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.
Madame 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 one of the world’s first programs 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.
In 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 700 mediation sessions in civil and commercial matters and since 2009, she has presided over 50 arbitrations also in civil and commercial matters.
In 2017, Louise Otis was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Ottawa in recognition of her extraordinary contribution in the field of Justice.
In 2016, Louise Otis was named Grand Officer of the Ordre National du Québec.
In 2016, she received the Prix de la Justice award.
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, Louise Otis was named Officer of the Order of Canada 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 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 conducted an investigation 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.
She has been mandated by the Government of Canada to establish strategic priorities for the development of the Rule of Law in Mali. She participated in linkage projects with China, Russia and Haiti.
She has created and facilitated intensive training courses in different countries. These courses focus on developing skills in dispute resolution, mediation, communication, especially how to overcome impasses in difficult and complex conflicts.
Louise Otis has spoken on Dispute Resolution Mechanisms at: the Council of Europe, the Harvard University Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, the International Academy of Mediators, the American Bar Association, Section of Dispute Resolution, the Masters’ Forum of Mediators at Pepperdine University, the Australian Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, the European Conference of Judges, the Brazilian Judicial institutions and various other national courts and tribunals.
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