Prostitution Reference

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Reference re ss. 193 & 195.1(1)(c) of Criminal Code (Canada), (the Prostitution Reference), [1990] 1 S.C.R. 1123 is a decision of the Supreme Court of Canada on the right to freedom of expression under section 2(b) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and on prostitution in Canada. The Court held that the criminal code provision that prohibited communication for the purpose of engaging in prostitution was in violation of the right to freedom of expression; however, it could be justified under section 1 of the Charter and so it was upheld.

The majority on a 5:2 split, with both women dissenting, found that the purpose of eliminating prostitution was a valid goal and that the provision was rationally connected and proportional to that goal. Accordingly, the provision was upheld.

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