Canadian Court Gives Go-Ahead to Brothels and Non-Exploitative Pimping
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Prostitutes won a resounding victory in Ontario, Canada, where judges threw out several anti-prostitution laws.
Arguing that the state was placing unconstitutional restrictions on prostitutes’ ability to protect themselves, the five-member Court of Appeal for Ontario voted unanimously to legalize the use of brothels. It also granted prostitutes the ability to hire drivers, bodyguards and support staff.
But living off a prostitute’s income “in circumstances of exploitation,” remains illegal, as does openly soliciting customers on the street, despite the prostitutes’ argument that they need to spend time “assessing potential clients in public.”
The justices said the government’s prohibitions on prostitution implied “that those who choose to engage in the sex trade are for that reason not worthy of the same constitutional protection as those who engage in other dangerous, but legal enterprises.”
Before the ruling, prostitution was legal, but many of its activities, like operating a brothel, were illegal.
The provincial government intends to appeal the decision to the Canadian Supreme Court, which may hear the case in the fall or early next year.
To Learn More:
Ontario Court of Appeal Greenlights Brothels, Sweeps Aside Many of Canada’s Anti-Prostitution Laws (by Adrian Humphreys, National Post)
Landmark Ruling Legalizes Ontario Brothels (by Kirk Makin, Globe and Mail)
Court Ruling (Ontario Superior Court of Justice) (pdf)
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