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Canadian Supreme Court strikes down laws against sex workers

The government has one year to craft anti-prostitution laws that are constitutional or sex work will be legal in Canada.

Supreme Court of Canada strikes down federal criminal prostitution laws | Toronto Star

OTTAWA—In a landmark judgment, the Supreme Court of Canada has unanimously struck down as unconstitutional the main scheme of criminal laws against the buying and selling of sex by prostitutes, saying it endangers the lives and security of vulnerable sex workers.

However, the country’s top court has given Parliament a one-year grace period to redraft a legislative scheme that could pass constitutional muster.

That means if, 12 months from today, the federal government has not redrawn the laws to address the court’s concern that they are too arbitrary, overbroad and “grossly disproportionate,” then prostitutes will be allowed to legally practice their trade, hire drivers, bodyguards, accountants and screen their clients freely.

In the meantime, the Criminal Code ban on brothels, living on the avails of prostitution and communicating for the purposes of prostitution remain in full effect.

Police may continue to lay charges and courts may prosecute those offences. Criminal laws against underage prostitution and human trafficking were not challenged and are untouched by the ruling.
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