Ontario court ruling Monday could set new legal precedents for prostitution laws - Macleans.ca

Ontario court ruling Monday could set new legal precedents for prostitution laws

A ruling on prostitution is expected to set a legal precedent in Ontario


On Monday, the Ontario Court of Appeal will reveal its decision on the legality of Canadian prostitution laws, reports the Globe and Mail. The court must say whether it upholds a decision by Ontario Superior Court Judge Susan Himel, who struck down the laws governing pimping, keeping a brothel and communicating for the purposes of prostitution. If the Court of Appeal agrees with this view, certain aspects of prostitution would become legal.

From the Globe:

“By increasing the risk of harm to street prostitutes, the communicating law is simply too high a price to pay for the alleviation of social nuisance,” Judge Himel said. “I find that the danger faced by prostitutes greatly outweighs any harm which may be faced by the public.” (…)

Should the Court of Appeal uphold Judge Himel’s judgment, it will almost certainly lead to the creation of brothels, legalized pimping and open communication between prostitutes and prospective clients.

Monday’s ruling, whatever it is, is expected to set legal precedent in Ontario and will certainly influence an eventual decision by the Canadian Supreme Court on the matter.

An Angus Reid poll last year showed Canadians are deeply divided on how to deal with prostitution laws:  36 per cent believe the Criminal Code provisions related to communication and brothels are fair to the purpose of protecting the public good. But 47 per cent think the rules are unfair and force prostitutes into unsafe situations.


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