HALCO, in a coalition with the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network and Positive Living BC, recently intervened in the Supreme Court of Canada matter of Attorney General of Canada v. Downtown Eastside Sex Workers United Against Violence Society, et al.
This case, which was heard by the Supreme Court on January 18, 2012, originated with a challenge to the criminal law provisions relating to sex work. However, the Supreme Court matter is not about the substance of the challenge to the criminal law, but is about the legal test for “public interest standing.” The Supreme Court will decide the test to determine when someone (including organizations like HALCO) can get public interest standing to raise issues before the courts.
The Supreme Court’s decision will have very significant implications for HALCO and for many other organizations. Our coalition argued for a more liberal approach to public interest standing than the current legal test, and our factum was filed in early January 2012.
Unfortunately, a number of interveners, including our coalition, were not given permission to present oral submissions. The Supreme Court’s decision is pending. We offer our sincere thanks to Michael Feder, McCarthy Tétrault (Vancouver), who represented us pro bono.
The Intervener Factum is available on our website: www.halco.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Supreme_Court_Intervener_Factum-CriminalCodeSexWork-2012Mar.pdf