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Listing last updated: February 22, 2018

COURT RECORDS

  • Supreme Court of Canada The King v. Betty Cohen 1939: Held: Accused kept "a common bawdy house" within the definition of that term in s.225 of the Criminal Code. A common bawdy house is a house, room, set of rooms or place of any kind for purposes of prostitution or for the practice of acts of indecency, or occupied or resorted to by one or more persons for such purposes.
  • Supreme Court of Canada Patricia Patterson v. The Queen 1968: Held: To obtain a conviction of keeping a common bawdy house, the Crown must prove that there had been frequent or habitual use of a place for the purpose of prostitution.
  • Supreme Court of Canada Debra Hutt v. The Queen 1978: The word solicit is not defined in the Code and therefore refence bust be made to established dictionaries. … to accost and importune for immoral purposes … of various definitions of "importune" the following was selected: "To solicit pressing or persistently; to beset with petitions."
  • Supreme Court of Canada The Queen v. Wittler, The Queen v. Galjot 1981: Both cases concerned the meaning of the word "solicit" in s. 195.1 of the Criminal Code. The issue here was whether the persistent or pressing conduct must be found in the actual approach to the person alleged to have been solicited or whether it could be found in repeated earlier approaches to various unknown persons. … With no evidence of what either respondent said in her earlier accostings, it would be improper to draw the inference that she offered herself for prostitution on each occasion. Even if that inference were to be drawn, there is no connection between the earier approaches and the final accosting of the police officer. Each previous accosting was an independent act directed at an unidentified individual and unrelated to the final approaches to the two police officers.
  • Supreme Court of Canada Westendorp v. The Queen 1983: By-Law 9022 of the City of Calgary: the by-law is ultra vires as invading the exclusive federal power in relation to the criminal law. To remain on a street for the purpose of prostitution or to approach another for that purpose was so patently an attempt to control or punish prostitution as to be beyond question.
  • Supreme Court of Canada The Queen v. Dorman Thomas Skinner 1990 and The Attorney General of Canada, the Attorney General for Ontario, the Attorney General of British Columbia, the Attorney General for Saskatchewan, the Attorney General for Alberta and the Canadian Organization for the Rights of Prostitutes: The Code infringes s 2(b) of the Charter but is justifiable under s.1 of the Charter. Dissenting: For the reasons given by the minority … s.195.1(1)(c) of the code infringes the right to freedom of expression guaranteed by s. 2(b) of the Charter and is not saved by s. 1 of the Charter. Section 195.1(1)(c) also infringes the right to freedom of association guaranteed by s.2(d) of the Charter. A provision which prohibits parties from associating with a view to pursuing a lawful common objective infringes s. 2(d), whether that objective is entry into a commercial transaction or some other lawful objective. … So long as it remains lawful to sell sex for money, there is a right to associate with others in order to reach an agreement for that purpose.
  • The Federal Court of Canada: The official Website of the Federal Court of Canada provides online access to federal court decisions from 1990 through the present. The Federal Court has jurisdiction over all cases involving federal statutes and includes both a trial and appellate court. Users can access the court's decisions alphabetically by case name, by date, or by docket number. (outside link)
  • Supreme Court of Canada: Rulings since 1993.
    Maintained by the University of Montreal. (outside link)

Provincial Courts

There are no judgement databases for Manitoba, Ontario, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia.

  • Alberta's Courts: Judgements from the Court of Appeal, the Court of the Queen's Bench and Provincial Court for Alberta. (outside link)
  • British Columbia Superior Courts: Judgements from the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court of British Columbia. (outside link)

Trial transcripts involving laws which prohibit sex work

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Created: January 27, 2000
Last modified: February 22, 2018
CSIS Commercial Sex Information Service
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