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Ontario Superior Court ruling on Canada’s existing prostitution laws

Ontario Superior Court ruling on Canada’s existing prostitution laws

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Published by Cecilia C Chung
In her decision, Justice Susan Himel effectively struck down the Criminal Code provisions dealing with living off the avails of prostitution, keeping a common bawdy house, and communicating for the purposes of prostitution.
In her decision, Justice Susan Himel effectively struck down the Criminal Code provisions dealing with living off the avails of prostitution, keeping a common bawdy house, and communicating for the purposes of prostitution.

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Published by: Cecilia C Chung on Oct 19, 2010
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05/12/2014

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f) Dr. Barbara Sullivan - She has a Ph.D. and is a senior lecturer in political science at
the University of Queensland, Australia. Her scholarly studies have focused on
prostitution-related issues. She concluded that indoor prostitution reduces the risk of
violence to prostitutes and that decriminalization does not result in the growth of the
sex industry. She was very critical of Dr. Mary Sullivan’s assertions regarding the
effects of decriminalization across Australia.

g) Dr. Ronald Weitzer - He is a Professor of sociology at George Washington
University in Washington, D.C. He holds a Ph.D. in sociology from the University
of California, Berkeley. He is an expert on research on the sex industry. His
comments focused upon the research methodology of Drs. Farley and Raymond. He
was critical of Dr. Farley’s conclusions on the brothel system in Nevada.

[182] In reviewing the extensive record presented, I was struck by the fact that many of those
proffered as experts to provide international evidence to this court had entered the realm of
advocacy and had given evidence in a manner that was designed to persuade rather than assist
the court. For example, some experts made bold assertions without properly outlined bases for
their claims and were unwilling to qualify their opinions in the face of new facts provided. While
it is natural for persons immersed in a field of study to begin to take positions as a result of their
research over time, where these witnesses act primarily as advocates, their opinions are of lesser
value to the court.

[183] The evidence from some of these witnesses tended to focus upon issues that are, in my
view, incidental to the case at bar, including human trafficking, sex tourism, and child
prostitution. While important, none of these issues are directly relevant to assessing potential
violations of the Charter rights of the applicants.

[184] Fortunately, these witnesses relied in large part upon comprehensive studies generated by
the governments of the foreign jurisdictions that have undergone legal change. I have relied
significantly upon the underlying government reports in summarizing the experiences of foreign
jurisdictions.

2010 ONSC 4264 (CanLII)

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