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Access to Justice Advocate – Janet Mosher

Nabila Khan, Sabreena Delhon

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Recent reports have underscored the importance of innovation and imagination to the pursuit of access to justice. At the Canadian Forum on Civil Justice, we understand that such efforts come down to people – to advocates.  In an effort to spotlight the diverse range of individuals working across the access to justice landscape, we are pleased to present the Access to Justice Advocates blog series. Each month we will profile someone who brings a unique perspective and makes a valuable contribution to the issue of access to justice. Do you know an access to justice advocate? Let us know at communications@cfcj-fcjc.org.   

Professor Mosher joined the faculty of Osgoode Hall Law School in 2001 after teaching at the Faculties of Law and Social Work at the University of Toronto, where she was also the Director of the Combined LLB/MSW program. Between 2001 to 2005 and 2011 to 2013 she was the Academic Director of Osgoode’s Intensive Program in Poverty Law at Parkdale Community Legal Services. She is presently the Director of Clinical Legal Education at Osgoode and has formerly served as the Associate Dean. Her research has focused on gender violence and legal interventions, access to justice for marginalized populations, welfare policy (welfare fraud in particular), poverty law, homelessness, legal aid, and clinical legal education. Professor Mosher is a member of the Canadian Homelessness Research Network and the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness. She is also a member of the Group Applications and Test Case Committee of Legal Aid Ontario, and formerly served on its Clinic Law Advisory Committee. Professor Mosher is co-editor, with Professor Joan Brockman, of Constructing Crime: Contemporary Processes of Criminalization (2010), and with Professor Joe Hermer, of Disorderly People: Law and the Politics of Exclusion in Ontario (Halifax: Fernwood Press, 2002). She is the co-author of a number of reports including: “Take the Story, Take the Needs, and DO Something: Grassroots Women’s Priorities for Community-Based Participatory Research and Action on Homelessness” (with Emily Paradis, 2012); No Cherries Grow On Our Trees: A Brief by the Take Action Project, A Public Policy Initiative to Address Women’s Poverty and Violence Against Women (with Nora Currie and METRAC, 2008); Welfare Fraud: The Constitution of Social Assistance as Crime (with  Professor Joe Hermer, 2005); and Walking on Eggshells, Abused Women’s Experiences of Ontario’s Welfare System (with Professors Pat Evans and Margaret Little, 2004).  Recent articles include “Accessing justice amid threats of contagion,” (2014) Osgoode Hall Law Journal,  “Human Capital and the Post-scripting of Women’s Poverty,” in Beth Goldblatt and Lucie Lamarche (eds.), Women’s Rights to Social Security and Social Protection (Hart Publishing, 2014), and “Lessons in Access to Justice: Racialized Youths and Ontario’s Safe Schools,” (2008) Osgoode Hall Law Journal.

The Canadian Forum on Civil Justice had the wonderful opportunity to meet Professor Mosher at Osgoode Hall Law School to discuss her work in access to justice. As a researcher and teacher, Professor Mosher spoke to us about conceptualizations of access to justice that stimulate her work, as well as the ways in which the intersection between research and frontline advocacy can play a unique role on the access to justice landscape. Her conceptualization of access to justice redirects access to justice advocacy away from courts and towards broader understandings of justice, power and inequality.

The full length version of the interview can be found here.