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ADRS capacitised on basic legal knowledge

Aug 18, 2010, 12:36 PM | Article By: Njie Baldeh

A number of staff of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Secretariat (ADRS) were last Friday certificated after completing a week long training programme on basic legal knowledge, organised by the secretariat, in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme.

Speaking at the handing over ceremony held at the ADRS office in Banjul, Dr. Ebrima Lowe, the Chief Executive Secretary of the Secretariat commended the UNDP for sponsoring what he described as an important training in justice delivery.

According to him, such an important training is what will make the institution functional. As he put it, the greatest asset of any institution is nothing but human beings.

"Some are interested in human resource, some are interested in mediation which is the mechanism of ADRS. I think the trust that the state has on us as a parastatal is very important. So we would make the best use of it," Dr Lower said, adding that the ADRS is the first parastatal that has been created by the government through the Ministry of Justice.

He called on the participants to make the best use of the training, noting that it would help in the areas of their work. Dr. Lowe said with the help of the UNDP they were able to establish two ADRS centres in Basse and Farafeni, which he added, will operate soon.

Basiru Jahumpa, UNDP representative described the training as very essential in terms of justice delivery. According to him, by looking at the legal system, a lot of court cases are being dealt with in a more expedite way.

"We are aware that most of the litigation, most of the problems associated with land and the administration of land in this country need not go within the so-called westernised or normal judicial system, but can be mediated to our traditional methods, and so on. But above all, most importantly, I think the alternative dispute mechanism played a part in consolidating the social capital we have in our society," he stated.

For him, some legal cases need to be observed all the time and could be used to mediate or negotiate. This, he added, could build and enhance the solidarity within our society.

"I think this is another way in emphasising good governance in this country and then ultimately ensuring human rights reaches everybody, because it allows the poor to have access to justice in a way which is not adversarial," he said, noting further that this goes to emphasise our social peace.

"This is why we come as partners with the secretariat to enhance and improve access to justice," he asserted.

He commended the facilitators for their contributions towards the success of the programme, while assuring the ADRS administration that the UNDP is ready to work with them and to expand their level of partnership and corporation.

Other speakers included Justice Almami Taal and Dr. Hendry Carrol, who all expressed seminar sentiment.

Senior officials attended the ceremony from the Ministry of Justice.