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 President of the Administrative Tribunal of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).  She is President of the Administrative Tribunal of the Organization Treaty of Atlantic North (NATO). She is Member of the Panel of Independent Reviewers for the Administrative Review of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). She is a deputy judge of the Administrative Tribunal of the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT). She is member of Internal Justice Council of the United Nations (UN).

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.


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 2012, Louise Otis and her co-authors received the Walter Owen Prize for the publication of Recours et Procédures en Appel.

In 2012, Louise Otis received the YMCA Peace Medal and a prize from the Brian Bronfman Family Foundation.

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

In 2011, she was awarded Advocatus emeritus by the Quebec Bar.

In 2008, the Louise Otis Award was created for excellence in ADR.

In 2003, Louise Otis was named Officer of the Ordre National du Québec in recognition for her work in designing and implementing one

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.

In 2000, Louise Otis was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Sherbrooke in recognition of the creation of Judicial mediation.

International Justice

From 2010-2022, Louise Otis have been President of the Appeals tribunal of the International Organization of the Francophonie (IOF).

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. In 2021, she was appointed on the Panel of conciliators of the International Center For Settlement of Investments (ICSID).

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 1000 mediation sessions in civil and commercial matters and since 2009, she has presided over 60 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.


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 2018-2022 Conferences are the following:

  • « Mediation and Judicial Mediation-. New Horizons.New World», Mediation Celebrations, Supreme Court of Judicature, Trinidad and Tobago, 26 october 2023
  • « What I have learned from Mediation », 4th Intellectual Property Mediation Conference, EUIPO, Alicante, 20 October 2023.
  • « International Environmental Mediation », The Development of Mediation in the 5 continents : dream or reality, IX International Assizes of Mediation,  International Conference on Mediation (CIM) and GEMME-France, Strasbourg, 26 May 2023
  • ON ENVIRONMENTAL MEDIATION, Programme Law and Society, Concordia University, 23 NOVEMBRE 2022.
  • An urgent Call to Environmental Mediation: Working for the International Community», International Academy of Mediators (IAM), Annual Conference, 3 June 2022, Montreal.
  • «Ethical et legal aspects of Mediation», Legal Ethics and professionalism, McGill Faculty of Law, 16 March 2022.
  • « Women for Peace », Commemoration of the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War,  International Women’s Peace Group (IWPG),  6 April 2021.
  • « Debate on Tax justice », Sommet International de la Fiscalité, TaxCOOP, Montréal, 13 octobre 2020.
  • « L’accès à la justice et les Modes de résolution des litiges en propriété intellectuelle », Conférence de clôture de la Conférence « Regards comparés sur l’Évolution de la propriété intellectuelle en France et au Canada », CPPI, AFPI, ALAI Canada, 26 février 2020, Montréal, Québec. »
  • « La refondation de la fiscalité internationale pour une justice environnementale », 25e Conférence sur le climat des Nations Unies (COP25), Madrid, 11 décembre 2019.
  • « Commercial Arbitration in Brazil: The 2019 Singapore Mediation Convention », Chamber of commerce Brazil-Canada, Consulate general of Brazil, Montreal, 04 September 2019.
  • « China International Commercial arbitration Summit: Interaction and integration of Diversified dispute resolution mechanisms. » Shanghai ,China, 31 September 2019.
  • « Skills in International Commercial Disputes», Shanghai, China, 30 September 2019.
  • « 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.
  • Mission d’experts « Règle de droit », Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF), Ryad, 4-6 février 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.


President of the Board of the Commission des Normes, de l’Équité, de la Santé et de la Sécurité du Travail (CNESST)

Member of the Internal Justice Counsel of the United Nations (UN)

President of the Council of Ambassadors of the Observatory on AI and Social Justice (OBVIA)

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

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

President of the Board of the Theatre La Clairière

Member of the Advisory Board of the International Women’s  PeaceGroup (IWPG)