Lagos Judiciary holds ‘settlement week’
The first phase of the eight edition of the Lagos Settlement Week (LSW), 2016 Programme was held last week at the Lagos Multi-Door Courthouse (LMDC), in the premises of Lagos High Court in Igbosere, Lagos.
The one week programme started on Monday 16th and was concluded on Friday May 20, 2016. The second phase has also been scheduled to hold from October 31st to 4th November this year.
In a chat with The Guardian, the Director of LMDC, Mrs. Caroline Etuk, stated that the eight edition of the Lagos Settlement Week recorded 84% settlement rate of actually mediated matters.
“Though one cannot say that all the cases were concluded, but the important benefits is that the intervention of the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), has remained remarkable and have demonstrated that nothing is lost by the intervention of the LSW.
“Some of the unresolved cases have also been returned to the Courts for the continuation of the court process”, she added.
Etuk, an accredited international mediator and certified trainer on the World Bank Project for the Expansion of ADR mechanisms and institutions in Nigeria, also described the Lagos Settlement Week as a viable project which has continued in the reduction of case backlog of the Courts and helped to stimulate efficiency in the administration of Justice within the court system.
One of the lawyers who participated in the programme, Deji Enisein, also commended the programme as one of the landmark achievement of the Lagos Judiciary, saying: “With the increasing acceptability of the initiative by the relevant stakeholders, the LSW programme is revolutionizing the way the business of court is run and enabling the consumers of justice to participate constructively in the resolution of their disputes”.
The LSW is ‘one week’ set aside by the Chief Judge of Lagos State for specific courts to clear their dockets through means which include the mandatory referral of cases to the LMDC for resolution through mediation, neutral evaluation or any other ADR procedure. At the LSW disputants have their cases mediated at no cost.
LSW is also an annual event in the Judicial calendar of the Lagos State Judiciary and is convened as such times as are approved by the Hon. Chief Judge.
It has won the coveted Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR) United Kingdom Awards in 2010.