Supreme Court Tosses Canada's Prostitution Laws: 5 Things To Know

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Peter Cade via Getty Images
Peter Cade via Getty Images

OTTAWA - Here are five things to know about Friday's Supreme Court of Canada ruling on prostitution:

WHAT: The Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the key provisions of the country's anti-prostitution laws, banning brothels, solicitation and living off the avails are unconstitutional.


WHY: The justices ruled unanimously that these provisions violate constitutional guarantees of life, liberty and security of the person.


WHO: The case originated with an Ontario case brought by retired dominatrix Terri-Jean Bedford, Vancouver sex worker Amy Lebovitch and former prostitute Valerie Scott, of Toronto.


WHEN: The court delayed the effect of its ruling for a year, to allow Parliament to produce a new, constitutionally acceptable law.


NEXT: The matter now rests with the Harper government. Justice Minister Peter MacKay said 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."


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