#Article (Archive)

ADRS inaugurates new offices in Farafenni, Basse

Dec 8, 2010, 12:28 PM | Article By: Abdourahman Sallah

Alternative Dispute Resolution Secretariat (ADRS) at the weekend officially inaugurated ADRS regional offices in Farafenni and Basse. 

The aim of the programme supported by the Government of The Gambia and the United Nations Development Programme Banjul office, is to provide access to justice through ADR without delay.

In his remarks, Dr Ebrima Lowe, chief executive secretary of the ADRS, said the idea and concept of the ADRS is based on well perceived philosophy geared towards improving the lives of people as a means of encouraging direct foreign investment.

He added that the extension of the ADRS facilities in the upcountry is clearly manifested in the drive to maintain efficient justice delivery system for all and sundry.

According to Dr Lowe, the concept has been a long traditional African affair, to integrate and mainstream judicial system in the authentic African traditional settings and interest to ensure peace, security and stability restored in the African society.

“Our court system has been structured and designed to settle disputes through adjudication processes designed and developed in cultural settings completely to our African ways of justice delivery system,” he said.

He added that the formal processes are strictly created to meet due process requirements, ignoring all other key relevant components and fair justice delivery system.

He says court proceedings are slow, painful and costly.

According to him, it is important to note that the judiciary has a social responsibility in addition to its constitutional mandates, adding that inordinate, undue delays and general dissatisfaction ,which are hallmarks of the formal system, must be avoided under all circumstances if justice is to be administered in the cases that are registered with the ADR.

For his part, Mamadou S. Jallow, deputy governor for Upper River Region, hailed the ADRS for the new initiative and commended government and its development partners for providing the strategic support for the programme.

According to Governor Jallow, the establishment of the ADRS secretariat in the various regions would help to boost the accessibility of sound and fair justice delivery.

Dr Abubacarr Senghorer, a lecturer at the University of The Gambia, revealed that the ADR has mechanism in place to complement the formal justice delivery system, which is plagued by numerous cases whose handling takes longer than normal and at a great cost to litigants.

He added that the ADR system would contribute meaningfully in reducing case loads and turnaround time for judgement in conventional courts.