By Daniel Proussalidis ,Parliamentary Bureau First posted: Thursday, December 19, 2013 04:56 PM EST | Updated: Thursday, December 19, 2013 05:01 PM EST
OTTAWA — The Supreme Court of Canada is poised to hand down a ruling Friday that could rip up the nation's prostitution laws.
The decision follows a constitutional challenge started by three women, including dominatrix and former prostitute Terri Jean Bedford.
Bedford has said she's fighting for freedom and personal safety.
"We have every right to protect ourselves. We have every right to have sex with who we want, when we want, wherever we want," Bedford said at a June rally in Toronto.
Bedford and her team appealed an Ontario Court of Appeal's decision in March to uphold the ban on communicating for the purpose of prostitution.
The federal and Ontario governments appealed two other parts of the decision — striking down the law against brothels, and limiting the ban on living off the avails of prostitutions to cases of exploitation.
Since their June hearing, Supreme Court justices have had to grapple with a key question — whether the laws endanger prostitutes by forcing them to walk the streets, violating their charter right to personal security.
Ontario's government has argued that prostitution is by its nature dangerous, so hookers' "personal choices to engage in particular commercial activities" don't automatically get Charter protection.
Others took a different approach before the court.
Citing studies by the RCMP, legal scholar Catharine McKinnon and University of Rhode Island professor Donna Hughes, the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada argued before the high court that there is "a high degree of correlation between the legalization of prostitution related activities and an increase in human trafficking."
Prostitution laws to be decided by Supreme Court on Friday | Canada | News | Ottawa Sun
I'd be interested to see those RCMP studies because I would think the more open and transparent, the less likely the criminal element would get their hands into it. It could be an interesting Friday.