Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is available for the resolution of issues outside the court due to the expensive cost of litigation and the amount of time spent on trials among other unfavorable situations that do not usually suit the smooth flow of justice.
The ADR process takes place in court premises but not necessarily inside a courtroom and in some locations such as the local government or community development area offices.
Section 19 (d) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 allows the settlement of disputes by arbitration, mediation, facilitation, negotiation, and adjudication; all of which are the processes of the ADR. Others are collaborative family law, expert determination, mini-trial, etc.
Here are ways that some of the processes of the ADR can help resolve conflicts without trial or litigation.
In this case, a Mediator will attempt to settle conflict with the aim of helping the parties improve their communication and settle the conflict themselves.
If the parties fail to reach an agreement with mediation, the unresolved issues or the entire issues are submitted to be arbitrated. This takes us to the arbitration process.
In Arbitration, an arbitrator decides the dispute after hearing from the disputing parties. Arbitration is either binding or non binding.
Arbitration is binding when the parties agree to accept the arbitrator’s decision as final without appeal and non binding when the parties may go into trial if they do not accept the arbitrator’s decision.
When going into a contract, some parties do indicate to settle issues that may arise with the arbitration process.
3. Collaborative Law
The collaborative law is mostly applicable in divorce cases. It gives room for peaceful end to a marriage and a protective representative of the parties. It allows for divorce without having to go through trials in the court.
Advantages of ADR
The Alternative Dispute Resolution is generally cost effective and saves a lot of time unlike court trials.
Another advantage of going the ADR way is privacy, simplicity and the greatest of all is that parties are able to bear their reservations, grievances or the shortcomings of one another to the neutral third parties. This will in turn create an objective atmosphere and also ensure that the resolution favors both parties.
Would you use ADR if you happen to fall into issues with your client or employer?