Master of Studies in Law


Studies in Law


Professor Melanie Randall


On December 6, 2014, Parliament enacted new criminal law addressing prostitution related offences in response to the 2013 decision at the Supreme Court in the matter of Bedford v Attorney General of Canada. This major research paper focuses on the criminal law concerning prostitution and sex work and the impact of the law on people who work in the sex trade. This major research paper analyses the new criminal law, and its stated purpose by critically examining the research materials used to help inform those who drafted the law, to conclude that the law is flawed. Parliament has ignored the safety and security rights of sex workers in its most recent legislation on prostitution. Historically, in Canada women engaged in prostitution were viewed as either victims of men’s exploitation, or immoral and considered a nuisance and this view is reinforced in the new legislation. Further, this study explores the effectiveness of human trafficking legislation and argues that decriminalization of prostitution, coupled with legalization and appropriate regulation of sex work are the legal tools best utilized to ameliorate the unsafe and unequal social conditions of sex workers.

Included in

Law Commons