Ontario Prostitution Judgment in Bedford v. Canada

A significant number of people have visited this site recently looking for the new Ontario Superior Court of Justice decision in Bedford v. Canada by Justice Susan G. Himel, relating to the Criminal Code provisions on prostitution.

Sections 210, 212(l)(j), and 213(1)(c) of the Criminal Code were struck down as violating section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and

At para. 170 of the decision Justice Himel cites the 2006 study by the House of Commons Report of the Subcommittee on Solicitation Laws, The Challenge of Change: A Study of Canada’s Criminal Prostitution Laws, which states,

The vulnerability of persons engaging in street prostitution is also related to the fact that they frequently change locations. As a result of an arrest, fear of arrest, or a court order, [street prostitutes] are often forced to move to another area, effectively separating them from friends, co-workers, regular customers and familiar places. A number of witnesses indicated that this instability jeopardizes prostitutes’ health, safety and well-being.

The case has been uploaded here to assist these members of the public in accessing this information.

Bedford v. Canada, 2010 ONSC 4264

A special thanks to Simon Fodden on Slaw and the University of Toronto’s Sexual Diversity Blog for facilitating this process. See LexisNexis for a case summary, and CanLii for the complete text in html.