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Criminal Justice System - Lecture #5

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York University
Social Science
SOSC 2652
Anna Pratt

Lecture #5 - Politics of Reform: Prostitution in Canada th October 4 , 2012 Introduction to Prostitution: • The exchange of sexual services for money/ other goods/ benefits • Marrying for financial security? 'Victimless' Crimes • Consensual transaction: exchange between willing partners of goods/ services • Public order crime not interpersonal crime • Justification of criminalization: public harms (not private, interpersonal harms) • Public Morals • Public Health - requires regulations, harsh laws (ex. sexual diseases) • Public Order - public space Historical Development of Canada's Prostitution Laws • Canadian approach modeled on 18th Century English common law provisions (ex. bawdy houses - 'houses of ill-fame') and vagrancy • English System: criminalization of prostitution based on public harms (Canada) • Continental System: regulation not criminal prohibition - based largely on public health (Holland and Denmark) Legislative History • Vagrancy Statutes of Nova Scotia Act, 1759 - To remove homeless, undesirable people from streets • Lower Canada Act, 1930 - First law mentioning the arrest of prostitution - 'all common prostitutes not giving a satisfactory account of themselves' - and those frequenting brothels - 1858 - extended to inmates of bawdy houses • 1892 Canadian Criminal Code, until 1972, Vagrancy Provisions - Bawdy houses, streetwalking, living off the avails (pimping), and exploitation of prostitution - 'status' offence - female offence (ex. female = automatic prostitute) • Arrested but not for what you have done, but for who you are • Your identity vs. what you have done • Soliciting Law, 1972 - Not okay to arrest on identity - must be acts -- law vs. morals - Increased Liberal view - should have clear separation - S.195 (1), made it an offence for anyone to solicit in a public place for the purpose of prostitution • 1983, Provisions clarifying gender neutrality - Recognition of gender bias • 1978, SCC Hutt decision - Soliciting must be 'pressing and persistent' - Police resistance, public outcry Politics of Reform • Interest groups: businesses, hotels, middle class property owners, women's groups Major Issues/ Concerns 1.Business/Property owners - public nuisance concerns 2.Women's groups - prostitution as oppression, protection of children and young women 3.Police - crime control + enforcement Current Laws Governing Prostitution Offences in Canada • All about the public sphere/ space • Less public nuisance if they are less visible/ off the streets • Bill C-49 - Communicating Law, 1985 • (1) Everyone in public place/ public view stopping or attempting to stop any motor vehicle • Gets in the way of free flow pedestrian • Stops/ attempts to stop any person, communication for the purpose of sexual services - punishable offence • (2) Public space - any place that public can access • CCC prohibits activities associated with prostitution • s.213 (1)(c) - Communicating or attempting to communicate in public for the purpose of engaging in prostitution • s.212 (1)(j) - Living on the avails or procuring - ex. pimping • s.210, s.211 - Being found in/ operating a common bawdy house 3 Main Classes of Offences 1.Bawdy house offences - keeping, being in, owning, transporting to - 'any defined space is capable of being a common bawdy house' - Ex. even parking lots
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