The invisible man: Reflections on the Bedford case

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The Ontario Court of Appeal recently released its judgment in Bedford v. Canada, a case which challenged Canada’s prostitution laws as unconstitutional. The court struck down the law criminalizing brothels but upheld the communication provision, that is the law that criminalizes street prostitution. While some hail this decision as a victory, many believe the decision and the purpose of the case has been misunderstood and misrepresented.

On April 3, 2012 Janine Benedet presented a talk at the University of British Columbia law school, called: "The Invisible Man: Reflections on the Bedford case”. She looks at discourse surrounding the case, representations of the issues, potential implications of the decision, as well as what has been left out of the discussion surrounding prostitution in Canada and in the Bedford case.

Professor Benedet teaches in the fields of criminal law, labour law and sexual assault law. Her main areas of research interests include pornography, labour employment law, and prostitution. She was co-counsel for the intervenor – the Women’s Coalition for the Abolition of Prostitution in the Bedford case.

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