Élise Groulx

elise-210x210Member of the Québec Bar for more than 25 years and of the Paris Bar since 2013, Elise Groulx is an expert in international criminal law. Elected president of the first International Criminal Bar (ICB) in 2003, she is now its honorary president. Elise Groulx is also the founder and president of the International Criminal Defence Attorneys Association (ICDAA) founded in 1997 and, in that capacity, played an active role in the work of the Preparatory Commission for an International Criminal Court as part of the Coalition for the ICC (1997-2002). Her involvement was instrumental in the adoption of important changes to the Rules of Procedure and Evidence.

Elise Groulx is a member of the consortium of experts of the French legal association Human Rights Certification (HRC) and, in that capacity, is able to provide her legal expertise on the status of fundamental rights in third countries to the European Commission. Elise Groulx is very involved in the development of a strong and fair international justice system while promoting access to justice in post-conflict societies. As a member of the ICDAA and with the support of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), she worked in collaboration with an American NGO to implement a project to restore the rule of law and establish a legal aid system in Afghanistan.

In the context of the establishment of the International Criminal Court, the legal contours of new forms of complicity between certain multinational executives and heads of state suspected of human rights violations are beginning to emerge. Since 2003, Elise Groulx has developed expertise in this major area opened by the emergence of international criminal law: the criminal liability of business executives in conflict zones. On this topic, Elise Groulx acts as a consultant for multinational companies operating in unstable or conflict-prone areas (Africa, Asia, South America). Elise Groulx has published numerous articles and recently prepared a study leading to the formulation of a “due diligence” framework, that is, a set of preliminary procedures meeting the requirements of the duty of due diligence of a company and its leaders. This legal framework is designed to assist companies in making investment decisions in conflict zones. Elise Groulx has spoken on this issue at the annual meeting of the International Bar Association in San Francisco, the International Economic Forum of the Americas in Montreal, the FAFO Institute in Oslo, and at the Crans Montana Forum in Paris. She also led the preparation of a policy paper of the ICDAA on the same topic, which was submitted to the International Commission of Jurists in Geneva.