The Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Department at the Ministry of Justice ended a one-day mediation training workshop recently in Site No.4, Buchanan, Grand Bassa County.
The training took place at the Conference Hall of the Bassa Women Development Association (BAWODA) with 25 participants, which included Christian and Muslim community representatives and leaders from the various organizations in Bassa.
Giving the opening statement and overview of the training, ADR Administrative Assistant Mr. Gobah A. Anderson said the training was aimed at familiarizing the participants with the ADR program.
Madam Jimmiette Barrolle, who is also the Site Coordinator for Nimba County, mentioned that the ADR program at the Ministry of Justice’s (MOJ) Alternative Dispute Resolution Department is also geared towards ensuring speedy and affordable access to justice for all citizens without any form of discrimination.
She said the program is a pilot project that should help to improve access to justice and address the challenges of overcrowded dockets and case backlogs, and eventually institutionalize ADR as a core component of the justice system.
‘’The program has developed a concept that works along with city solicitors and other court staff, provides training in mediation and detail procedures in case intake to help fast-track cases and refers predetermined and approved minor cases to ADR by the consent of the parties involved,’’ she reiterated.
She noted that the ADR sensitizes communities and creates awareness for disputants to resolve their conflicts instead of going to court, and promotes peace and the rule of law through dialogue.
She explained that ADR has a network with national and international NGOs, UN family, Access to Justice Actors or Service Providers and other partners.
She then advised the trainees to share the knowledge acquired from the training with others and organizations in their respective communities.
Also speaking was one of the facilitators and Commissioner/Outreach Officer ADR/MOJ, Jeabee-Cali S. Hinneh, who advised the trainees not to be judges in dispute resolution but rather resolve disputes mutually in accordance with laws and customs.
He disclosed that with financial support from the World Bank, the ADR was recently launched to implement the pilot project in order to increase the effectiveness of non-judicial dispute resolution procedures at community level that will augment and implement government’s judicial system.
For his part, the ADR Volunteer/Coordinator of Site No.4 in Buchanan, Amos Boeyou, who also served as one of the facilitators, commended the trainees for their courage to participate in sharing their individual and collective views during the deliberations.