Passings: Osgoode Hall Law School Professor Emerita Sharon Williams was a distinguished faculty member

Featured image of Sharon Williams
Sharon Williams
Sharon Williams

Osgoode Hall Law School Professor Emerita Sharon Williams died at her home following a long illness. Prof. Williams was a distinguished member of the Osgoode faculty. She was born in Wales, and after completing her LLB at the University of Exeter, she earned her LLM and DJur at Osgoode, under the supervision of Professor Jean-Gabriel Castel. After joining the faculty in 1977, she taught Torts, played an important role in expanding the curriculum in international law subjects, rendered long service on the Admissions Committee and provided leadership in the mooting program. She was a noted author and authority on the national and international law of cultural property, and on international criminal law.

The significance of Prof. Williams’ scholarship was recognized by the award of the David Mundell Medal for her contribution to law and letters in Ontario (1991) and her induction as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (1993). She was an engaged scholar, who prepared government reports on the extra-territorial aspects of Canadian criminal law, the denaturalization and deportation of war criminals in Canada, and crimes against humanity. Prof. Williams also served as a consultant to the Canadian Department of Justice on extradition matters and acted as special adviser to the Canadian Delegation at several session of the General Assembly of the United Nations.

Her international stature was reflected by her appointment to the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague (1991-97), and her appointment as a Judge ad litem in The Prosecutor v. Simic et al at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague (2001-2003).

Prof. Williams forged many strong relationships with faculty and staff during her years at Osgoode, made many positive and enduring contributions to the law school. She will be missed by the Osgoode community in many ways. Prof. Williams was predeceased by her parents, Bette and John Williams, who had moved from Wales to live near her in Toronto. She is survived by her daughter, Sarah Cosman (Ryan), her grandsons Noah and Skyler, and Sarah’s father, Robert Cosman.

The memorial service for Prof. Williams will be private.