CITIZENS MEDIATION CENTRE LAW OF LAGOS STATE

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LIST OF LAWS OF LAGOS, [ALPHABETICAL]  
A- C G – K M – I R – T
D – F L – L P – P U – Z

CITIZENS MEDIATION CENTRE LAW

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

1.       Establishment of the Citizens’ Mediation Centre

2.       Centre as forum for Alternative Dispute Resolution

3.       Functions and Power of the Centre

4.       Governing Council

5.       Remuneration of members

6.       Functions of the Council

7.       Convening of Meetings

8.       The Director and Staff of the Centre

9.       Service in Centre to be Pensionable

10.     Mediation and Mediators

11.     Functions of the Mediator

12.     Parties to Mediation

13.     Commencement of Mediation Process

14.     Memorandum of Understanding

15.     Services of the Centre

16.     Local Government branches of the Centre

17.     Independence of the Centre

18.     Establishment of a Fund for the Centre

19.     Power to accept gifts

20.     Programmes

21.     Confidentiality

22.     Audit

23.     Annual reports

24.     Regulations

25.     Repeal

26.     Interpretation

27.     Citation and Commencement

CITIZENS MEDIATION CENTRE LAW

A LAW TO PROVIDE FOR THE ESTABLISHEMENT OF THE CITIZENS MEDIATION CENTRE IN LAGOS STATE AND FOR CONNECTED PURPOSES

[Commencement]

THE LAGOS STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY enacts as follows:

1.       Establishment of the Citizens’ Mediation Centre

(1)     There is established a Centre to be known as the Citizens’ Mediation Centre (referred to in this Law as “the Centre”).

(2)     The Centre shall be a body corporate:—

(a)     with perpetual succession and a common seal;

(b)     that may sue and be sued in its corporate name; and

(c)     acquire, hold and dispose of any property or interest in property, movable or immovable for the purpose of carrying out its functions under this Law.

2.       Centre as forum for Alternative Dispute Resolution

The Centre shall serve as an Alternative Dispute Resolution Centre providing a non-adversarial forum for the mediation and settlement of disputes between parties who voluntarily agree to the mediation of the disputes by mediators.

3.       Functions and Power of the Centre.

The functions and powers of the Centre are to—

(1)     Mediate on disputes reported to the Centre in respect of:

(a)     landlord and tenant matters;

(b)     employer and employee matters;

(c)     family matters;

(d)     debt related matters; and

(e)     other matters which the Governing Council of the Centre may deem appropriate .

(2)     Assist disputing parties to appear before the Centre for the resolution of their disputes.

(3)     Publicise its services and facilities.

(4)     Provide free dispute resolution options.

(5)     Resolve disputes within the shortest possible time.

4.       Governing Council

(1)     There shall be a Governing Council for the Centre (referred to in this Law as “the Council”).

(2)     The Council shall consist of-

(a)     a Chairman who shall be a qualified legal practitioner of not less than fifteen (15) years standing at the Bar and a seasoned administrator with considerable knowledge of Alternate Dispute Resolution (referred to in this Law as “ADR”);

(b)     the Director of the Directorate for Citizens’ Rights;

(c)     the Director of the Centre;

(d)     two representatives of Non-Governmental Organisations whose membership shall in the opinion of the Council assist with the promotion of ADR as a concept; and

(e)     two persons who are qualified legal practitioners of not less than ten (10) years post qualification.

(3)     The Chairman and members mentioned in paragraphs (d) and (e) of subsection (2) of this Section shall be appointed by the Governor on the recommendation of the Attorney- General and Commissioner for Justice.

(4)     The Council shall appoint a Secretary either from among its members or staff of the Centre.

(5)     A person appointed to be Chairman or member of the Council shall hold Office for a period of four (4) years from the date of his appointment and may be eligible for re-appointment for one further term of four (4) years.

(6)     A member of the Council shall cease to be a member if such person-

(a)     by a letter addressed to the Governor resigns his appointment;

(b)     is unable to discharge the functions of the Office (whether arising from infirmity of mind or body or any other cause); or

(c)     is guilty of gross misconduct or is convicted of a fraudulent act.

(7)     Where a vacancy occurs in the Council for any reason whatsoever due to a member not completing his term, then such vacancy shall be filled as soon as practicable by appointment in the manner provided in this Section and the member so appointed shall hold Office for the residue of the term for which he is appointed.

(8)     A vacancy in the Council shall not impair the capacity of the Council to act.

(9)     A member of the Council shall be removed from Office if such member-

(a)     is convicted of a fraudulent act;

(b)     becomes of unsound mind;

(c)     is recommended for removal by majority of the members of the Council; or

(d)     If the term has lapsed.

5.       Remuneration of members

The Chairman and other members of the Council shall be paid such remuneration as the Governor may determine.

6.       Functions of the Council

(1)     The functions of the Council shall be to-

(a)     monitor the performance of the Centre;

(b)     assess user satisfaction of mediation services and to review and formulate new policy guidelines for the Centre;

(c)     develop for implementation by the management a capacity building policy for mediators;

(d)     foster relationships between the Centre and other private or Government Establishments both Local and International;

(e)     hold Council meetings at least quarterly in each calendar year, and to visit any of the Mediation Centre at its locations necessary;

(f)      assess publicity activities of the Citizens’ Mediation Centre and to formulate and develop guidelines for necessary reform; and

(g)     do such other things as the Council may consider appropriate for the overall development and growth of the Centre.

(2)     The Meetings of the Council shall include-

(a)     council meetings;

(b)     ad-hoc or any other meetings;

(c)     meetings with any Non-Governmental Organisation and any Local or International Institution.

7.       Convening of Meetings

(1)     All meetings shall be convened by the Secretary to the Council by written Notice deposited at the office address of each of the Council members.

(2)     At any meeting of the Council, the Chairman shall preside but if he is absent, the members present at the meeting shall appoint a member to preside at the meeting.

(3)     The quorum of any meeting shall be four (4) members.

8.       The Director and Staff of the Centre

(1)     The Attorney-General shall appoint a Director of the Centre from the Lagos State Ministry of Justice who shall be the Chief Executive Officer responsible for the day-to-day running of the affairs of the Centre and implementation of the decisions of Council.

(2)     The Director of the Centre shall be a legal practitioner of not less than ten (10) years standing at the Bar.

(3)     There shall also be appointed by the Council such legal and other support staff as may be required for the efficient performance of the duties of the Centre under this Law.

(4)     The remuneration and conditions of service of staff of the Centre shall be as are enjoyed by persons holding equivalent grades in the Public Service of the State.

9.       Service in Centre to be Pensionable

Service in the Centre shall be approved service for the purposes of this Law and accordingly, the Director and other members of staff of the Centre shall in respect of their service in the Centre be entitled to pensions and other retirement benefits as are enjoyed by persons holding equivalent grades in the Public Service of the State.

10.     Mediation and Mediators

(1)     There shall be Mediators who shall provide alternative dispute resolutions services.

(2)     A Mediator shall:—

(a)     be an impartial facilitator who is acceptable to all parties;

(b)     assist the parties to resolve their dispute;

(c)     ensure that parties enter into mediation voluntarily;

(d)     be a good facilitator and give direction to the mediation process;

(e)     elicit good faith from the participants;

(f)      protect the integrity of the proceedings;

(g)     empower the parties to make their own decisions;

(h)     remain neutral and impartial at all times.

(3)     A Mediator shall be a person who is trained by a Local or International Mediation Institution or Body.

11.     Functions of the Mediator

(1)     A Mediator shall find an expedient way of resolving dispute between parties provided that the method shall be cost effective and less time consuming than a formal process of adjudication.

(2)     A Mediator shall resolve the dispute through collaboration to the benefit of all parties.

12.     Parties to Mediation

(1)     Every party or parties to mediation must submit themselves voluntarily.

(2)     All parties must be present before mediation is carried out.

13.     Commencement of Mediation Process

(1)     A Mediation process shall be commenced by way of a complaint at the Centre.

(2)     After an interview with the complainant, letters of invitation shall be issued to concerned parties.

14.     Memorandum of Understanding

(1)     In exercise of its functions under this Law the Centre may prepare a Memorandum of Understanding (referred to in this Law as the “M.O.U.”) between disputing parties.

(2)     The M. O. U. shall-

(a)     be in writing and signed by the parties;

(b)     represent full and final settlement of the dispute between the parties and it shall be enforceable in a Court of Law;

(c)     not be invalid by reason of death of any party, but shall in such an event be enforceable by or against the personal representatives of the deceased;

(d)     be recognised as binding upon endorsement by the Magistrate or Judge as appointed by the Chief Judge as the case may be; and

(e)     be enforceable in a Court of Law.

(3)     The party relying on any M.O.U. or applying for its enforcement shall supply a duly authenticated original of the M.O.U or a duly certified copy of it.

(4)     Any M.O.U. may by leave of a Judge be enforced in the same manner as a judgment or order of court and shall have the same effect.

15.     Services of the Centre

(1)     The service of the Centre shall be for the indigent residents of the State especially women, children and those with physical disability resident in the State irrespective of tribe, race and religion.

(2)     The cause of an action in which representation is to be made on behalf of anyone must have occurred within the State.

(3)     The Centre shall receive complaints directly from affected persons or through other referrals.

(4)     The Centre may refer matters brought before it to other appropriate agencies or Non- Governmental Organisation, the Courts or other Organisations.

16.     Local Government branches of the Centre

(1)     The Council shall establish branches of the Centre in all Local Government Areas of the State in conjunction with the State Ministry of Justice.

(2)     The branches established in accordance with subsection (1) of this Section shall be under the supervision of the Centre established by section 1 of this Law which shall be the headquarters.

17.     Independence of the Centre

The Centre shall be independent and impartial in the conduct of its cases.

18.     Establishment of a Fund for the Centre

(1)     The Centre shall establish and maintain a Fund which shall be applied towards the realisation of its objectives and functions.

(2)     There shall be paid and credited to the Fund, the following-

(a)     grants as may be provided by the State;

(b)     sums accruing to the Centre by way of grants in aid, gifts, donations from Non-Governmental Agencies and International Communities and testamentary dispositions or otherwise; and

(c)     other assets that may accrue to the Centre.

(3)     The Fund of the Centre shall be managed in accordance with the rules made by the Council which shall contain provisions-

(a)     specifying the manner in which the Fund or assets of the Centre are to held ;

(b)     regulating payment into and out of the Fund; and

(c)     requiring the keeping of proper accounts and records for the purpose of the Fund or the Centre in such form as may be specified in the rules.

19.     Power to accept gifts

(1)     The Centre may accept gifts of land, money or other property upon such trusts and conditions as may be specified by the person(s) or organisation(s) making the gifts.

(2)     The Centre shall not accept any gift if the conditions attached to the acceptance, by the person(s) or organisation(s) are inconsistent with the functions/ objectives of the Centre.

20.     Programmes

The Centre shall periodically organise symposia, conferences, educational activities, workshops and exchange programmes.

21.     Confidentiality

(1)     Information furnished to the Centre for the purpose of this Law in connection with the case of a person seeking mediation shall not be disclosed by any other person than-

(a)     for the purpose of facilitating the proper performance by any person or group of persons of its functions under this Law; or

(b)     for any criminal proceeding or any offence or of any report of such proceedings.

(2)     The provisions of subsection (1) of this Section shall not prevent the disclosure of information for any purpose with the consent of the person in connection with whose case it was furnished and where he did not furnish it himself, with that of the person or group of persons.

(3)     Any person who otherwise than in compliance with the provisions of this Law, or any Regulations made in accordance with the provision of this Law discloses information obtained by him commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of Fifteen Thousand Naira (₦15,000.00) only or imprisonment for a term of six (6) months.

22.     Audit

The accounts of the Centre shall be audited as soon as possible after the end of each financial year by auditors appointed by the Council and the fees of the auditors and the expenses for the audit generally shall be paid from the Fund of the Centre.

23.     Annual reports

(1)     The Centre shall in each year through the Council make a report of its activities in the preceding year to the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice.

(2)     The report shall contain-

(a)     an account of its operation and transactions for the preceding year; and

(b)     a statement of the account of the Centre audited in accordance with Section 22 of this Law.

24.     Regulations

The Attorney-General of the State on the recommendation of the Governing Council may make regulations in accordance with the Regulations Approval Law for purposes of this Law.

25.     Repeal

The Lagos State Citizens’ Mediation Centre Law 2003 is repealed.

26.     Interpretation

In this Law unless the context otherwise refer-

“Centre” means the Citizens Mediation Centre established under this Law;

“Court” means any High Court in Lagos State;

“Government” means the Lagos State Government;

“Local Government Area” to include Local Council Development Area;

“Memorandum of Understanding” means the terms of resolution agreed upon by the parties to the dispute as recorded by the mediator;

“State” means Lagos State of Nigeria.

27.     Citation and Commencement

This Law may be cited as the Lagos State Citizens’ Mediation Centre Law and shall come into force on the ………… day of ………………. 2007.

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