Canada Strikes Down Prostitution Laws

"The Supreme Court of Canada has struck down the country’s major prostitution laws, saying that bans on street soliciting, brothels and people living off the avails of prostitution create severe dangers for vulnerable women and therefore violate Canadians’ basic values. Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin, writing for a unanimous court, stressed that the ruling is not about whether prostitution should be legal or not, but about whether Parliament’s means of controlling it infringe the constitutional rights of prostitutes. “Parliament has the power to regulate against nuisances, but not at the cost of the health, safety and lives of prostitutes,” she wrote. “The prohibitions all heighten the risks. . . . They do not merely impose conditions on how prostitutes operate. They go a critical step further, by imposing dangerous conditions on prostitution; they prevent people engaged in a risky – but legal – activity from taking steps to protect themselves from the risks.” The court suspended its ruling for one year to give Parliament time to respond. The ball is now back in the court of Justice Minister Peter MacKay, who needs to decide whether to adopt new prohibitions and if so, how to ensure those prohibitions do not fall afoul of the court. Mr. MacKay suggested in a statement that the government will continue to look at prohibiting prostitution in some fashion. The government is “exploring all possible options to ensure the criminal law continues to address the significant harms that flow from prostitution to communities, those engaged in prostitution, and vulnerable persons,” he said." The article goes on from there but you can read it on the website if you like, very in depth. I think this is a step in the right direction and I'm intrigued to see how Canada handles the future prohibitions moving forward. How do you feel about it?

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