusu-Koranteng said would enable such a Centre perform the functions that are provided in the ADR Act for the promotion of ADR Practice in Ghana.
The ACT provides for the settlement of disputes by arbitration, mediation and customary arbitration, to establish an Alternative Dispute Resolution Centre and to provide for related matters.
He noted that provision had not being 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,” Mr Owusu-Koranteng said in his opening remarks at the Continuing Professional Development Workshop in Accra, which was organised by the GNAAP.
“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.”
He said the Mandatory Continuing Professional Development Workshop (MCPDW) was one of the means of ensuring that they maintained and enhanced the knowledge and skills of their members for them to deliver professional service to clients; saying “it is our hope that our members would find professional value in the MCPDW”.
He urged their members to be very active in GNAAP to build GNAAP into a vibrant professional body to champion the promotion of ADR Practice in Ghana and to position Ghana as the ADR hub for Africa.
“The practice where companies that locate in Ghana to do business have dispute resolution clauses in their contracts to settle commercial disputes in Singapore International Mediation Centre (SIMC) or London Mediation Centre should end,” Mr Owusu-Koranteng said.
“The GNAAP has professionally trained ADR Practitioners that can provide efficient ADR services for the resolution of commercial disputes and all types of dispute settlement services to the business community.”
He said the Government must invest in the establishment of the legal and administrative framework for the promotion of ADR Practice in Ghana.
Mr Owusu-Koranteng said Ghana already had a very good image globally in its contribution to conflict resolution and peace building initiatives and Ghanaians would reap enormous benefits if they invest in making Ghana an ADR hub in Africa.
He said the Board of Directors of GNAAP was in discussions with Integris, the organisation that had developed a membership portal for the Ghana Bar Association to develop a similar membership portal for the management of GNAAP members.
“The leadership of GNAAP is very concerned about the apathy of our membership. The Institute of Paralegal Training and Leadership Studies (IPTLS) has trained many ADR professionals who are inactive members of GNAAP. We want to invest in the membership portal to have a database of the potential members of GNAAP and their membership status. We should need your support in carrying out the programmes of GNAAP.”
He said GNAAP was endowed with human capital needed to build a strong ADR professional association in Ghana to contribute to the promotion of ADR Practice in Ghana and the building of a peaceful society.
“AS ADR Practitioners, we have a responsibility to be peace ambassadors,” he said.
Mr Justice Stephen Alan Brobbey, a retired Supreme Court Judge, in a presentation dubbed “Management of an Arbitration Process from Arbitration Conference Hearing”, said one of the principles of Arbitration Management Conference (AMC) was that all decisions taken at the AMC should be reduced into writing by the Arbitrator and served on all parties or their counsels.