LIBERIA: Judge Wiles Wants Specialized Courts To Use ADR To Resolve Civil Cases
The Resident Judge of the Seventh Judicial Circuit Court in Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County, George S. Wiles, has called on the Liberia National Police, magisterial courts and other specialized courts in the county to use the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) methods to resolve some civil conflicts.
According to him, this is done through consensus building by bringing parties together to resolve conflicts.
He opined that many cases of disagreement can be resolved effectively and efficiently without recourse to the formal processes of litigation.
He cited land disputes, neighborhood disputes, accident and injury cases, credit and debt issues and family disputes of different kinds, as some of the issues that can be resolved without reverting to the court.
Resident Judge Wiles made the call Tuesday in his charge at the opening of the Seventh Judicial Circuit Court for the February 2019 Term of Court.
The event, which simultaneously took place in other counties across the country, was held in the court room near Zwedru.
Judge Wiles pointed out that convicts brought from other counties to the National Palace of Correction in Zwedru, after serving their jail terms, are released in Zwedru which, he noted, increases the crime rate.
“They should be returned to counties from which they came”. Judge Wiles added.
Responding to the charge, Atty. Isaac A. Williams pledged to ensure the applications of the ADR method to resolve issues through the requisite channels and also promised to liaise with the prison director to ensure that released convicts are returned to their counties of origin.
Atty. Williams reaffirmed his commitment to addressing the issues of pre-trial detainees who have stayed long in detention without trial.
The ceremony was graced by many key actors, including the local bar association, Trial Judges of Grand Gedeh County, the County Attorney, representatives of Civil Society Organizations, chiefs, elders, UN partners, religious organizations and cross-sections of Grand Gedeh citizens.
The Seventh Judicial Circuit court in Zwedru opened with 15 criminal and 13 civil cases on its docket.