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Lecture 5

LAW 201 Lecture 5: LAW201 Lecture 5 - February 7th, 2017

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Queen's University
LAW 201
Mary Jo Maur

070217 LAW201 Week 5 Criminal Law Bedford v. Canada with the Bedford case, Canada become the first democratic nation where judiciary struck down constitutional laws on prostitution based on the section 7 security of the person a large part of the context in the case is the story of Robert Picton he was convicted in 2007 of the second degree murder of six women these women were all street based sex workers in Vancouver picked by Picton and were taken out to his farm and murdered there he was charged with another 20 murders these murders happened over the course of 10 to 15 years the police neglected to investigate them appropriately the attitude was that they were prostitutes, drug addicts, etc., and that they probably dont want to be found the regulation of prostitution is a difficult policy issue the topic of whether we should be able o trade money for sex touches upon some of the most controversial topics in society ex. issues of religious values, sexual freedom, trauma, the abuse of freedom, feminism often a topic that divides feminists from one another what is the core of your opinion of this issue? what is our view of sex, of morality, of criminal law? some think the workers rights of prostitutes should be protected, just as regular workers rights are Some opening questions Whats bad about prostitution? the idea of exploitation the safety of women, or safety in general theres enhanced vulnerability in that position given the unsanctioned nature of the industry, there are health concerns the issue of sex trafficking we dont know what sex work would look like if it was a normalized, regulated industry, instead of being in an adversarial industry with the police Why do women (and some men and trans people) do prostitution? desperation lack of choice economically, a last resort they like sex What are the arguments in favour of decriminalization decriminalization decreases safety if a sex worker experiences assault she might have a better ability to show up at court without the risks involved (getting arrested, losing children, etc.) reduction of assaults because the assaulter cant get away with it theyre two consenting adults theres limits of the state in a liberal society as long as theres no harm, as theres concept, as its not trafficking, its a matter of individual choice Concerns: to sex workers, to the public Public health disease transmission Commodification of women sexuality Immoral Sin Risk of Violence (inherently Violent?) Lack of choice
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