OTTAWA – The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that Vancouver sex workers can proceed with a legal challenge of the country’s prostitution laws.
The 9-0 ruling dismisses a federal government appeal against the Downtown Eastside Sex Workers United Against Violence Society and former sex worker Sheryl Kiselbach.
The government argued that since no prostitution charges had been laid, the society and Kiselbach lacked the legal standing to pursue the case.
A British Columbia judge agreed with the government, but the provincial court of appeal said the group has public-interest standing and could proceed.
The high court justices today agreed with the appeal court.
The case may be moot, however, since an Ontario Court of Appeal ruling struck down some of the same laws under challenge in the Vancouver case.
The federal government is appealing the Ontario ruling to the Supreme Court of Canada.