GBARNGA, Oct.4 (LINA) – The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has embarked on a nationwide consultation to formulate a new Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) national policy.
Making the disclosure in Gbarnga recently following a regional consultation dialogue with citizens from several counties, Assistant Justice Minister for Administration and Public Safety, Eric Noah Toe, said the Ministry is gathering the views of citizens in order to formulate a new national policy that will be adopted and subsequently passed into law.
According to Minister Toe, when formulated, the policy will further assist the judicial system, including the Ministry of Justice, to adequately adjudicate criminal cases across the country.
The MoJ Senior Staff, however, noted that the initiative is not meant to condemn or undermine the formal justice system, but to have what he termed as « an alternative » to the justice system.
He noted that if formulated the ADR Mechanism will help in resolving many issues, including overcrowding of prisons across the country and the slow pace of hearing of criminal cases due to the short- term of court.
Minister Toe asserted that it is prudent to generate views from the people so that when the national document is adopted and subsequently passed into law, inhabitants of the country will have a sense of ownership by their participation in the new law, especially those at the grassroots level.
« Government through the Judicial System is committed to improving the justice system of the country, » he noted, and described the ADR as « a 0revitalization mechanism » that people will use in seeking redress to issues relating to the justice system.
Meanwhile, Assistant Minister Toe has lauded both local and international partners, including the Carter Center and United Nations Development Program (UNDP), for their continuous support to the Liberian Government, and called on them to continue assisting the Government in its many developmental initiatives across the country.
The Alternative Dispute Resolution was introduced in the country’s Judicial System in 2010 by the US State Department to further empower the System in mitigating disputes in communities, but the program that has this year formally scaled down across the country, thereby leaving the concept and application in the hands of the Liberian people to take responsibility of their Judicial System.