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Elise Groulx Diggs
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Recently Elise has increased her presence in the field of BHR focusing on inter-corporations, multi-party conflicts relative to labor, environmental and human rights issues.

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Investor-State Mediation
IMI Certified Mediator
Canada, France, United States
Business, Community, Environment, International, Labour, Social
English, French, Spanish
The Mediators' Green Pledge outlines measures for mediators to reduce their climate impact. View it here.
IFCM - Institut Français de Certification des Médiateurs
Mediation Profile

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 ( 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" :

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, governmental bodies and corporations on human rights due diligence, legislation drafting and the development of frameworks for policy implementation. Groulx Diggs is also active in various research projects designed to promote corporate social responsibility and tackle issues of modern slavery. She is picked out for her expertise on the French Duty of Vigilance law. Another interviewee says: "She is extraordinarily knowledgeable about the multiple forms of hard and soft law across the world that relates to business and human rights. She also has an extraordinary network of contacts in the public and private sector that give her unparalleled access to thought leaders around the globe. » 

My facilitative approach is focused on building active dialogue and consensus. I take great care to establish a fair process and ensuring perception of fairness by all parties. I establish clear rules at the beginning of the mediation and make sure they are well understood and accepted. I give space to the parties to express themselves freely while maintaining strict confidentiality. This is key to establishing the credibility and the legitimacy of the mediator as a neutral actor focused on proposing creative solutions to resolve the conflict in the short term but also over the long term.

I engage in the process to ensure that all parties are heard, their needs recognized and addressed to enable a continued participation. I look for creativity when facing challenges in the international public sector and in disputes involving international business.

Strong leadership skills and a resilient personality who never gives up.  Conveying the positive role of mediation – key in reducing tensions. Recognised for being truly independent; demonstrating impartiality and neutrality from the outset to guarantee the long-term success of the mediation process.

Dynamic personality with sound judgment pivotal to help provide solutions in a number of mediations. Time and costs conscious while looking for results in a proces the parites feel they control.

Important features since the parties often express strong positions and assertive opinions about what they want, what they think are their “rights” and what they believe the resolution should bring to their side. Strong listening skills while conducting my own fact finding mission enables me to create a safe space leading to a lively discussion and helps a better understanding of the issues at hand both quickly and thoroughly. Favourable to using meetings “one on one” or caucuses as much as possible to capture what the parties need (including being heard) and how they want to resolve the dispute. Patient and generous with my time in order to arrive at a solution agreeable to all, in a reasonable time. Strength in bringing people/ organisations and groups together and creating strong partnerships.

Human Rights, International affairs, Government agencies, NGOs, Labour Rights, Climate Justice and Energy with a focus on affected communities and indigenous rights. Sexual violence and harassment and gender issues.

Help lawyers and other professionals deal  with conflicts of interest and other complex issues, learning to work together across cultural and other boundaries including matters of ethics. Also competent to deal with civil, commercial and bilateral investment treaties, international public law, peace, treaties and a wide array of issues in the field of dispute resolution.

May vary depending on the type and length of mediation. I usually work at an hourly rate but willing to accept a daily rate. My fees will vary according both to the type of mediation, the resources of the parties the context, including the geography. I am flexible and open to discuss fees that are acceptable to all concerned.

  • Door Tenant 9 Bedford Row Chambers (London, UK)
  • Licensed as a lawyer by the Québec Bar Association
  • Licensed as a lawyer by the Paris Bar Association
  • Licensed legal consultant by the New York Bar Association
  • Co-Director Program Lawyers, Business and Human Rights, Georgetown Univ. Law Center Ethics & the Legal Profession (Washington, DC, USA) 
  • American Bar Association Foundation
  • Accredited mediator - Quebec Bar Association
  • Accredited mediator France-Québec panel 
  • Certified by the Institut Français de Certification des Médiateurs (IFCM)
  • Certified Mediator with the International Mediation Institute (IMI)
  • Certified as a Peacemaker by the Center for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR)
  • Chair of the ABA Business and Human Rights Initiative
  • Past Chair of the International Bar Association, Business and Human Rights Committee
  • Founding member of Cercle K2 and member of Cercle K2 ethical committee (Paris, France)
Training and Education

I was trained as a mediator in Montréal, Canada, by my Bar Association, the Québec Bar Association. I was formally accredited by the Québec Bar Association. I am also an accredited member of the France-Quebec panel of mediators. I followed additional training with the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in Paris. I am qualified as a mediator by the Institut Français de certification de médiation (IFCM) (Paris, France).