Not any more

Canadian government to appeal Ontario prostitution ruling

In Canada on September 29, 2010 at 14:07

OTTAWA — The Harper government will appeal an Ontario court ruling that struck down three federal prostitution laws as unconstitutional.

Justice Minister Rob Nicholson is expected to make a statement Wednesday afternoon confirming the government’s intention to continue the legal battle to preserve Canada’s anti-prostitution laws.

A landmark ruling, handed down Tuesday by the Ontario Superior Court, only strikes down the laws in Ontario, but if it survives an appeal, it will end up being the law in other jurisdictions in Canada.

In a 131-page ruling, Justice Susan Himel wrote that the Criminal Code clauses prohibiting sex workers from running a bawdy house, communicating for the purpose of prostitution and living off the avails of prostitution, put their lives at risk.

"These laws, individually and together, force prostitutes to choose between their liberty interest and their right to security of the person as protected under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms," she said.

Prostitution itself is not illegal. However, many aspects of prostitution have been criminalized by Parliament.

The provisions struck down by the judge relate to adult prostitution and do not affect sex-trade clauses involving people under 18 or measures that allow for the prosecution of pimps in the sex trade.

Nicholson has said he is "very concerned" about the court ruling.

© Copyright (c) Postmedia News

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