Palma Paciocco

Associate Professor
Palma Paciocco photo
BA (McGill), BCL/LLB (McGill), SJD (Harvard), of the Bars of Ontario and New York

Professor Palma Paciocco’s teaching and research interests are in the areas of criminal law and theory, criminal procedure, evidence, sentencing, and professional ethics. She holds an SJD from Harvard Law School, where she studied as a SSHRC Doctoral Fellow. Before beginning her doctoral studies, she completed the Harvard Law School LLM program as a Thomas Shearer Stewart Travelling Fellow and a Landon H. Gammon Fellow (degree waived). She also 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, and she is called to the bars of Ontario and New York.

Her scholarship examines a wide variety of criminal justice issues and has been published in leading journals. She is co-author of The Law of Evidence, 8th Ed. (with D.M. Paciocco and L. Steusser, 2020), which is among Canada’s leading texts in evidence law. Her doctoral dissertation examined the ethical obligations of prosecutors engaged in plea bargaining.

Professor Paciocco co-directs the Juris Doctor/Master of Arts in Philosophy Program and is on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Law and Society Association. She is a frequent lecturer at continuing education programs for judges and lawyers. She was awarded the Osgoode Hall Law School Teaching Award in 2018.

Research Interests: Criminal Law and Theory, Criminal Procedure, the Law of Evidence, Sentencing, Professional Ethics, Law and the Humanities.

Graduate Research Supervision (LLM, PhD): Professor Paciocco conducts research in the areas of criminal law and theory, criminal procedure, criminal sentencing, the law of evidence, and professional ethics. Her current research interests include trial delay, expert evidence, plea bargaining, and the exercise of discretion within the criminal justice system. She is particularly interested in working with students whose projects use methodological or theoretical frameworks grounded in socio-legal studies or law and the humanities. She is also interested in doctrinal analyses of recent developments in the criminal law and the law of evidence.

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. She will be away on sabbatical in 2023-2024.