APPP Working Paper No. 25. Alternative dispute resolution and the Magistrate’s Courts in Ghana: A case of practical hybridity

Abstract

Since 2005 the Magistrate’s Courts in Ghana have been offering Court-connected ‘alternative dispute resolution’ (ADR) for litigants who opt for an amicable settlement through mediation. To what extent has this form of state-supported ADR been successful at providing justice which is both more expeditious and accessible than the formal courts and congruent with popular values and expectations? It was found that the programme was genuinely accessible, and did fulfil popular desires for dispute settlement to be a ‘truth seeking’ and balanced process, as well as offering enforceable agreements. But it was less effective than expected because mediators faced considerable resistance in achieving agreements, with a settlement rate of only 40-50%. The role of the state institutions as ‘practical hybrids’ was crucial in combining the authority, organisational support and professional mediation skills necessary for such a programme, with responsiveness to shared popular values and expectations.

Citation

Crook, R.C. APPP Working Paper No. 25. Alternative dispute resolution and theMagistrate’s Courts in Ghana: A case of practical hybridity. Africa Power and Politics Programme (APPP), London, UK (2012) 19 pp.

APPP Working Paper No. 25. Alternative dispute resolution and the Magistrate’s Courts in Ghana: A case of practical hybridity

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