Canada London, Ont. court case could challenge Canada's prostitution laws

15:26  06 february  2018
15:26  06 february  2018 Source:   cbc.ca

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Canada ' s prostitution laws are being put to the legal test in a London , Ont . courtroom where two people are charged with advertising sexual services, profiting from the sex trade and producing a person to offer sexual services. The first defence expert witness called in the case

Canada ’ s prostitution laws are being put to the legal test in a London , Ont . courtroom where two people are charged with advertising sexual services, profiting from the sex trade and producing a person to offer sexual services. The first defence expert witness called in the case

Canada's prostitution laws could be put to the legal test in a London, Ont. courtroom where two people are charged with human trafficking, advertising sex and profiting from the sex trade.

Hamad Anwar and Tiffany Harvey face more than two dozen sex-related charges, including making money from the sex trade, advertising sexual services, and forcing someone into the sex trade.

The charges relate to a bust made by London police at an escort service in November 2015.

The accused are being represented by well-known Toronto lawyer James Lockyer.

Court documents indicate he will launch a constitutional challenge to the charges on Tuesday.

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Canada ’ s prostitution laws are facing a landmark legal challenge in London . The hearing, which began Tuesday, is part of the trial for two people charged back in 2015 following a bust at a London escort service.

Current laws on prostitution in Canada , introduced in 2014, make it illegal to purchase sexual services but legal to sell them. According to the Canadian Department of Justice

Lockyer declined several interview requests from CBC News.

'We always knew there would be a constitutional challenge'

Experts have predicted it was only a matter of time before Canada's three-year-old prostitution laws, contained in Bill C-36, were challenged.

Edmonton Police estimate only 20% of the city's sex trade is on the street. 80% is on-line.© CBC Edmonton Police estimate only 20% of the city's sex trade is on the street. 80% is on-line.

The new laws criminalize the advertising and buying of sex — but decriminalize its sale.

Proponents say it's the right model because it punishes the clients of people who work in the sex trade.

But opponents say the laws force sex work further underground and criminalize advertising sex, which allows those in the sex trade to screen their clients ahead of a meeting.

"Prostitution is male violence against women, which is a serious barrier to gender equality and is incompatible with the internationally-accepted principles of human rights," said Megan Walker, the executive director of the London Abused Women's Centre.

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The passage of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in 1982 allowed for the provision of challenging the constitutionality of laws governing prostitution law in Canada in addition to interpretative case law .

London , Ont . court case to challenge Canada ' s prostitution laws . 'Confused' prostitution bill can 't be fixed, Bedford lawyer says. An academic testifying about Canada ' s prostitution laws says decriminalization would disproportionately affect Indigenous women and girls.

"We always knew there would be a constitutional challenge. I think it's good to have some closure on this, although I recognize that getting to the Supreme Court could be years away. It will highlight the issues and I am confident that at the end of the day, the ruling will stand."

Canada's new prostitution laws were passed at the end of 2014.

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Source: http://ca.pressfrom.com/news/canada/-62530-london-ont-court-case-could-challenge-canadas-prostitution-laws/

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