City officials recently authorized the local chief executive to enter into a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the Chief Justice Manuel V. Moran Community Legal Assistance Office (CJMMCLAO) for the promotion of alternative dispute resolution in the city.
Under Resolution No. 746, series of 2023, city legislators stated that the Committee on Laws, Human Rights and Justice, in its 2nd indorsement dated November 29, 2023, recommended the grant of the authority that will allow the local government to refer willing clients or parties to avail of mediation or conciliation services of the CJMMCLAO as an alternative means of dispute resolution.
However, the council stipulated that whatever agreement that is concurred between the concerned parties shall be submitted to the local legislative body for confirmation.
Earlier, the city mayor requested the local legislative body for an authority to enter into an agreement with the CJMMCLAO for the promotion of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) in the city.
CJMMCLAO aims to strengthen its advocacy of protecting rights and inspiring lives and to provide law students practitioners with a program that may deepen their sense of consciousness and awareness of the legal problems and needs of the community and be advocates of ADR.
Further, this is an office operating under the supervision of the Saint Louis University–School of Law and currently has a program of advocating ADR as a means of resolving conflicts in the community and in effect finding an avenue to amicably settle disputes and avoid costly litigation before the courts.
The ADR program utilizes law student practitioners guided under Rule 138-A, known as the Law Student Practice Rule and as revised by AM No. 19-03-24-SC, to strengthen their understanding of the myriad of legal concerns that are encountered by citizens.
CJMMCLAO proposed an agreement where the city government may refer cases to their program for conciliation or mediation and that the said arrangement will certainly aid the local government given that some departments regularly encounter conflicting claims between clients involving personal concerns such as property disputes, and right-of-way, among others.
Moreover, the arrangement will entail no cost to the local government, however, it may have to provide a venue for the mediation or conciliation hearings when the parties or CJMMCLAO request. By Dexter A. See