Arbitration in Western Africa Today
More than 10 years ago, Fordham Law School, through its Leitner Center, became engaged in many important projects and programs in Ghana with placing those programs in the two major cities of Accra and Kumasi. In 2010 at the request of the Giving to Ghana Foundation, Fordham Law’s ADR Program Leader, Jacqueline Nolan-Haley and the Law School’s Center for Social Justice, founded by Professor and former Dean John D. Feerick, began an effort with others to establish a major conflict resolution center in central Ghana which is an area with economic challenges. This ADR effort was for a Center to serve as a model for grassroots conflict resolution efforts in Ghana and elsewhere in Africa. In the past few years, these efforts led to successful ADR Programs at this Center as well as the development of courses concerning ADR in Western Africa taught by Adjunct Professor Dennis Lynch. This course being offered in 2014 expands on all of these activities because of the growing interest in African Conflict Resolution.
This Seminar will examine the development of Dispute Resolution in Western African Countries. The focus of the course will be on establishing a structure for conflict resolution generally and Alternative Dispute Resolution (“ADR”) specifically in Western African and other places in Africa. The involvement of non-African participants in the development and support of the first ADR Center in the rural areas of Western Africa, namely the Marian Conflict Resolution Centre (“MCRC”), will be analyzed in detail. The contribution of African participants in the grass roots efforts to realize accomplishments in the MCRC will be also reviewed in detail. The successes and failures of the MCRC and the challenges ahead for models of Dispute Resolution in Africa will be the superintending focus of study and review of this Seminar. Students will be challenged to consider the success and failure of ADR Centers in all of Africa with the goal of identify and developing best practices for conflict resolution and ADR systems specifically in Ghana as the basis for development of such systems in Western Africa and elsewhere in Africa. All Students will be expected to research and report on organizations and structures in Western African nations and other countries with regard to successful ADR practices today.