In this paper, we formalize the defect-prediction problem as a multiobjective optimization problem. Specifically, we propose an approach, coined as multiobjective defect predictor (MODEP), based on multi-objective forms of machine learning techniques—logistic regression and decision trees specifically—trained using a genetic algorithm. The multiobjective approach allows software engineers to choose predictors achieving a specific compromise between the number of likely defect-prone classes or the number of defects that the analysis would likely discover (effectiveness), and lines of code to be analysed/tested (which can be considered as a proxy of the cost of code inspection). Results of an empirical evaluation on 10 datasets from the PROMISE repository indicate the quantitative superiority of MODEP with respect to single-objective predictors, and with respect to trivial baseline ranking classes by size in ascending or descending order. Also, MODEP outperforms an alternative approach for cross-project prediction, based on local prediction upon clusters of similar classes.