Canada Court Strikes Down Key Prostitution Laws

09/29/2010 10:13 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

TORONTO — Canada's justice minister says the federal government will appeal an Ontario court ruling that struck down key provisions in Canada's prostitution laws in a case that could set a precedent for the country if the provincial ruling is upheld.

Rob Nicholson said Wednesday prostitution harms individuals, and the government will appeal an Ontario Superior Court's order to decriminalize many aspects of prostitution earlier this week.

Prostitution itself is not illegal in Canada, but communicating for the purposes of prostitution, pimping and operating a brothel were considered criminal acts. An Ontario Superior Court judge said Tuesday these prostitution-related laws are unconstitutional and said laws set up to protect prostitutes actually harm them.

The Ontario court judgment is subject to a 30-day stay during which the law remains in place.

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