Saturday, July 30, 2005

High Court Tosses Out Brothel-Keeping Bylaw

High Court tosses out brothel-keeping bylaw


Sex-industry kingpin Terry Brown has won a landmark High Court ruling that effectively strikes out the Christchurch City Council's controversial prostitution bylaw.

The ruling in the High Court at Christchurch means brothels could be allowed to operate from any house or business in the city - a decision that sets a precedent for brothel-keepers nationwide to challenge similar bylaw restrictions.

The council had tried to contain the sex trade to the inner city.

However, the bylaw passed to ensure that happened also had the potential to render illegal prostitutes working from their homes.

The case, which ratepayers spent $100,000 defending, is expected to have ramifications for local authorities around New Zealand.

Under the 2003 Prostitution Reform Act, which legalised prostitution, local councils have the power to decide where brothels are located.

The council's prostitution bylaw was introduced in July last year, limiting brothels to an inner-city area. Three suburban brothels were exempt.

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