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    GNAAP President Addresses the Ghana National Association of ADR Practitioners 2023 Congregation


    Honourable Patron 

    The Board of Directors of GNAAP 

    The Board of Directors of IPLS 

    Members of GNAAP 


    The Media 

    Ladies and Gentlemen 

    We have congregated here today to organise our Mandatory Continuing Professional Development Workshop (MCPDW) in fulfilment of our mandate and to accept new people who have undertaken the Professional Executive Master Course in ADR at IPLS into the GNAAP Family. 

    The growing influence of Alternative Dispute Resolution(ADR) in Ghana’s adjudication system and even globally makes training   of ADR Professionals very necessary in ensuring that ADR Practitioners operate as professionals who are trained to respect the ethics of the ADR profession and to continuously update their knowledge on conflict resolution. 

    Issues relating to land acquisition have become a source of conflict in Ghana today to the extent that a quasi-militia popularly known as “Land Guards” has become an acceptable nomenclature in our national life. As professionals involved in developing strategies to resolve conflicts, it is necessary for us to understand the different dimensions of conflicts relating to land and the laws that would help us to contribute to the resolution of disputes relating to land.   

    That informed the decision of the Board of GNAAP to select the topic: 

    *Initiating ADR Process under the new Land Act 2020, Act 1036 : What the Law require of ADR Practitioners and Disputants?”* 

    We are fortunate to have Nana Barima Yaw Kodie Oppong(Esq) who is the Director of the Ghana School of Law as the Resource Person for the 2023 MCPDW. 

    The practice of ADR exposes the Practitioner to privileged information from disputants which would not be easily available in the court room litigation environment and that requires very high professionalism based on the ethics of ADR practice of confidentiality, honesty, neutrality among others. 

    An ADR Practitioner is expected to be a person with very high integrity who cannot be influenced by any material attractions. 

    My advice to the new people who are about to become members of the Ghana National Association of ADR Practitioners (GNAAP) which is the only registered ADR professional body in Ghana, is that, we are working very hard to ensure that GNAAP becomes a professional body in the adjudication system of Ghana that will be respected for its strong adherence to the ethics of the ADR practice. 

    Therefore, there will not be any space in GNAAP for any member who brings the good name of GNAAP into disrepute because of acts of corruption and any unethical behaviour. We are proud members of GNAAP and we want to create GNAAP as a brand name noted for very high integrity and respect for the ethics of ADR Practice.  

    In line with the objective of ensuring that GNAAP has strong structures to achieve the objective of carving a niche of excellence for GNAAP, the Board of GNAAP has reconstituted the Ethics Committee and the Business Committee.  

    Honourable members of the Board of GNAAP and Fellow GNAAPIANS , Ghana has come of age in ADR professional  Practice . We commend the Chief Justice Gertrude Sackey Torkornoo for the efforts in promoting ADR as very important in Ghana’s adjudication system.  

    We recognise that poverty is a major factor that prevents majority of our people from having access to justice in our judicial system. Many people are unable to have access to justice because they are unable to pay for the service of lawyers in addition to their inability to sustain themselves in long periods of litigation which are very common in our court system. 

    We strongly believe that if government invests in the promotion of ADR practice in Ghana, there would be very high social and economic returns to the country. 

    ADR Professionals who are in the Court Connected ADR practice are making tremendous sacrifice in supporting our courts in the management of cases that have choked the courts. In this regard, I will identify two important issues that relate to the allowance for Court-Connected ADR Practitioners and the lack of conference rooms for dispute resolution sessions.

     We humbly request the Chief Justice to liaise with the District and Municipal Assemblies to seek support in the provision of offices and conference room facilities to ADR Practitioners for the management of cases referred from the courts. 

    It is very encouraging that many ADR Professionals are showing interest in the Court-Connected ADR practice. We are appealing to the government to increase the allowance of professional Court-Connected ADR Practitioners. 

    Globally, ADR is becoming a preferred choice  of dispute resolution in all aspects of life especially in the business community and Ghana must position itself to play an important role in the global ADR movement to become the African hub for professional ADR practice. It is a route that would attract investment in the service sector and other sectors of the country’s economy instead of our over reliance on the extraction of minerals which is associated with many environmental and social problems. 

    Honourable Patron. Members of the Board of GNAAP, Fellow GNAAPIANS, the challenges in ADR Professional practice makes it imperative for ADR Practitioners to update their knowledge regularly in order to catch up with the developments in the ADR Professional practice.

    The GNAAP board would adopt various cost effective methods of institutionalising continuous training for its members as a way of preparing GNAAP members to be relevant in the professional transformation of ADR Practice in Ghana.

    There are state and private institutions as well corporate bodies which by the nature of their operations, require the services of Professional Mediators to resolve disputes for the smooth running of the businesses of their clients.   

    We are using this medium to inform the business community, state institutions and individuals of the existence of GNAAP that has a register of a core of professionally trained people who are bound by the code of ethics of GNAAP to act professionally in the practice of ADR.

     On behalf of the Board of GNAAP, I wish to congratulate the inductees for making sacrifices to complete the course. Most of you are busy people and the fact that you have sacrificed time and resources in the 16 weeks of your study to complete the Professional Executive Master in ADR(PEMADR) demonstrate your commitment to become ADR Professional Practitioners. Conflict is ubiquitous and that means that your services as professional mediators would be relevant in various aspects of society. 

    I am charging you to be agents of peace to use the professional knowledge acquired through IPLS “to beat swords into ploughshares”. 

    I wish to advise you that, as Meditators you should never compromise on your neutrality in conflict resolution. My strong position on the importance of the neutrality factor in the ethics of mediation is reflected in my belief that, when a Mediator undermines the neutrality position in a conflict resolution process, the Mediator is transformed into a Disputant and thus become an active participant in the conflict. As Mediators, you are to stick to your mediation role and not to join the fray either overtly or covertly. 

    With these words, I charge you to be Ambassadors of peace wherever you find yourselves.

     I wish you every success in your chosen career as Professional ADR Practitioners and may the Lord bless you. 

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