For over two decades, NCMG has been at the forefront of peace building and access to justice in Africa through judicial reform, cultural orientation and sustained proliferation of ADR practices. Access to justice in a modern civil justice system should offer a variety of approaches and options to dispute resolution. Citizens should be empowered to find satisfactory solution to their disputes beyond litigation which includes a wider menu of choices. The concept of such a menu of choices emphasizes the importance of taking into account the preferences of those in dispute and increasing avenues for access to justice.
Today, the institutionalization of ADR mechanisms in the judicial systems of many African countries is a direct result of the pioneering work of NCMG. In June 2002, through a multi-stakeholder engagement which includes local communities, the judiciary and corporate organizations, we established The Lagos Multi Door Courthouse; in Lagos, Nigeria (the first court connected ADR Centre in Africa). In November 2003, it was replicated by the judiciary of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. In 2006, The Kano Multi-Door Courthouse followed. In 2oo8, in recognition of its competence, NCMG executed an 18 month World Bank sponsored “Expanding ADR Institutions & Mechanisms in Nigeria. This culminated in the establishment of Multi Door Courthouses in Aba and Kaduna states in Nigeria with over seventeen states judiciaries already following the trend.
In 2011, in collaboration with the University of Lagos, we established the “Unilag - NCMG College of Negotiation”. It offers courses in dispute resolution, conflict Management, negotiation and masters in legal studies. With a clarity of purpose and dogged commitment, NCMG remain the leading voice of Justice reform, access to justice and peacebuilding in Africa. It is my hope that all well meaning individuals and organisations will find our unfettered commitment to meaningful change in Africa worthy of support.
Justice Muhammadu L. Uwais, GCON Global Chairman, NCMG