Saturday, 21 December 2013

Prostitution is effectively decriminalized in Canada, but it could be worse

The Surpreme Court of Canada has struck down all laws regarding prostitution, most of which were based on "nuisance laws".  By striking down the laws, the court has effectively decriminalized prostitution (there's a difference between decriminalization and legalization).  If you think this decision is bad, it could be worse.

I'm no fan of legalized prostitution, though I'm also onside with full protection - legal and physical - of those who sell sex.  Those who sell should be allowed to work (yes, it is work) in positions of safety.  Legalized brothels with security guards would prevent violence and other crime perpetrated against sex workers.  And it also protects the Johns, since they don't have to worry about "some psycho with a knife".  (Then again, if they're so worried, why aren't they buying a porno magazine and servicing themselves in safety?)

Those who sell sex are not the cause of the problem.  Prostitution exists because there is a demand for it.  If you want to stop prostitution, if you want to prosecute someone involved in it, target the Johns.  No Johns, no prostutition.

Supreme Court of Canada strikes down federal criminal prostitution laws
Ottawa given one-year grace period to redraft scheme
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.
The stunning judgment that the country’s main prostitution laws breach fundamental Charter rights was a unanimous conclusion reached by all nine judges, including the retiring Justice Morris Fish. The court flatly rejected calls by the federal government’s lawyers to defer to Parliament on the contentious matter.
“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 at issue 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.”

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments, challenges and questions are welcome. Only a coward doesn't allow people to disagree with him.

Spam of any sort will be removed. That includes "cut and paste" crap, unacceptable links, or anything unrelated to the topic at hand.