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Prostitution laws go back before the courts

Federal and Ontario governments appeal ruling that struck down existing laws


 

The federal and Ontario governments’ appeal of an Ontario Superior Court decision last fall which struck down several key prostitution laws, began on Monday. Last year, Ontario Justice Susan Himel overturned three anti-prostitution laws that were ruled to endanger sex workers—keeping a common bawdy house, communicating for the purposes of prostitution, and living on the avails of the trade. Alan Young, a York University law professor who represent sex trade workers, argues that making communication for the purposes of prostitution illegal prevents sex workers from being able to “screen” their potential clients or take necessary safety precautions. Terri-Jean Bedford, an outspoken advocate for the legalization of prostitution and a practicing dominatrix, and two other sex workers, Valerie Scott and Amy Lebovitch, are the three litigants who have maintained that the existing laws expose them to violence on the streets. The Crown is appealing Judge Himel’s ruling on the basis that prostitution is a degrading criminal pursuit that should not be encouraged under relaxed laws, which themselves do little to protect sex workers from violence. Young says he expects that regardless of the outcome of the appeal, the case will most likely be argued at the Supreme Court of Canada.

CBC News


 
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Prostitution laws go back before the courts

  1. What the heck; almost nothing is illegal anymore, so why not prostitution.

    I won’t even comment on whether the folks who are deciding the issue are client. :)

    • Indeed, we shouldn’t be making any consensual activities among adults illegal if they don’t hurt third parties.  So I’m glad you agree that the fewer of these types of things that are illegal, the better off we are.

  2. The only response we can have to the failed prohibition of prostitution is harsher sentences. Sure, it will lead to more abuse, death, exploitation, disease, drug use etc., while lining the pockets of organized crime, but my moral sense will feel much better knowing the misery is confined to not my community and not my social network for the most part.

    The alternative would be for the government to get out of the legislating morality business… which would leave a lot of prison infrastructure idle.

  3. Just another on the long list of prohibitions that have done nothing but exacerbate social problems and social inequity. As long as we insist on confusing normal human behaviours we “don’t like” with actual crime, we’re never going to get the real crime under control.

    You’d think at the very least we’d want to stop gift wrapping and giving such lucrative markets to organized crime to do with as they please.

    I say it a lot, but I’ll repeat it anyways, kids have a hard time getting their hands on cigarettes and alcohol, but under our current regime, they can get laid and high without so much as an ID check.

    I mean come on.

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