Biographical notes

Judge, arbitrator, mediator

Louise Otis is an active judge, arbitrator and mediator in administrative and commercial matters. She is also Adjunct Professor at McGill University, Faculty of Law (McGill) and a Distinguished Fellow at the International Academy of Mediators (IAM), which sets the standards and qualifications of professional mediators in commercial disputes.

She is the President of the Administrative Tribunal of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), President of the Administrative Tribunal of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF), and Deputy Judge of the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites Administrative Tribunal (EUMETSAT).

Louise Otis regularly participates in international governance and justice reform missions. At the international level, she has been involved in the reform of justice systems in different countries and international organizations.

Recognition

In 2019, Louise Otis was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Université Laval, Quebec.

In 2017, Louise Otis was awarded from the University of Ottawa in recognition of her extraordinary contribution in the field of Justice.

In 2016, Louise Otis was named Grand Officer o​f the Ordre National du Quebec (O.C.Q.).

In 2016, she received the Prix de la Justice award.

In 2015, Louise Otis was named Officer of the Order of Canada (O.C.)  for her “contributions to expanding the administration of justice in Canada as a judge at the Quebec Court of Appeal, and for having created and established judicial mediation systems.”

In​ ​2015, International Academy of Mediators awarded her the David Plant Award for Excellence in International Dispute Resolution “Recognizing ​world ​visionaries ​who teach the lessons of peace and understanding to create a better world”.

In 2011, Louise Otis received the Médaille du Barreau du Québec.

In 2009, the Louise Otis Award was created for excellence in ADR.

In 2002, Louise Otis was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Sherbrooke in recognition of the creation of Judicial mediation.

In 2002, Louise Otis received the Distinguished Service Award for vision that differences can be resolved in peaceful ways presented by The Strauss Institute for Dispute Resolution, Pepperdine University School of law.

International Justice Reform

In 2016, Louise Otis has been tasked by the Global Fund to fight HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria to review the system of Administrative justice.

In 2015, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) gave Louise Otis the mandate to prepare an analysis and training programs to implement mediation systems in businesses in Egypt.

In 2014, Louise Otis was part of three-member expert team with the mandate to revise the administrative justice system of the World Bank (BM).

In 2013, Louise Otis was appointed by the United Nations’ Executive Office of the Secretary-General (UN) as an expert, in charge of the review of the UN Whistleblowing and Protection against Retaliation Policy.

In 2013-2014, Louise Otis acted as a consultant for the International Finance Corporation (IFC) of the World Bank group (BM), in order to assist Egypt in drafting and implementing legislation in commercial mediation.

In 2012-2013, Louise Otis was appointed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as an expert to review the Administration of justice system.

In 2011-2012, she investigated on the application of the UN Protection against Retaliation Policy by the UN Ethics Office.

In 2007, Louise Otis was appointed by the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Kofi Annan, to a 5-member panel of independent international experts, in charge of redesigning the United Nations system of administration of justice. In 2008, the recommendations of the experts were approved by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and by the General Assembly of the United Nations.

From 2002-2014, Louise Otis participated in linkage projects with China, Russia, Haiti and Mali.

Mediation and Arbitration

Louise Otis worked as a lawyer between 1975 and 1990. In 1990, she was appointed a Judge to the Quebec Superior Court. Between 1993 and 2009, she was appointed a Judge at the Quebec Court of Appeal. The Quebec Court of Appeal has general appellate jurisdiction over all courts in Quebec and also performs judicial review in relation to all administrative tribunals. It is one of the two largest appellate courts in Canada, and hears matters governed both by civil land common law principles. Ms. Otis participated in over 3000 judgments in civil, commercial, administrative and criminal law.

Louise Otis instituted the world’s first program of integrated judicial mediation. In Quebec, all the courts and tribunals have since developed a judicial mediation program, integrated into the traditional justice system. Since 2004, at her instigation, a program of facilitation in criminal matters has also been launched in Quebec.

2009, Louise Otis founded the Canadian Conference for Judicial Mediation (CCMJ). In 2010, she co-founded the International Conference on Mediation for Justice (ICMJ).

Since 1997, Louise Otis has conducted over 800 mediation sessions in civil and commercial matters and since 2009, she has presided over 50 arbitrations also in civil and commercial matters.

She has created and facilitated intensive training courses in numerous countries. These courses focus on developing skills in dispute resolution, mediation, communication, especially how to overcome impasses in difficult and complex conflicts.

Conferences

Louise Otis has spoken on Dispute Resolution Mechanisms at: the Council of Europe, The European Public Law Organizations (EPLO,  the Harvard University Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, the International Academy of Mediators, the American Bar Association, Section of Dispute Resolution, The Supreme People’s Court of the Republic of China, The Supreme Court of Russia, The African Development Bank Group (ADB),  the Masters’ Forum of Mediators at Pepperdine University, the Barreau de Paris, the Australian Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, the European Conference of Judges, the Brazilian Judicial institutions and various national courts, tribunals and universities.

The 2018-2019 Conferences are the following:

  • « Mediation: Balance between Market and Law », 2019 Toronto summit on Commercial Dispute resolution in China, Toronto, 24 June 2019.
  • « Judicial Intellectual Property Mediation », European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), Alicante, Spain, May 30, 2019
  • « Legitimate expectations in International Global Law », International Labour Organization (ILO), Geneva, 16 April 2019.
  • « La justice de première ligne (FLJ) sous la conduite de Avocats Sans Frontières », UQUAM, Montréal, 16 March 2019.
  • « Judicial mediation in the context of OHADA », University McGill, Montréal, 24 November 2018
  • « Le futur de la médiation par juge », vingtième anniversaire de la médiation judiciaire au Canada, Institut Canadien d’Administration de la justice (ICAJ), Montréal, 22 novembre 2018.
  • “Tax Competition harmful or positive?” Moderator and judge, Conference of Paris, TaxCOOP 2018 debate, OECD, 4 October 2018, Paris.
  • « Burden of Proof and Standard of Proof in Global Administrative and Labour Law » International Administrative Tribunals Conference, European Public Law Organization (EPLO), Athens, 14 September 2018.
  • “Mediation in International Organizations”, African Bank of Development, Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, 28 June 2018
  • « La coexistence avec les peuples autochtones », Ministère de la justice du Canada, Montréal, 27 février 2018 »
  • “Negotiation and mediation in Labour law”, McGill Faculty of law 19-24 February, 2018.
  • “The future of legal education”, McGill Faculty of law, 16 January 2018.
  • ” Civility in the profession and at school”, McGill Faculty of Law, Montreal, 8 January, 2018.

Conferences delivered before 2018 are listed in the long biography.

Organizations

Member of the board of directors of Institut Pacifique, Montréal, Québec, Canada.

Member of the board of directors of CECI, Montréal, Québec, Canada.

Member of the board of directors of the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation, Montréal, Québec, Canada.

Curriculum vitae

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