Professor Palma Paciocco’s teaching and research interests are in the areas of criminal law and theory, criminal procedure, evidence, sentencing, and professional ethics. Her scholarship has examined a wide variety of criminal justice issues, including the privacy interests of criminal suspects, the mental states that ought to attract criminal liability, and the role of prosecutors in determining sentencing outcomes. Her doctoral dissertation, which she completed as a SSHRC Doctoral Fellow at Harvard Law School, considers the ethical obligations of prosecutors engaged in plea-bargaining.
Before beginning her doctoral studies, Professor Paciocco completed the Harvard Law School LLM program as a Thomas Shearer Stewart Travelling Fellow and a Landon H. Gammon Fellow. She holds BCL and LLB degrees from the McGill Faculty of Law, where she was awarded the gold medal, and a BA in philosophy and history from the McGill Faculty of Arts. Professor Paciocco served as a law clerk to the Honourable Justice Louise Charron of the Supreme Court of Canada. She is called to the bars of Ontario and New York.
Research Interests: Criminal Law and Theory, Criminal Procedure, Sentencing Law, the Law of Evidence, Professional Ethics, Law and the Humanities
Graduate Research Supervision (LLM, PhD): Professor Paciocco's areas of research interest include criminal law and theory, criminal procedure, criminal sentencing, the law of evidence, and professional ethics. Her current and recent research projects examine plea bargaining, the role of discretion within the criminal justice system, the ethical obligations of Crown prosecutors, and the relationship between the theatricality of criminal processes and the conduct of various criminal justice participants. Her primary methodological orientation is law and the humanities, broadly conceived, with a particular focus on practical ethics, philosophy of law, and dramaturgy. She is also interested in doctrinal analyses of recent developments in the criminal law and the law of evidence, and is active in continuing legal education programs for members of the bar and bench.
Professor Paciocco is willing to read preliminary proposals from strong students in the areas of interest listed, and comment on interest in supervision prior to submission of an official application.