A reminder: the Supreme Court of Canada will hear on June 13th the Terri Jean Bedford case.
Here's the Supreme Court's summary:
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.),  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).
In another thread, I had provided some information on the (numerous) interveners in the case.
Having now glanced at the factums produced by the interveners, I can now provide some more information on the various positions that are being advanced, in the event that is of interest to some of you. (This gives a much better portrait of the positions than the mere enumeration of my earlier post in the other thread.)
Here are the "pro-criminalization" interveners:
- The Quebec Attorney General takes the position that all three provisions are constitutional.
- The Christian Legal Fellowship, the Catholic Civil Rights League and REAL Women of Canada [obligatory shudder] submit a joint factum in which they argue that the bawdy-house and living on the avails provision are constitutional (they do not discuss the communication provision, but they obviously support the Court of Appeal's conclusion that it is constitutional)
- The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada takes the position that all three provisions are constitutional
Here are the "mixed bag" interveners (note: these groups are "mixed" only WRT their approach to the constitutionality of the provisions; these are all groups who adopt an abolitionist perspective):
- The AWCEP Asian Women Society for Equality, operating as Asian Women Coalition Ending Prostitution (Asian Women) takes the position that the living on the avails provision is constitutional and that the bawdy-house provision "cannot constitutionally apply to prostituted persons" but that it is constitutional "insofar as it creates offences committed by persons, such as pimps and buyers, etc., other than prostitued persons"
- The Canadian Association of Sexual Assault Centres, Native Women’s Association of Canada, Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies, Action Ontarienne contre la Violence Faite aux Femmes, la Concertation des Luttes contre l’Exploitation Sexuelle, Le Regroupement Québécois des Centres d’Aide et de Lutte contre les Agressions à Caractère Sexuel and Vancouver Rape Relief Society, intervening as the Women’s Coalition for the Abolition of Prostitution, submit that s. 210(2)(a) [inmate of a bawdy house] is unconstitutional in its entirety, and s. 210(1) [keeping a bawdy house] and s. 213 [communicating] are unconstitutional only to the extent that they apply to prostituted persons. They further submit that s. 210 [keeping a bawdy house], s. 210(2)(b) [found-in at a bawdy house], s. 210(2)(c) [knowingly permitting a bawdy house], s. 212(1)(j) [living on the avails] and s. 213 [communicating] are constitutional to the extent that they apply to johns, brothel owners, and pimps/profiteers.
Here are the "pro-decriminalization" interveners:
- The Aboriginal Legal Services of Toronto intervener focuses on the communication provision, which they argue is unconstitutional. They also support the Court of Appeal's finding (of unconstitionality) on the two other provisions.
- The Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, the British Columbia Centre for Excellence on HIV/AIDS, the HIV & AIDS Legal Clinic Ontario submit a joint factum arguing that the three provisions are unconstitutional and that the living on the avails provision should be struck down rather than modified by reading in the words "in circumstances of exploitation"
- The Institut Simone de Beauvoir espouses the orders sought by the Respondents. The factum focuses on harm theory and discusses the bawdy-house and communication provisions.
- The British Columbia Civil Liberties Association focuses on the communication provision, which it argues is unconstitutional
- The Downtown Eastside Sex Workers United Against Violence Society, PACE Society and Pivot Legal Society submit a joint factum that espouses the Respondents' positions and focuses on the communication provision, which it argues is unconstitutional
- The Secretariat of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS advances a general argument in favor of decriminalization of sex work
- * The David Asper Centre for Constitutional Rights advances an argument restricted to the sole matter of stare decisis. However, it seems to find no fault with Himel J.'s decision, so I'm putting the intervener in this list
Hope some find this useful.