A blog of the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Criminal Justice Section

Legalized brothels ruling to be appealed to top court

CBC News

Posted: Apr 25, 2012 3:10 PM ET

Last Updated: Apr 25, 2012 5:02 PM ET

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Sex workers Terri-Jean Bedford, left, and Valerie Scott, right, react to the Ontario Court of Appeal’s decision in March to strike down a ban on brothels.Sex workers Terri-Jean Bedford, left, and Valerie Scott, right, react to the Ontario Court of Appeal’s decision in March to strike down a ban on brothels. (Patrick Morrell/CBC)

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The federal government will appeal to the Supreme Court a recent lower court ruling that sex workers can legally ply their trade indoors.

Minister of Justice Rob Nicholson and Attorney General of Ontario John Gerretsen announced the appeal in a statement Wednesday.

“After careful consideration… the government of Canada will seek leave to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court of Canada,” the statement read.

The Ontario Court of Appeal released a decision on March 26 upholding an earlier ruling by Superior Court Judge Susan G. Himel that three provisions of the Criminal Code relating to prostitution should be struck because they are unconstitutional.

The Appeal Court agreed with two-thirds of Himel’s ruling, including that the provisions prohibiting common bawdy houses and living off the avails of prostitution are both unconstitutional in their current form.

However, the Appeal Court affirmed the validity of the offence of communicating in public for the purpose of prostitution.

The federal and provincial governments had appealed Himel’s decision.

The court gave the federal government 30 days to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.

In March, Nicholson had hinted that an appeal would be likely saying that “prostitution is bad for society and harmful to communities, women and vulnerable persons.”

“The government of Canada is pleased that the Court of Appeal affirmed the validity of the offence of communicating in public for the purpose of prostitution,” the release said Wednesday.

“However, the government is of the view that a binding, national decision is needed on the constitutionality of Criminal Code (section) 210 (keeping a common bawdy house.)”

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/story/2012/04/25/ontario-federal-appeal-sex-trade.html

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