Sylvia Rich
Sylvia Rich
Assistant professor


I joined the law faculty at the University of Ottawa as an assistant professor in 2019. I teach Jurisprudence, Criminal Law and Procedure, and Sentencing Theory and Practice. I also co-chair our clerkship committee. 

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. My doctoral work, co-supervised by John Gardner and Julian Roberts, 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. My DPhil research was supported by the Fonds de recherche Québec: Société et Culture.

During my DPhil, I taught jurisprudence and the philosophy of punishment at Christ Church College and St Catharine’s College, Oxford, and worked as a researcher for the Sentencing Council for England and Wales. In 2007-2008, I clerked for Justice Ian Binnie at the Supreme Court of Canada. I have worked in litigation at a law firm in New York City, and as a senior policy analyst and acting manager in the Canadian public service.

In 2023, I was awarded an Insight Development Grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council to pursue work in the philosophy of punishment. My academic articles have appeared in Jurisprudence, the Canadian Journal of Law and Society, Criminal Law and Philosophy and The Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence, among other places. My current research interests lie in the areas of criminal law, corporate malfeasance, philosophy of law, sociology of law, sentencing, and related topics.