GOODWILL MESSAGE

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Protocol

My Lady, the Chairlady HON. JUSTICE MARGARET O. OPARA of AWLA PARLEY 2021

The President/ Country Representative AWLAN EFE ETOMI and her Executive Committee AWLA, Nigeria,

the State Representative AWLAN HILDA DURU DESMOND- IHEKAIRE and her Executive AWLA, Rivers,

The Chairperson- AWLAN MARGARET NWAGBO and Members of the Planning Committee AWLA PARLEY,

Distinguished keynote speaker – DR AGADA JOHN ELACHI: President ICMC, my erudite lecturer and Friend. May I seize this opportunity to congratulate you on your elevation to the office of President, well deserved, your passion in the classroom was electrifying. This is just a tip of the iceberg.

Our guest speaker- AWLAN YINKA AROYEWUN Director LMDC, Colleague, teacher and Friend,

Our guest Speaker- VERONICA BENSON ESQ. Director Citizens Rights Directorate Rivers State,

OGAGA EMOGUANRE Esq. Legal Practitioner,

Distinguished special guests, beautiful and dynamic AWLANs, gentlemen of the Bar, gentlemen and ladies of the press, ladies and gentlemen.

I am indeed humbled and delighted to share with you in this epoch event for networking, unity, impact and development of AWLA, AWLA PARLEY 2021
I, on behalf of the Executive Council and the Executive Board and members of the African Women Lawyers Association ( AWLA) wish to say I am indeed very happy to see that the Parley has come to stay as members all over always look forward to this annual gathering- a great opportunity to mix, mingle and network thus fostering our goal of networking between female lawyers and opportunity for disseminating information on available opportunities, peculiar challenges and benefits, identify with and share with branches ideas and ideals that can strengthen the development and growth of the Association as we bring our services closer to the people particularly the grassroots.

Dynamic Ladies, I am proud to say that since inception of the AWLA Parley in 2015 we have not failed to hold this event except in 2020 due to the Covid-19 Pandemic devastation.

I am indeed happy to see you all looking even more radiant. I thank the Almighty God for keeping us all safe, secure and healthy. I trust He will never fail in keeping us safe, healthy and prosperous.
However, we must not fail to thank God also for the two beautiful souls He called to be with Him in Glory
1 Thessalonians 5:8-
“In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
our very dear AWLAN FLORENCE IFEOMA OGUDE-WOGU then AWLA, State Representative Abuja FCT and our very dear AWLAN PROF DOROTHY UDO- UMUOTAN AWLA State Representative, Akwa Ibom State. They both died in active service to the Association. Let us observe a minute silence for them
MAY THEIR PRECIOUS SOULS CONTINUE TO REST IN PERFECT PEACE! AMEN

The theme for this Parley “USING MEDIATION AS A TOOL FOR RESOLUTION OF FAMILY DISPUTES AND CONFLICTS” is apt considering the plethora of family disputes bursting the courts’ dockets with many more not having the financial capacity to seek justice and those not knowing what to do or where to go for help with their disputes or seek redress thus wallowing in self pity, confusion, depression and suicide.

MEDIATION is one of the core pillars of the ADR Process, the simplest and less technical of the ADR techniques. It is a structured, interactive process where an impartial third party assists parties in dispute in resolving their conflict through the use of specialized communication and negotiation techniques.
Simply put a process in which a skilled third party helps others reach an agreement in a structured setting.

Mediation is the way out of the above stated challenges to accessing justice and particularly family disputes for the following reasons:

Timely intervention
Unbiased intervention
Confidentiality
Participation in the process and being able to own decisions based on what works for the parties and their peculiar family needs
Quick response to conflicts
Cost effective
Speedy resolution of disputes
Preservation of the family relationship

Many messy divorce cases would have been nipped in the bud if mediation was explored at an early stage before it snowballed into a monster. Same for the many cases of brutal murder of one of the spouses and or even the cases of defilement as most of the underlining issues would have been revealed early in mediation before it escalated.

Mediation has been found invaluable in resolving family disputes, acknowledged by the courts and by statute as it is now a step in virtually all civil matters and especially family matters before the courts.
See Order 5 Rule 8 of the High Court of Lagos State Civil Procedure Rules 2019

For us at AWLA, mediation has been tested and proven the best and fastest way to resolving family disputes – data from AWLA Secretariat showed that between 2015 and 2019 we have resolved 75% of our matters through mediation, while through litigation we have only resolved 8%. with many still on seeming endless trials. With the above data the Association embarked on training more Mediators in 2019 and 2020 to increase our skilled Mediators in order to cope with the plethora of cases reported at our Secretariat daily.

Arising from the above, we encourage people to take advantage of this cost effective, speedy and confidential process of resolving disputes. It is the way to go if the family relationship, privacy and individual mental health and safety must be kept intact.

I commend AWLA Nigeria for this crucial and critical intervention at a time like this when family matters are teeming in order to prevent escalation, the family sanctity and sanity thus ensuring a peaceful and safe nation as campaigned by the United Nations in its 2015 16 Days of Activism Campaign theme against gender based violence :
” From peace in the home to peace in the world: make education safe for all”
We at AWLA say ‘from peace in the home to peace in the world: make the home safe for all’
You need a safe and peaceful home for the child to concentrate at school, for the woman and the man to concentrate at work and be productive.
The family is indeed seen as the bedrock of society in almost all societies. But then when it becomes complicated, the society becomes complicated and peace eludes the society
This is why we at AWLA are resolute in ensuring peace in the family, thus creating a safe home and environment for the child to thrive.

YES, WE GO THE EXTRA MILE TO PROTECT AND EMPOWER WOMEN AND CHILDREN
May I seek the indulgence of my lectuerer and teacher to give AWLA members special disount and or free mediation training to increase our capacity to meet our clients needs. Thank you
ICMC and LMDC as our services as probono. This will go a long way in encouraging our members in rendering this selfless service to humanity.

Wishing you all a very successful Parley!
Long live AWLA Rivers!
Long live AWLA, Nigeria!
Long live AWLA!!!

CONGRATULATIONS!!!

Amanda Demechi-Asagba FICMC, ASCMA
PRESIDENT
African Women Lawyers Association ( AWLA)
27/10/2021

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