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Canadian government appealing legal brothel law

Provincial court ruled earlier that forcing prostitutes into the street is unconstitutional.

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Canadian politicians said they want to appeal a ruling that allows prostitutes to establish brothels. The Supreme Court has yet to announce if it will hear the case. (VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images)

The Canadian government wants to appeal rewritten laws that allow prostitutes to establish brothels, Reuters reported.

Justice Minister Rob Nicholson made the announcement on Wednesday, saying Canadians need a “binding national decision” on the issue.

“Prostitution is harmful for society as it exploits Canada’s most vulnerable people, especially women,” Nicholson said, according to Reuters.

The Supreme Court has yet to announce its decision on hearing the appeal.

Earlier this year, an Ontario provincial court judge ruled that three provisions of the Criminal Code relating to prostitution were unconstitutional, CBC News reported.

In a case brought to the court by three sex-trade workers from Ontario, the judge ruled laws forced prostitutes into dangerous situations on the street.

More from GlobalPost: Ontario court clears path for legal brothels

The ruling also cleared sex-trade workers to hire staff – bodyguards, receptionists or even accountants, for example – without worrying they would be charged with living off the avails of prostitution.

“We’re telling them we need this to be safe, and they’re saying, ‘Too bad,’” Vancouver prostitute Amy Lebovitch said of the appeal, CBC reported.

Prostitution isn’t illegal in Canada, but almost all surrounding activities – from pimping to solicitation – are.

The provincial court did uphold a law that prohibits solicitation on the street, The Canadian Press said.

As an act of defiance, the lawyer who represented the sex-trade workers said he would appeal that ruling.

“If we’re going to be dragged to review those rulings, we might as well then appeal the ruling on communication because we always felt that law had many constitutional flaws,” Alan Young told CBC.

He said the government is headed for a difficult legal battle regardless.

Young called the lower-court rulings “very strong judgments that to me border on being incontrovertible.”

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/canada/120426/canadian-government-appealing-legal-brothel-law