Summary

34788

Attorney General of Canada, et al. v. Terri Jean Bedford, et al.

(Ontario) (Criminal) (By Leave)

(Sealing order)

Keywords

Canadian charter - criminal - Freedom of expression (s. 2(b)), Criminal law.

Summary

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Charter of Rights and Freedoms - Security of the person - Freedom of Expression - Criminal Law - Prostitution - Does s. 210 of the Criminal Code, R.S.C. 1985, c. C 46, as it relates to common bawdy houses kept or occupied or resorted to for the purpose of prostitution, infringe s. 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms? - If so, is the infringement a reasonable limit prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society under s. 1 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms? - Does section 212(1)(j) of the Criminal Code, R.S.C. 1985, c. C 46, infringe s. 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms? - If so, is the infringement a reasonable limit prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society under s. 1 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms? - Does section 213(1)(c) of the Criminal Code, R.S.C. 1985, c. C 46, infringe s. 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms? - If so, is the infringement a reasonable limit prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society under s. 1 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms? - Does section 213(1)(c) of the Criminal Code, R.S.C. 1985, c. C 46, infringe s. 2(b) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms? - If so, is the infringement a reasonable limit prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society under s. 1 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms?

The respondents, former and current sex trade workers, challenged the constitutional validity of s. 210 (keeping common bawdy houses) as it relates to prostitution, s. 212(1)(j) (living off the avails of prostitution), and s. 213(1)(c) (communicating for the purpose of prostitution) of the Criminal Code. The trial judge held that these provisions breach the respondents’ right to security of the person under s. 7 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and that s. 213(1)(c) breaches s. 2(b) of the Charter. The Court of Appeal allowed an appeal in part. It held that it was not open to the trial judge to review whether s. 213(1)(c) breaches s. 2(b) of the Charter because that issue was decided in Reference Re ss. 193 and 195.1(1)(c) of the Criminal Code (Man.), [1990] 1 S.C.R. 1123. It held that all three provisions infringe the respondents’ security of the person. It held that s. 213(1)(c) does not violate principles of fundamental justice and should remain in force and effect. It held that s. 210 should be struck and the limiting words “in circumstances of exploitation” should be read into s. 212(1)(j).