Current Legal Debate

Current Legal Debate

Guide to the Issue Clippings
Collection 2014 – 2019
(pdf)

For a full discussion of the background and issues see the materials on the excellent Web site of the Canadian Alliance for Sex Work Law Reform. I have also written and spoke extensively about the dangers of the new law, and my comments are contained in the fourth part of the menu item My Other Writings on this my site.

In April 2021 a Superior Court decision has struck down as unconstitutional major portions of the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act (also referred to as Bill C-36). This was a repeat of the decision in the lower court about a year ago. The government did not appeal that decision, so the law remained intact because it was only a lower court decision.

In addition to this recent ruling, the defendants in the 2020 decision, along with the 25 member groups of the Canadian Alliance for sex work law reform, have since filed a constitutional challenge to the Act. Bedford Versus Canada, along with the ruling of the two courts, will be much cited in the challenge.

So the law passed in 2014 is likely to fall one way or another. The authorities are already becoming reluctant to use the 2014 law except where human trafficking or public nuisances are concerned. The pandemic has largely obscured the debate, but the relevant questions, raised over the years, will be addressed. The private activities of consenting adults in the bedroom or dungeon, and the assistance given to sellers of these activities, will, in time, not be an issue for the state.

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