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Ruling due today in B.C. sex-worker case

Lawyers testing prostitution laws in B.C. will find out today whether their three-year-old legal challenge will be allowed to proceed.

Lawyers testing prostitution laws in B.C. will find out today whether their three-year-old legal challenge will be allowed to proceed.

Two weeks ago, Ontario’s Superior Court ruled that three of Canada’s prostitution laws are unconstitutional because they put sex workers at risk.

A judge threw out a similar challenge in B.C. in December 2008, ruling that former sex worker Sheryl Kiselbach and a non-profit organization made up of street-based sex workers did not have the legal standing to challenge the law.

“Our case is brought by sex workers from the Downtown Eastside and it’s driven by their experience,” said Katrina Pacey, a lawyer with Pivot Legal.

The B.C. Court of Appeal will rule today on whether to uphold that decision or allow the case to proceed.

The B.C. case is broader than its Ontario cousin.

It argues, under Section 15 of the charter, that prostitution laws contribute to discrimination against and the inequality of sex workers.

 
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