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I am qualified as a mediator by the Institut Français de Certification de Médiation (IFCM) (Paris, France) and certified by the International Mediation Institute (IMI) (The Hague, Netherlands).
I am an experienced criminal defence attorney and international human rights lawyer who has employed mediation tools over several decades in a variety of fields, including criminal law; conducting hundreds of negotiations with police and state agencies; involved in treaty negotiations at the United Nations for many years; learning to work with civil society while creating and leading two international legal associations (NGOs); and currently practicing in the fast growing field of business and human rights.
My current mediation practice is focused on dispute resolution in the field of business sustainability and human rights. One focus is to create safe space for corporations to engage with communities and workers in order to resolve disputes, mitigate negative impacts and build a “social license to operate.” The tools of mediation provide creative and flexible methods of bringing opposing parties to the table and giving stakeholders a voice.
The landscape of business and human rights offers a promising opportunity to widen the scope of access to remedy in commercial dispute resolution and mediation. Such development enables to reduce “social and environmental risks” for businesses, investors and financial institutions. I am very involved with other like-minded players (individuals and institutions) in pushing this agenda.
I am also a member of the Paris Bar in France and of the Québec Bar Association in Canada, and a licensed legal consultant in New York State. I am currently a Door Tenant at 9 Bedford Row Chambers in London (UK) and Co-Director of a Program on Lawyers and Business and Human Rights at Georgetown University Law Center for Ethics & the Legal Profession, Washington, DC. I am also Of Counsel at Cabinet Alkyne (Paris, France) and Of Counsel at Cabinet Fall Legal (Dakar, Sénégal). Recently appointed Chair of the Business & Human Rights Initiative launched in August 2022 by the newly elected President of the American Bar Association.
As an experienced international human rights lawyer and former civil society/NGO leader, I have mediated conflicts involving a wide range of subjects and situations. The mediations successfully addressed a variety of labour and work related issues such as resolving personal and family conflicts, as well as rifts between lawyers and other professionals working together and redressing relationships among work colleagues.
Recently, I served as a mediator for ACT (https://actonlivingwages.com/) in a complex dispute involving workers laid off during the COVID pandemic in a southeast Asian country, their plant management, a Chinese parent corporation, a branded multinational in the EU and an international labour union. This mediation spanned over a period of nearly 5 months and came to a successful resolution. This complex dispute tested the limits of traditional commercial and labour-management dispute resolution, raising sensitive issues of equity, due process and respect for human rights.
It challenged me to employ methods acquired in years of practice in the field of criminal justice as well as my knowledge and experience in the field of Access to Remedy for victims of alleged human rights abuse. This of course is a key pillar of the both of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the NCP processes of the OECD Guidelines on Responsible Business Conduct.
I tend to be involved in complex mediations with public and private actors resolving disputes between State actors (governmental agencies), collaborating organizations, and representatives of different nationalities and legal cultures. I also lead mediations bringing together interest groups from different backgrounds and countries, all of which required dealing with complex subject matters, a broad range of personalities and perspectives in numerous challenging circumstances.
Together with my partners, I have developed a practical framework to favour stakeholder engagement. This framework places mediation as a central implementation tool and is intent in facilitating dialogue building in the context of supply chain, big foot print projects and environmental disasters with human rights components.
February 2022 received the title of "Business & Human Rights Law - Global Market Leaders
Eminent Practitioners" : https://chambers.com/lawyer/elise-groulx-diggs
Regarded as"an innovator" and "a top expert in the field" by sources, Elise Groulx Diggs Ad. E., formerly with Doughty Street Chambers, attracts praise for her "unflagging commitment to business and human rights."The Washington, DC-based practitioneradvises NGOs,