Sylvia Rich
Sylvia Rich
Professeure adjointe


I joined the law faculty at the University of Ottawa as an assistant professor in 2019. I hold a B.A. from Concordia University, an LL.B./B.C.L. from McGill University and a D.Phil. from the University of Oxford.

In 2007-2008, I clerked for the Hon. Justice Ian Binnie at the Supreme Court of Canada. After this I worked as an associate attorney in litigation in the New York office of Ropes & Gray, LLP. I was called to the Bars in Ontario and in New York in 2009.

My doctoral work focussed on philosophical questions related to corporate-entity crime, such as what it means to form an intention as a group, and how to apply the criminal law’s principles of moral responsibility to non-natural persons. During my DPhil, I taught at Christ Church College and St Catharine’s College, Oxford, and worked as a researcher at the Sentencing Council for England and Wales. My DPhil research was supported by the Fonds de recherche Québec: Société et Culture.

After finishing my doctorate, I worked as a senior advisor to the Director General of Environmental Enforcement at Environment and Climate Change Canada on topics that were a practical corollary to the theoretical questions of my DPhil, namely principles of exculpation and sentencing for corporate environmental offenders. This led to other work in environmental policy at Transport Canada and at ECCC. My academic articles have appeared in Criminal Law and Philosophy and The Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence. My current research interests lie in the areas of criminal law, corporate malfeasance, philosophy of law, critical legal theory, sociology of law, sentencing, and related topics.