Supreme Court of Canada Decision

On Behalf of the SPACES team we wish you all a Happy New Year!

Pivot Legal Society has generously shared their brief summary of the court decision below:

On December 20th 2013 the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) delivered a landmark unanimous decision in the case of Attorney General of Canada v. Terri Jean Bedford, Amy Lebovitch and Valerie Scott. Canada’s highest court has ruled that three provisions of Canada’s Criminal Code, s. 210 (keeping or being found in a bawdy house), s. 212(1)(j)(living on the avails of prostitution), and s. 213(1)(c) (communicating in public for the purpose of prostitution) violate the s. 7 right to security of the person protected by the Charter of Rights and FreedomsAll three laws have been struck down.

More specifically,

s. 210 (keeping or being found in a common bawdy house)
The SCC held that the bawdy house law violates sex workers’ constitutionally protected right to security of the person and is struck down. The Court found that this law prevents sex workers from working a fixed location that is safer than working on the street or meeting clients at different locations. (para 64)

s. 212(1)(j) (living on the avails of prostitution)
The SCC held that the living on the avails provision violates sex workers’ constitutionally protected right to security of the person and is struck down.

s. 213(1)(c) (communicating in public for the purpose of prostitution)
The SCC held that the communication law violates sex workers’ constitutionally protected right to security of the person and is struck down.

The full decision in available on the SCC website

This decision has the potential to affect the sex working community, patrons and allies in varying ways. In light of this we have added opportunities during interviews for people to comment on the SCC decision and how these legal changes may influence health and safety.

We look forward to meeting more of you in 2014!