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Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Kicking the state out of the bedrooms of Ireland, North and South

Sex worker to launch legal challenge against NI prostitution ban

A sex worker is using European human rights legislation to try to overturn a new law in Northern Ireland that makes it illegal to pay for prostitutes.

Dublin-born law graduate Laura Lee is launching an unprecedented legal challenge that could go all the way to Strasbourg, against a human trafficking bill which includes banning the payment for sex among consenting adults.

The region is the only part of the UK where people can be convicted of paying for sex. The law, which was championed by Democratic Unionist peer and Stormont assembly member Lord Morrow, comes into effect on 1 June.

[…]

Lee said she will fund the case partly via crowdfunding on social media networks and from sex worker campaign groups across the world.

Lee, an Irish psychology graduate whose range of services include S&M and bondage, said she was also taking the legal challenge to thwart an attempt to introduce a similar law criminalising the consumers of sex in the Irish Republic.

An alliance of radical feminist groups and a number of nuns from Catholic religious orders are lobbying southern Irish political parties to pass a Nordic-style law outlawing the purchase of sex.

I have no stupid puns to make. This legal case is an important challenge to intolerable state intrusion. I wish Ms Lee the best of luck.

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26 comments to Kicking the state out of the bedrooms of Ireland, North and South

  • Paul Marks

    Actually this appears to be a copy of the Swedish law.

    As Sweden is one of the most secular countries on Earth – few strong Protestants or Catholics, it is hard to see the European Courts (the once quite distinct Court of Human Rights has got interconnected with the E.U. – it is no longer distinct) finding against the Ulster law or the Irish Republic law.

    Because they would, by extension, by striking down the Swedish law also.

  • Paul Marks

    Hence the reference to “Nordic style”.

  • There’s an interview with Laura Lee at Libertarian Home. You can find it here

  • Lee Moore

    As Paul Marks suggests the case presents a very difficult balance for the courts. Obviously the “rights” or “liberties” in question are mere verbal ornament for the judges, the essential question is – how will we look ? Will we look modern and up-to-date, or will we look “square.” (Square is such an old word that many samizdata-ists will never have heard it before. Way back, thirty or forty years ago it meant old fashioned. But since judges are usually sixty, they will be thinking in terms of square, a ghastly penis-melting accusation that has haunted them since their bespectacled sexless days in university.)

    Ms Lee would clearly have won by a knockout twenty five years ago, because nothing could be squarer than attempting to minimise the quantity of extra marital sex in the world. These days the long running campaign of the feminazis (of both sexes) to get the government back into the bedroom, as Natalie so neatly puts it, has reversed the tide and Ms Lee is likely to go down.

    The pun for Natalie will probably have to wait for the judgement – Human Rights Judges Tie Themselves in Knots.

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    Damn. I am depressed to hear that. I quite see what you mean; even judges who try to be impartial value the approbation of their peers. Striking down a law put in place by Ulster Prods and Irish nuns would get the judge admired by his or her friends, but striking down a law made by progressive Sweden wouldn’t.

    Still, Ms Lee does not give the impression of being a reckless litigant. She and her legal advisers seem to think there is a reasonable chance of overturning the NI law.

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    Our posts crossed, Lee Moore

    You: “the essential question is – how will we look”.
    Me: “get the judge admired by his or her friends”.

    Not so much great minds think alike as reasonably observant minds see the same situation.

  • Runcie Balspune

    What may actually happen is the return of pimping, having a third party exchange monies prevents the law being broken, or difficult to prove.

  • Roue le Jour

    No shortage of old coots around here, Lee, and time passes faster than you think.

    “Square” dates from the beat generation. Those hip cats are now in their 70s. Even the later “flower children” are now “twirlies”.

  • Nick (Self-Sovereignty) Gray

    Inhibition works better than prohibition! If those nuns had been doing their job well, their chaste example would have equalled her number of male clients- Nun!
    By the way, the new middle-name reflects my name for my philosophy. I believe in private monarchies, public democracies. Self-sovereignty= Be your own Lord!

  • I pay for sex all of the time.

    Most recently it cost me a new fridge/freezer.

  • Nick (Self-Sovereignty) Gray

    That just shows that women are contrary! They go hot for something cold!

  • That just shows that women are contrary!

    Bit sexist to presume that I’m talking about a woman!

    🙂

  • Roue le Jour

    JG,

    According to the TV, gayness is all fabulous soft furnishings, tasteful furniture and stylish outfits. Please stop ruining my misconceptions with your mundane domesticity.

  • Zippgun

    There was an attempt to get an amendment into a bill criminalizing “buying sex” not too long ago – doing what has been done in Ulster to the rest of the UK. It was moved by a Labour MP – one of those ghastly “wimmin” they have, Fiona McTaggart. It was thankfully defeated, and a former male (gay) Tory home office minister and a male Labour backbencher gave excellent speeches against it.
    A quote from McTaggart –

    “I don’t think most men who use prostitutes think of themselves as child abusers, but they are”.

    A good example of the extremist nutters who get elected on the Labour ticket because of the rosette colour.

    I fear one of the consequences of a Labour Miliband government is they will inflict their Swedish model on the rest of the country – in fact the Brown home office wre moving towards it just before the 2010 election.

  • John Mann

    “Striking down a law put in place by Ulster Prods and Irish nuns would get the judge admired by his or her friends, but striking down a law made by progressive Sweden wouldn’t.”

    It’s all about whether one is perceived to be progressive or reactionary. On the subject of Ireland, and particularly Norn Iron, listen to the BBC podcast about the Ashers Bakery affair: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b054ps0n

    What you will notice is that it is all presented in terms of social conservatives and social liberals. It is about the competing rights of members of religious communities and members of sexual communities. And, depressingly, there isn’t a single even slightly libertarian voice in the debate. Everyone that speaks is (if I may use the word) a statist.

    My own theory is that the “Troubles” in Northern Ireland that started in the late 1960s have less to do with religion, or even national identity, than they have to do with Northern Ireland’s endemic statism, or, to be precise, with the fact that pretty well everyone in Northern Ireland believes strongly in coercion and in the duty of the state to coerce people into doing what they believe is right – be it banning sex between two blokes, banning people paying for sex, banning people from discriminating against prods, papists or gays, and forcing people to pay for state education and healthcare.

  • John Mann

    Oh, and another thing about the BBC podcast that I referred to in my post above.

    There was a clear implication in the programme that hurting peoples feelings causes mental health problems and therefore should be a criminal offence.

  • PeterT

    I do not think the conclusion can be avoided that prostitution in all likelihood remains taboo largely because it makes many women feel insecure, financially and maybe just about their general self-worth. It is not a coincidence that ‘feminist’ societies like Sweden are generally socially liberal except on this particular issue. Follow the money (or incentive) as they say.

  • Lee Moore

    Fiona McTaggart isn’t really a Labour wimmin – she’s a genuine Commie (WRP variety.) Used to be head of the NUS when the Stalinists were too right wing to get elected. Loadsa money inherited from Daddy. Frankly I’m amazed her amendment merely sought to ban buying sex, rather than engaging in it at all.

    Really the only good thing to be said about communist revolutions is that they shoot people like her even before they shoot the likes of us.

  • CaptDMO

    Peter T
    “I do not think the conclusion can be avoided that prostitution in all likelihood remains taboo largely because it makes many women feel insecure, financially and maybe just about their general self-worth.”
    SEE: Bootleggers and Baptists
    JG: “Bit sexist to presume that I’m talking about a woman!”
    Well, if YOU are the one that has to buy the appliences….chances are you ARE the masculine one!
    (Not convinced mere “sexist” is the approved term of “othering” in this context-but, you know…who cares?)
    Roue le Jour: Ok, now THAT was just funny, I don’t care WHO you are!

  • Who said that John Galt’s new fridge/freezer is not tasteful and stylish?

  • I’m sure JG has a lovely fridge.

  • But there is an issue here. Yet I have forget it. But it was to be profound and brilliant.

  • Nick (Self-Sovereignty) Gray

    If your name is John Galt, then you are married to Dagny Galt, nee Taggart. Ayn Rand seemed to think that homosexuality was caused by society giving the wrong signals- men were being told to worship women, not desire them or think of them as sex objects.
    The current idea is that you can blame it all on genes. Though that doesn’t explain men who go into prison as Heteroes, and come out Homoes. Nor why boys born last in large families are far more likely to be homosexual than others.

  • If your name is John Galt, then you are married to Dagny Galt, nee Taggart. Ayn Rand seemed to think that homosexuality was caused by society giving the wrong signals- men were being told to worship women, not desire them or think of them as sex objects.

    DEFINITION: Fiction

    Literature created from the imagination, not presented as fact, though it may be based on a true story or situation. Types of literature in the fiction genre include the novel, short story, and novella.

    As for Ayn Rand’s views on homosexuality, she said that homosexuality is a manifestation of psychological “flaws, corruptions, errors, [and] unfortunate premises” and that it is both “immoral” and “disgusting”* , this personal viewpoint did not prevent her from saying that all laws against homosexuality should be removed from the statute books.

    Some may find the above contradictory, possibly even hypocritical, but Ayn Rand’s philosophical views on morality and her personal life were equally contradictory, but isn’t that just human nature?

    * – “The Moratorium on Brains” Ford Hall Forum Lecture, Boston – 1971

  • Lee Moore

    Some may find the above contradictory, possibly even hypocritical

    Sorry what are we supposed to be finding contradictory or hypocritical ? That she found something immoral and disgusting, but didn’t think it should be banned ? Isn’t there a word for people like that ? Damn it’s on the tip of my tongue.