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  The Alternative Dispute Resolution is established to resolve certain disputes arising from labour, employment, industrial relations, workplace, etc, between parties using the process of mediation and/or conciliation.
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There is an Alternative Dispute Resolution Centre that uses mediation and/or conciliation technique(s) to assist parties to resolve their dispute and arrive at a mutually acceptable agreement, in a less costly, speedy and efficient manner. It is aimed at preserving relationship through the reconciliation of parties in dispute. This is done to engender industrial peace and harmony that are essential for the economic and industrial development of the country. In recent times, an ever-increasing plethora of laws, Acts, Rules and Guidelines have begun to make viable provisions to aid and enhance the adoption of ADR and also stipulate clear-cut procedures to follow when ADR methods are adopted, especially in relation to disputes which arise out of commercial interactions.

The National Industrial Court of Nigeria and Alternative Dispute Resolution Centre

The National Industrial Court of Nigeria is a judicial institution established in 1976 by the Trade Disputes Act (TDA) Cap 432, Law of the Federation of Nigeria (LFN) 2004. The Court became functional in 1978. Due to a number of shortcomings in the TDA which impacted adversely on the workings of the Court, the National Industrial Court Act, 2006, re-established the National Industrial Court as a superior court of record with jurisdiction on labour and industrial relation matters. As a result of further contentions on the status of the Court as a superior court of record, the National Assembly vide the Third Alteration Act, 2011, amended the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, to establish the Court as a superior court of record specifically and expressly under the Constitution. The Court has and exercises exclusive jurisdiction in civil cases and matters relating to labour, employment, trade unions, industrial relations, and matters arising from the workplace, the conditions of service, including health, safety, the welfare of labour, employee, worker and matters incidental thereto and connected therewith.
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By virtue of Section 254C (5) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended by the Third Alteration Act, 2011) the National Industrial Court of Nigeria has jurisdiction and powers in criminal causes and matters arising from any cause or matter on which jurisdiction has been conferred on it.

National Industrial Court of Nigeria Civil Procedure Rules 2017

The National Industrial Court of Nigeria Civil Procedure Rules 2017 makes provisions for an “Alternative Dispute Resolution Centre” which forms a framework for Alternative Dispute Resolution. Section 24 of the Rules provides thus: (1). The President of the Court or a Judge of the Court may refer for amicable settlement through Conciliation or Mediation any matter filed in any of the Registries of the Court to the Alternative Dispute Resolution Centre (hereinafter referred to as the Centre) established within the Court premises pursuant to Section 254C (3) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended by the Third Alteration Act, 2010) and Article 4(5) (a)–(e) of the Instrument of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Centre. (3). The Centre shall endeavour to take all necessary steps to conclude the Mediation or Conciliation process with respect to matters referred to it within twenty-one (21) working days of the date the process commences provided that an extension of ten (10) working days may be granted by the President of the Court or a Judge of the Court on request if the Mediation or Conciliation process(s) is/are not completed within twenty-one (21) working days. (5). (1) Upon receipt of the report of an amicable settlement of a matter from the Centre, the Court shall cause hearing notices to be issued and served on the parties and their counsel, if any, for the adoption of the settlement agreement as to the Judgment of the Court. (6). (1) Where parties to any mediation or conciliation process are unable to settle their dispute amicably, the Director of the Centre shall submit a report to that effect to the President of the Court or the Judge of the Court who made the referral without the record of the mediation or conciliation session(s). Sources: Nicnadr NG Oal.law Featured Image Source: iPleaders
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This article was first published on 21st June 2021

jeremiah

Jeremiah is a scholar and a poet. He has a keen eye for studying the world and is passionate about people. He tweets at @jeremiahaluwong.


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