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Court Connected ADR was introduced as a Mechanism to settle disputes in conjunction with the normal courts with a view to enhance effective and efficient justice delivery. It can help to decongest the backlog of cases and help the parties to resolve disputes within a short time and at low cost.
The Court Connected ADR Practice Direction No. 1 of 2013 was made in September, 2013. It Created a Unit under the Office of the Master.
A Trial Judge/Magistrate/Cadi decides which cases to refer to the court connecter ADR. Therefore, the court is expected to check all the cases suitable for Court Connected ADR; The Judge/Magistrate/Cadi initial input is to encourage the parties to settle out of court by explaining the benefits of out of court settlement/mediation and assuring them of the right to court trial should they fail to reach a settlement. When the parties consent to mediation, it is the recorded as part of the proceedings. The court then fixes a time for the mediation and refers the suit to the Office of the Master. Depending on the outcome of the mediation, the case file is sent back to the court for either judgment entry as agreed by the parties or for continuation of hearing if they fail to agree.