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Breaking down Ontario's prostitution ruling

1. Hookers can hire bodyguards next month

Criminal Code: Prohibits anyone, including pimps and security personnel, from profiting from acts of prostitution by another individual.

What the court did: It rewrote a key phrase in the section to state that charges can be laid only against one who lives off the avails "in circumstances of exploitation."

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Effect on the trial ruling: The decision largely upheld Judge Himel on this point.

The upshot: Twenty-nine days from now, prostitutes will be able to hire drivers, escorts or security guards to protect them.

2. Brothels legal next year

Criminal Code: Prohibits the operation of a common bawdy house. It prevents prostitutes from servicing clients at fixed indoor locations, including brothels or their own homes.

What the court did: It struck down the provision as a violation of the Charter right to life, liberty and security of the person. It said the law increases the danger to prostitutes by forcing them into seclusion, where they are at the mercy of violent clients.

Effect on the trial ruling: It was closely aligned with Ontario Superior Court Judge Susan Himel's decision.

The upshot: The decision comes into effect after one year. Prostitutes and entrepreneurs can then operate brothels subject to municipal regulations. Prostitutes can conduct transactions with clients without fear of criminal charges.

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3. Soliciting still illegal



Criminal Code : Prohibits communicating for the purposes of prostitution in public.

What the court did: It left the section intact. It said the provision was properly tailored to meet its stated objective of denying prostitutes and their clients an opportunity to disrupt communities with noisy or unsavoury negotiations.

Effect on the trial ruling: The decision overturned Justice Himel on this point.

The upshot: Street prostitution continues to be outlawed since any public communication between prostitutes and prospective customers would violate the law.











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