Professor Emeritus Hans Mohr was a leader in Osgoode’s move to interdisciplinarity

Osgoode Hall Law School Professor Emeritus Johann (Hans) Mohr died Friday at age 80 after a brief illness. Professor Mohr, who was born on March 19, 1928, in Graz, Austria, came to Canada in 1953. He was one of the first social scientists appointed to a full-time position on any Canadian law faculty.

Prof. Mohr had a distinguished career as a social worker and psychiatric researcher, including a three-year stint as head of the social pathology section at the Clarke Institute of Psychiatry, before joining the Osgoode faculty in 1969 and serving until 1988 when he took early retirement.

Cross-appointed to York’s Osgoode Hall Law School and the Faculty of Arts and Science, as it was then called, he brought his rich background of research and practical experience in social psychology and psychiatry to the development of new courses and seminars in criminology, law and psychiatry and research methodology.

He took leave from Osgoode for a four-year period in the 1970s to serve as a member of the Law Reform Commission of Canada, and he also participated in many important committees and institutions concerned with criminal justice, psychiatry and the family, including serving as president of the Vanier Institute of the Family.

"A renaissance man in terms of his scholarly interests, Hans was a leader in Osgoode’s movement toward interdisciplinarity," said Osgoode Hall Law School Dean Patrick Monahan. " He made a particular contribution through his work with graduate students, helping them to understand the deep epistemological issues implicit in their research and develop the confidence to address those issues."

Prof. Mohr continued to lead a rich intellectual life in retirement on his farm on Howe Island near Kingston, and remained the best of intellectual companions and the dearest of friends of many Osgoode colleagues. In addition, he was an engaged family man – he and his late wife, Ingeborg, had three children – and he was an ardent nature lover. His granddaughter is a first-year LLB student at Osgoode.

Details on a memorial service will be made available once they have been finalized.