Supreme Court strikes down sex work laws

The Supreme Court of Canada has struck down the Criminal Code provisions relating to prostitution including living off avails of prostitution, operating a bawdy house, and communicating in public for the purpose of prostitution.

In a decision written by the Chief Justice, the court said:
“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 risk.” (para 60)

Many social justice organizations intervened and supported this ruling including PIVOT Legal, Sex Workers United Against Violence (SUAV), PACE Society, and BC Civil Liberties Association.