The legal basis for this programme is subsumed in Section 3(1)8 of the LAGOS MULTI-DOOR COURTHOUSE (LMDC) 2007 which provides that the LMDC shall engage in the promotion or implementation of projects or other activities including but not limited to the Settlement Week, which in the opinion of its Governing Council will further assist in decongesting the courts and helping to achieve the purpose for which the LMDC was established.


In this regard, the Chief Judge of Lagos State is empowered to designate a week in which disputants, lawyers, Mediation Advocates and Mediators engage in the settlement of disputes through the deployment of ADR mechanisms.


Hence, the Lagos Settlement Week (LSW) was conceived to do the following;


  1. Encourage the use of non-adversarial dispute resolution mechanisms especially for General Civil and Commercial matters but not matters for which litigation is the only viable option.


  1. Demonstrate the effectiveness and benefits of Mediation as a dispute resolution method.


  1. Help reduce the dockets of the court.

It is worthy of note that the Lagos Settlement Week (LSW) has been included in the judicial calendar of the Lagos State Judiciary and has been organized yearly since 2009.


The LMDC provides all year round ADR services for Walk-ins, Court referrals and direct intervention. Others services include the Banking Track. Arbitration track and the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector which is also provided through this unit.


The ADR track was established to screen all originating processes filed at the Registry for suitability for ADR and to be referred to the LMDC or other appropriate ADR institutions in accordance with the practice directions.


This novel development in the ADR space marked the mainstreaming of ADR into the civil justice administration and a major milestone in the justice reform history of the nation. On the ADR track, all civil process applications are taken by the ADR judges and eventually the matters get to the ADR segment of the process and are set down for mediation at the LMDC. Matters settled are entered as consent judgment of the court and unsettled matters are assigned to the Litigation track for trial.

Footnotes:* Standing Conference of Mediation Advocates (SCMA) *The Lagos Multi-Door Courthouse Law (LMDC) 2007* The LMDC Practice Direction on Mediation Procedure* The Multi-Door Courthouse Code of Ethics for Mediators* Guidelines For Enforcement Procedure *Guidelines for Court referrals to Alternative Dispute Resolution *Principles of Alternative Dispute Resolution by Stephen Ware *Effective Mediation Advocacy by Andrew Goodman.*The Lagos Multi-Door Courthouse Neutrals’ Handbook.