A Lagos-based lawyer, Mr Spurgeon Ataene, on Monday, called for more expertise and improved criteria for engaging mediators in the Lagos Multi-Door Courthouse, to enhance effective dispute resolution.
Ataene told the Nigeria News Agency that if experienced mediators and arbitrators were engaged to counsel litigants on diverse issues, it would greatly enhance the Alternative Dispute Resolution mechanism.
He commended the Lagos State Government for its initiative in setting up the Multi-Door Courthouse, saying that it would help decongest the courts.
“Indeed, it has become an integral part of the Lagos State justice delivery system.
“I commend the state government for this giant stride, as cases now have more impetus by its establishment,’’ the lawyer said.
According to him, the mediators do a good job majorly but are sometime hampered by the mindset of litigants who, he said, have “dug their trenches” to prepare for war.
“It has, therefore, become imperative for these mediators to add some training in psychology to discern the mindset of litigants and proffer solutions while achieving the set goal.
“I also recommend that experience should be considered when assigning such duties of reconciling feuding parties.
“Young lawyers below 10 years at the bar, should only take notes and watch senior lawyers mediate with a view to developing requisite skills and expertise,’’ he said.
Ataene said that resources should be made available to indigent parties who approached a court for reliefs but were unable to attend Multi-Door Courthouse for the settlement of their disputes.
He said this would encourage them to `sheathe their swords; and embrace peace, knowing that the state cares for the welfare of its citizens.