GNAAP unveiled as a professional body

The Ghana National Association of Alternative Dispute Resolution-ADR Practitioners (GNAAP) has been unveiled as a professional body.

The unveiling ceremony came off during the 9th GNAAP Annual General Conference held on the theme ‘ADR Practice As A Profession’ at the weekend in Accra.

Addressing the annual conference, the President of GNAPP, Mr. Daniel Owusu-Koranteng, contended that with this new development, GNAAP thus becomes the first professional body for ADR practice in the country.

He said the transition from an association to a professional entity was not an easy task, adding that it took some “bold decisions” by the leadership of GNAAP to achieve this feat.
“After meeting the requirements of a professional body, the leadership of GNAAP took a bold step to become a professional body which was registered on 17th January, 2022,” he disclosed.

He noted that the transformation of GNAAP from an association to a professional body comes with huge responsibilities, stating that “we cannot do things in the old ways.”

“If we want GNAAP to remain a strong ADR professional body, we need to acquire the habit of paying our annual subscriptions on time and actively participate in the programmes of GNAAP.”

…We would need resources to organise professional training programmes, create regional structures of GNAAP, strengthen local and international collaboration and undertake policy advocacy to create a conducive atmosphere for ADR practice in Ghana,” he underscored.

In this regard, Mr. Owusu-Koranteng reiterated his outfit’s call for the establishment of Alternative Dispute Resolution Centre in accordance with Section 114 of the Alternative Dispute Resolution ACT, 2010 (ACT 798).

Such a move, he said, will facilitate the promotion of ADR professional practice in the country.

He indicated that GNAAP has drawn attention to the defects in the composition of the Governing Board of the ADR Centre as enshrined in the ADR ACT.

Regrettably, he said, the composition of the Governing Board of the ADR Centre as provided in Section 117 of the ADR ACT 2010 (ACT 798) has no representation of an ADR professional body.

“It is an unfortunate omission that the ADR fraternity has no representative on an important structure of the ADR ACT such as the ADR Centre that has broad responsibilities for the promotion of professional ADR practice in Ghana,” he bemoaned.

According to Mr. Owusu-Koranteng, GNAAP was contributing to ADR training and practice in the country. This, he said, was being done through GNAAP’s relationship with the Institute of Paralegal Training and Leadership Studies (IPLS) and providing opportunities for ADR practitioners to sharpen their professional competences through opportunities offered by the Centre for Citizens Empowerment (CCE).

Her Ladyship, Irene-Charity Larbi, Justice of the Court of Appeal and Judge in-charge of ADR at the Judicial Service of Ghana, who represented the Chief Justice, said it was encouraging that the leadership of GNAAP was helping to build the capacity of ADR members.

She, therefore, charged ADR practitioners to always uphold party autonomy, admonishing members to adhere to the code of ethics of the profession.

“As ADR practitioners, you are conciliators, reconciliators, peacemakers and you must live above unethical tendencies,” she advised.

She further admonished members to always give fair hearing to disputing parties, urging them to “ensure best practice.”

For his part, the Guest Speaker, Mr. Michael Gyang Owusu Esq, President-Ghana ADR Hub and Senior Lecturer, Ghana School of Law, recommended to the leadership of GNAAP to train members to adjudicate cases in areas including mining, insurance, pathfinding, environment, community dispute resolution among others.

Later, Mr. Gyang Owusu Esq, was admitted and inducted as an honorary member of GNAAP. He was presented with an honorary certificate of membership by the president of GNAAP.
Twelve (12) new GNAAPIANS were also inducted.

GNAAP is a prestigious regulatory body of ADR professional (mediators, arbitrators, negotiators, conciliators, customary arbitrators etc.,) in Ghana incorporated under the Companies Code, 1963 (Act 179) as amended in the Companies Act, 2019 (Act 992) as a private company limited by guarantee, on 27th May, 2014.

The membership of GNAAP are people from diverse backgrounds: lawyers, chiefs, queen mothers, members of Parliament, business executives, teachers, engineers, security experts etc.

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