|Wikileaks:||View 01ABUJA989 at Wikileaks.org|
|Tags:||KPAO SCUL OEXC KJUS NI|
|Redacted:||This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.|
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ABUJA 000989 SIPDIS State for IIP/F/AF Danz/Esquetini; AF/PD Skop; and AF/W Martschenko Lagos for PAS Lauterbach and Lisenby E.O. 12958: N/A TAGS: KPAO, SCUL, OEXC, KJUS, NI SUBJECT: Senger Challenges Nigerian Legal Profession to Provide Greater Access to ADR Ref: Lagos 00778 1. Summary: Department of Justice Deputy Senior Counsel for Dispute Resolution Jeffrey Senger challenged leaders in Nigeria's courts and executive branch to address the practicalities of a court-based Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) system that could lower costs, bring greater access to dispute resolution to average Nigerians and alleviate clogged court dockets. Senger was lead speaker on the theme tandards for Alternative Dispute Resolution in Nigeria: What Now?" in Abuja on April 5. Other speakers included the Registrar of the Supreme Court, the Chief Justice of Kaduna State, the President Special Advisor on Legal and Constitutional Matters, the Vice President of the Nigerian Bar Association and a retired U.S. California state judge associated with the USAID Rule of Law Program in Abuja. The audience of 60 included a broad spectrum of judicial and other GON officials. Rather than just introduce the topic of ADR or train a small group based in Lagos, this program assembled key individuals and groups critical to fostering the institutionalization of ADR within the Nigerian judicial process. This is a GPRA report. End Summary. 2. Activity Description: A one-day seminar on Alternative Dispute Resolution held in the Nigerian capital, Abuja. Senger, who served as the lead speaker at this conference, was joined by a number of distinguished Nigerian and American presenters including Dr. Maxwell Gidado, Senior Special Assistant to President Obasanjo on Legal and Constitutional Matters; Justice Rahila Cudjoe of the Kaduna State Judiciary; Judge Henry Ramsey, Jr. from the U.S. National Center of State Courts; and Prince Adetokumbo Kayode, First Vice President of the Nigerian Bar Association. 3. Justification and Objective: Over the last seven years, Post has sponsored ADR projects in support of judicial reform efforts in Nigeria. Through this program, PAS Abuja hoped to further strengthen Nigeria's nascent democracy by encouraging government institutions to devise a process for setting ADR standards within the judicial process. 4. MPP Umbrella Themes and Audiences Reached: NI-PD-01 (Strengthening Democracy). The program reached an array of judicial and other GON officials, members of the Nigerian Bar Association, and journalists. Also, Nigeria's largest TV network, the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), gave the program unprecedented prominence as the lead story on its Network News the day of the seminar. NTA Network News boasts over 30 million viewers and serves as a primary source of information for government officials and the country's elite. 5. Immediate Result/Impact: Excellent. Previous PAS ADR programs in Nigeria were aimed at either providing training or increasing understanding of ADR mechanisms. Senger's program successfully changed that focus by addressing the necessary qualifications for mediators. This opened a debate among the participants on whether mediation should be restricted to lawyers. Justice Cudjoe, who traveled 200 kilometers to participate in the program, also recommended that Nigerian judges encourage litigants to explore the use of mediation to settle disputes out of court. Such action would provide institutionalization of ADR in association with the court system. 6. Date: April 5, 2001 Fiscal Year: FY 001 Quarter: Third 7. Non-USG Funding Sources or In-Kind Support: N/A 8. Quality of U.S. Support: Excellent. Post appreciates the support of IIP/F/AF in identifying Senger for this highly successful ADR project. He earned the respect of the participants by combining his U.S. mediator experience with concrete examples of African courts using ADR to decongest dockets. In light of the program's success, Post would welcome a return appearance by Senger to address the question of mediation. Jeter
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