Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Practitioner and Senior Lecturer at the Ghana School of Law, Martin Nwosu, says the use of customary arbitration in alternative dispute resolution is the easiest and most accessible form of ADR in the country.
Alternative dispute resolution, or external dispute resolution, typically denotes a wide range of dispute resolution processes and techniques that parties can use to settle disputes, with the help of a third party.
This form of dispute resolution does not encourage the use of litigation or trial in resolving conflicts.
Speaking on JoyNews’ The Law, on Sunday, Martin Nwosu explained that whereas there are several forms of alternative dispute resolution, the easiest to access is the customary arbitration.
In customary arbitration, he explained that, parties involved in the dispute only need to select a customary arbitrator to mediate their dispute negotiations.
This person is often one both parties revere and have confidence in his or her judgement, for instance, an Abusuapayin.
“One very important one that our law allows for is what we call customary arbitration which is also part of the Act. The interesting thing about customary arbitration is that it is the easiest to access; it is the most widespread in the country.
“And if you look at the law, it makes it very very easy for parties in dispute to appoint a customary arbitrator. In fact, the simple qualification for a customary arbitrator is the person agreed to by the two disputants to help resolve their problem,” he said.
“You don’t need a degree in law; you don’t need to be a mediator, once the parties have some confidence in you that you can help them that’s it,” he added.
He stressed that the resolution reached through customary arbitration is binding by law and can be enforced by a court.
“Enforceable because the agreement that the parties reached at the end of the day can be filed in court so that if one party decides not to obey it, then the court can enforce it,” he explained.
The National Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Coordinator of the Judicial Service of Ghana, Alex Nartey who was also on the show buttressed the point. He stated that the resolution reached via customary arbitration is “analogous to a judgement of a court.”
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