prostitution-stox-2While declaring the principal Criminal Code prostitution offences unconstitutional the Supreme Court allowed the current provisions to remain in force for one year in order for the Federal government  – and possibly provincial authorities – to enact new laws dealing with the world’s oldest profession.  Most experts predict the task will be a difficult one, requiring a fundamental reassessment of our society’s moral stance on the issue. Prostitution itself has never been illegal in Canada but in effect the exercise of the “profession” has been rendered illegal by laws forbidding communication  in public places and keeping houses for the purpose of prostitution. The Court’s decision to strike down these laws, as well as the offence of living on the avails, was based essentially on the fact they caused undue safety concerns for the working conditions prostitutes. As a result it will be difficult for policy makers to avoid the hard choice between declaring prostitution itself illegal or regulating and taxing a legalized industry, much as other vices such as alcohol and, more recently, gambling have been developed into cash cows for the Government.