Janet Mosher

York University

Professor Mosher joined Osgoode Hall Law School’s faculty in 2001 after teaching at the Faculty of Law and the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Toronto, where she was also the Director of the Combined LLB/MSW program. She has practised as an associate in the areas of labour law, constitutional law and general civil litigation. From 2001 to 2004, she was the Academic Director of the Intensive Program in Poverty Law at Parkdale Community Legal Services. Her research has focused on legal interventions that impact upon women abused in their intimate relationships, and she is currently engaged in a research project exploring the multiple ways in which state policies and practices are implicated in sustaining woman abuse. She has also published on poverty law, access to justice for disadvantaged groups, legal aid, and legal ethics. Professor Mosher is co-editor of Disorderly People: Law and the Politics of Exclusion in Ontario (Halifax: Fernwood Press, 2002), co-author of the reports, Walking on Eggshells, Abused Women’s Experiences of Ontario’s Welfare System, April, 2004 and Welfare Fraud: The Constitution of Social Assistance as Crime, March, 2005 and co-author of Law for Social Workers (Toronto: Thomson Carswell, 2008). She is currently the English language editor of the Canadian Journal of Women and the Law.

Areas of interest: Poverty Law, Access to Justice, Legal Ethics, Legal Process, Clinical Education, Feminist Legal Studies

  • Disorderly People

    Law and the Politics of Exclusion in Ontario

    By Joe Hermer and Janet Mosher     January 2002

    The Ontario Safe Streets Act is the first modern provincial law to prohibit a wide range of begging and squeegee work in public space. This Act is representative of a much wider set of reforms that the Ontario government has carried out in the administration of criminal justice and social welfare. Central to the neo-conservative character of these reforms has been the construction of “disorderly people,” of those portrayed as “welfare cheats,” “squeegee kids,” “aggressive beggars,” “violent youth” and “coddled prisoners.” Drawing from their expertise in law, sociology, criminology and geography, contributors to this collection make visible the role of law in the practices and logic of a government that polices “public” safety through the exclusion and punishment of some of the most vulnerable people in society. Essays in this collection critique the constitutional soundness of the Safe Streets Act. They document the everyday lives of squeegee workers, map the moral geography of the city, explore the “commodification of crime,” examine the shrinking of both the public and private spaces of the poor, and investigate the “penalty of cruelty” that now characterizes Ontario corrections policy.