Parliamentary Inquiry into Prostitution

01 Jan 2018

Inquests and Inquiries, Licensing, Public Law and Judicial Review

A team from Cornerstone Barristers is advising a national feminist organisation appearing in an inquiry into prostitution.

The Home Affairs Select Committee is conducting an inquiry into prostitution, and in particular whether the UK should adopt the Nordic Model, under which the law criminalises the buyer rather than the seller of sex, the sex-buyer law. It has taken written and oral evidence from Kat Banyard, of UK Feminista.

The Cornerstone team has advised: “in our society there are certain things (namely, our bodies) which are properly considered to be ‘not for sale’. The existing law in relation to these topics therefore recognises that there are certain things (i.e. body parts, surrogacy, slavery) which ought not to simply be a matter of contract in the ordinary way. They fall into a different category where the law must impose restrictions, and it is for this reason that prostitution cannot be seen to be simply another type of work. In our view this demonstrates that current law in the most comparable areas is consistent with the concept of the sex-buyer law.”

The Cornerstone team is Philip Kolvin QC, Matt Hutchings, Emma Dring, Zoe Whittington, Richard Hanstock, Tara O’Leary and Ruchi Parekh.

Philip Kolvin QC said: “The issue of trafficking, abuse and sexual exploitation of women through prostitution remains a crucial one in our nation. We are pleased to have had the opportunity to contribute to the debate as to the best means of eradicating these evils.”

The UK Feminista submission on behalf of the End Demand Campaign can be found here.

Kat Banyard’s appearance before the Committee can be found here.