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BC won't prosecute in prostitution cases

British Columbia has become the latest province to announce it will not prosecute most prostitution-related offences over last year's

ruling by Canada's highest court that the laws are unconstitutional.

The Supreme Court of Canada struck down the laws _ communicating for the purpose of prostitution, living on the avails and keeping a common bawdy house _ in December, but said they would stay on the books for a year to give the federal government time to bring in new legislation.

Neil MacKenzie a spokesman with the B.C. Criminal Justice Branch said prosecutors have studied the ruling and decided that any ongoing or prospective prosecutions will be examined on a case-by-case basis.

MacKenzie said the likelihood of prosecution will be strongest in cases where pimps, keepers of bawdy houses and customers have exploited the vulnerability of prostitutes.

He said only a couple dozen such cases are currently in the system, and the directives take effect immediately.

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