Ont CA: bawdy house ban is unconstitutional

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Ont CA: bawdy house ban is unconstitutional

Postby PPSC Lawyer » Mon Mar 26, 2012 12:17 pm

ABout a year and a half ago there was an Ontario trial court decision which held that most of Canada's laws against prostitution were unconstitutional. I know there was a thread on it here, but I couldn't find it.

Well today the Ontario Court of Appeal has chimed in. I'm just skimming the rather massive decision, but they held that laws against communication in public are fine and overturned the trial decision, but that the laws on keeping a bawdy house are unconstitutional, and have severaly narrowed the laws on living off the avails.

http://www.ontariocourts.ca/decisions/2 ... CA0186.htm
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Re: Ont CA: bawdy house ban is unconstitutional

Postby Mongo » Mon Mar 26, 2012 4:16 pm

Party time! Which way to the chicken ranch??
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Re: Ont CA: bawdy house ban is unconstitutional

Postby Canadian Blue » Mon Mar 26, 2012 9:39 pm

What happened to the days when our laws were made by Parliament?

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Re: Ont CA: bawdy house ban is unconstitutional

Postby GoodWitness » Tue Mar 27, 2012 12:03 am

If there's the political will to draft an amendment replacing what they have found violates the Charter, they've given them a year to do it before this decision takes effect, so if there's a will to keep things more or less as they've been it will get done.

We suspend this declaration of invalidity for 12 months to give Parliament an opportunity to draft a Charter-compliant bawdy-house provision, should it elect to do so.


All this will do is make it easier to abuse underage girls and other vulnerable women under the guise of a "respectable" business.

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Re: Ont CA: bawdy house ban is unconstitutional

Postby gotchya » Tue Mar 27, 2012 2:13 am

Canadian Blue wrote:What happened to the days when our laws were made by Parliament?

I whole heartily agree, the role of making decision based on public policy should be left to elected officials, only when those laws are so gratuitous should they be struck out. There should be a presumption that the legislators are acting in good faith.

I hope that the Supreme Court overturns the decision and decrees that in our democracy Parliament makes laws and the courts should respect the intent of Parliament.

I mean, the preamble to the Charter holds this value:
1. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the rights and freedoms set out in it subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.


I really see the prostitution issue as minor in comparison to the recent writings of the courts whereby they strike case law down rather quickly without giving Parliament some deference.

The writers of the constitution envisioned 3 branches of the state, the executive, the judiciary, and the legislature each having varying responsibilities all equally important, however, when one oversteps their boundaries they do so at the peril of democracy and the rule of law.
"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."-Burke, Edmund
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Re: Ont CA: bawdy house ban is unconstitutional

Postby PPSC Lawyer » Tue Mar 27, 2012 9:50 am

There clearly are cases when the courts should step in and strike down legislation. If a branch of government passes a law that unfairly infringes on a Charter ground that is what the courts are for.

A case like this though... it involves carefully weighing several competing public policy issues. I am unconvinced the best place to weigh those issues is in a courtroom.
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Re: Ont CA: bawdy house ban is unconstitutional

Postby gotchya » Tue Mar 27, 2012 9:56 am

PPSC Lawyer wrote:There clearly are cases when the courts should step in and strike down legislation. If a branch of government passes a law that unfairly infringes on a Charter ground that is what the courts are for.

I didn't say it can't happen, I just don't think it should be as readily as it is, the courts should provide some deference to Parliament and the Executive, intervening when the law is so gratuitous that it's defect easily visible and not flowing from logic (i.e. patently unreasonable)
"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."-Burke, Edmund
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