Court-connected Alternative Dispute Resolution (CCADR) or Multi Door Courthouse (MDC), adopted by two Nigerian States and the Federal Capital Territory, is the integration of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) into the court system to facilitate access to justice. Several studies have examined the operations of the three MDCs in Nigeria, but studies on their practice and procedure in Nigeria compared with those in the United States of America (USA) and the United Kingdom (UK) have not been undertaken. This study, therefore, examined the practice and procedure of existing MDCs in Nigeria, and compared same with those in the USA and UK to identify the inadequacies in Nigerian laws. The study adopted the theory of Access to Justice. The provisions on dispute resolution in the Constitutional Statutes of Nigeria, the USA and the UK were examined. Three High Court laws, three High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules and three practice directions on the procedure for MDCs were examined. Fifty-seven cases (17 Nigerian, 11 American and 29 British) and relevant legal texts on the practice of ADR were purposively selected. These were subjected to interpretive and comparative analyses. The MDCs were introduced into the judiciaries of Lagos and Akwa-Ibom States, and Abuja (as LMDC, AKMDC and AMDC respectively) through the amendment of the existing High Court Laws and Civil Procedure Rules to encourage referral of cases to ADR. This was the same approach adopted in the USA and the UK. Specific ADR Rules and Practice Directions were enacted to support the process; only Lagos had enacted an MDC law which was consistent with the practice in the USA and the UK. The courts’ supervisory procedure varied: LMDC operated as private-public collaboration, and the staff was not affiliated to the State judiciary; the AKMDC and AMDC were integrated with the State judiciary, manned by judiciary staff and subject to the same supervision as that of the regular judicial staff. This was also the predominant procedure in small claims courts in the USA and the UK. The CCADRs in all the countries had trained ADR personnel who conducted the ADR process but also maintained ad hoc ‘accredited’ neutrals. They all recognised pre-trial referrals, and, where not expressly stated in the Rules, allowed referrals after trial had commenced. In all the countries, settlement outcomes were contracts simpliciter which, once endorsed by an ADR judge, became a judgment of the court. The USA and UK practice differed from vii Nigeria’s in terms of mandatory participation by disputants based on amounts claimed and the annexation to their summary trial courts. The operations of the Multidoor Court house in Lagos and Akwa-Ibom States and the Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria are similar in terms of annexation and voluntariness, but differ in respect of their engagements of neutrals. They all diverge from the practice in the USA and the UK with regard to non-voluntariness of participation. For better access to justice through MDCs in Nigeria, there must be automatic referrals to ADR.
(MRS), A (2021). A Comparative Appraisal Of The Practice And Procedure Of Courtconnected Alternative Dispute Resolution In Nigeria United States Of America And United Kingdom. Afribary. Retrieved from https://afribary.com/works/a-comparative-appraisal-of-the-practice-and-procedure-of-courtconnected-alternative-dispute-resolution-in-nigeria-united-states-of-america-and-united-kingdom-1
(MRS), ALERO "A Comparative Appraisal Of The Practice And Procedure Of Courtconnected Alternative Dispute Resolution In Nigeria United States Of America And United Kingdom" Afribary. Afribary, 05 Apr. 2021, https://afribary.com/works/a-comparative-appraisal-of-the-practice-and-procedure-of-courtconnected-alternative-dispute-resolution-in-nigeria-united-states-of-america-and-united-kingdom-1. Accessed 11 Dec. 2023.
(MRS), ALERO . "A Comparative Appraisal Of The Practice And Procedure Of Courtconnected Alternative Dispute Resolution In Nigeria United States Of America And United Kingdom". Afribary, Afribary, 05 Apr. 2021. Web. 11 Dec. 2023. < https://afribary.com/works/a-comparative-appraisal-of-the-practice-and-procedure-of-courtconnected-alternative-dispute-resolution-in-nigeria-united-states-of-america-and-united-kingdom-1 >.
(MRS), ALERO . "A Comparative Appraisal Of The Practice And Procedure Of Courtconnected Alternative Dispute Resolution In Nigeria United States Of America And United Kingdom" Afribary (2021). Accessed December 11, 2023. https://afribary.com/works/a-comparative-appraisal-of-the-practice-and-procedure-of-courtconnected-alternative-dispute-resolution-in-nigeria-united-states-of-america-and-united-kingdom-1