By Steve Lus
Vancouver, BC (CBC/CNN) - Sex workers scored an important victory in Canada's high court Friday.
They ruled Sheryl Kiselbach, a former Vancouver sex worker, and an organization representing others in the trade, do have the right to challenge the country's prostitution laws. It's something the federal government tried to block.
Kidelbach came forward five years ago to challenge the constitutionality of prostitution laws. It's taken this long just to win the right to do so.
Canada's high court ruled against the government Friday morning, striking down the arugment that Kiselbach should have no standing because she's not currently a prostitute.
"It was ridiculous really how it took five years to get there and it was only about standing, although the outcome is very good. So I'm very happy that now finally I can go to court and tell the judges how these laws affected me, and how they continue to affect other sex workers," said Kiselbach.
It means the case can now be heard before the British Columbia Supreme Court. But lawyer Katrina Pacey isn't sure when that will happen. She may wait for the outcome of a similar case in Ontario, brought by dominatrix Terri-Jean Bedford.
"We are all in this because we want adult sex work in Canada decriminalized. Frankly I don't really care how that happens. I don't care if Bedford does it. I don't care if we do it. I don't care if Harper all of a sudden wakes up one day and says 'Oh my gosh what was I thinking.' All I care is that there is safety for sex workers," said Pacey.
Ontario's high court has struck down a law banning brothels, but upheld a ban on soliciting.
That case is expected to go before the Supreme Court of Canada.
Ultimately, advocates in Vancouver hope one way or the other, prostitutes will be able to work without a fear of violence or arrest.