Focus On

Ottawa appoints two judges to Ontario courts

Friday, April 07, 2017 @ 3:36 PM | By John Chunn

Federal Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould announced judicial appointments to the Ontario Court of Appeal and Superior Court of Justice on April 7.

Ottawa’s appointment process that was begun last October, emphasizes transparency, merit and diversity and will continue to ensure the appointment of jurists who meet the highest standards of excellence and integrity.

David M. Paciocco, a judge of the Ontario Court of Justice in Ottawa, is appointed a judge of the Court of Appeal for Ontario. He replaces Justice John I. Laskin, who elected supernumerary status effective Sept. 1, 2016.

Born in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., in a family with Italian roots and with a maternal grandmother with status in an American Chippewa band, Justice Paciocco earned his law degree from the University of Western Ontario and then pursued graduate studies at the University of Oxford in England.

Paciocco is considered one of Canada's pre-eminent legal minds in the law of evidence and criminal procedure. Throughout his career as an academic and judge, his work has been widely cited by the Supreme Court of Canada, Canadian courts of all levels, the Privy Council and courts in New Zealand and Australia.

Deborah Swartz, a sole practitioner in Kingston, is appointed a judge of the Superior Court of Justice and a member of the family court in Kingston effective April 10.

She will replace Justice Cheryl Robertson, who will become a supernumerary judge effective April 10.

After obtaining her law degree from Queen's University, Justice Swartz went on to practise as an associate at Bishop Law Office in Kingston. There, she maintained a broad practice, including criminal and family law, civil litigation and estate litigation.

In 2006, she opened her own firm as a sole practitioner focusing on family law, mediation, family arbitration and parenting co-ordination.

During this time, she acted for children and young people through the Office of the Children's Lawyer. She has assisted unrepresented litigants for over 20 years as duty counsel and in the Family Law Information Centre.