Plateau Courthouse trains body of neutrals on alternative dispute resolution


In a significant move to bolster Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) practices, the Plateau State Multi Door Courthouse (PMDC) recently organized a one-day orientation training for members of the Body of Neutrals. The primary objective of the program was to equip neutrals with comprehensive knowledge about their essential roles within the ADR spectrum, emphasizing the application of ADR in the administration of criminal justice and the importance of continuous learning in the field.

Neutrals, acting as impartial third parties, play a pivotal role in facilitating negotiations between conflicting parties to reach a mutually agreeable settlement. They structure the negotiation process to ensure a harmonious resolution of disputes.

The Chief Judge, Hon. Justice David Mann, highlighted the establishment of PMDC in 2017 during his address at the event held at the High Court of Justice conference hall in Jos. He underscored PMDC’s role in providing alternative dispute resolution through mediation, conciliation, arbitration, and negotiation, emphasizing its efficacy in achieving quick and cost-effective dispute resolution.

Justice Mann encouraged investors to leverage these mechanisms for a conducive business environment.

Expressing gratitude, Chief Judge Mann acknowledged the leadership of PMDC Council Chairman, Hon. Justice Chrysanthus Senlong (rtd), for steering the affairs of PMDC towards this momentous event. He urged the Body of Neutrals to utilize their skills and initiatives to achieve individual and collective goals.

Hon. Chrysanthus Senlong, PMDC Council Chairman, stressed the importance of the refresher course for approved neutrals. The one-day program aimed to refresh their memories about their roles in the dispensation of disputes at the Multi Door Courthouse. Hon. Senlong urged neutrals to take their assignments seriously, reminding them of their responsibilities and refreshing their understanding of relevant legislations.

The State Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Bar Philemon Dafi, represented by Perm Sec. and Solicitor General Joel Tahvan, commended PMDC, the Chief Judge, and neutrals during the groundbreaking 1-Day Orientation on ADR. He encouraged all stakeholders to earnestly embrace the ADR opportunities provided.

Technical sessions, led by Prince Charles Dickson PhD, Council Member, and ADR Expert, delved into “The Role of Neutrals in the ADR Spectrum.” Prince Charles extensively covered ADR mechanisms such as Mediation, Arbitration, and Conciliation. He emphasized the crucial understanding of specific roles and the significance of continuous professional development for neutrals.

Renowned Legal Practitioner and ADR Expert, Dr. Okey Akobundu, presented on “ADR in the Administration of Criminal Justice/Arbitration Act/Practice Direction and Expectations.” Dr. Akobundu focused on the new Arbitration Act, Practice Direction/Best Practices, Real-World Examples, elucidating neutrals on ADR’s role in Criminal Justice Administration.

The orientation program also included a tour of PMDC facilities, led by the Centre’s Director/Chief Registrar, Maikai Andrawus, alongside Hon. Nafisa of the High Court, and Chief Simon Tangni.

The Plateau MultiDoor CourtHouse continues to receive acclaim for its commitment to promoting Alternative Dispute Resolution mechanisms. Stakeholders, including government representatives, legal experts, and neutrals, are optimistic about the positive impact of ADR on dispute resolution in Plateau State.

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