Pivot Legal Society works to advance the rights of sex workers and people who use drugs in Canada. In 2013, the Supreme Court of Canada struck down the country’s laws on prostitution. However, less than a year later the parliament re-criminalized sex work through the introduction of a new law. Pivot’s Katrina Pacey discusses how the organization’s political and legal strategies are evolving to address the new legal regime.

Pivot has also been at the forefront in using strategic litigation to advance the rights of people who use drugs to heroin-assisted treatment, needle exchange programs in prisons, and supervised injection. Adrienne Smith discusses Pivot’s health and drug policy campaign.


  • Katrina Pacey is the executive director of Pivot Legal Society, and has spent the last decade leading Pivot’s sex workers’ rights campaign. She was lead counsel in Downtown Eastside Sex Workers United Against Violence v. Canada, and also represented a coalition of intervenors in the case ofBedford v. Canada.
  • Adrienne Smith is the lead lawyer on Pivot’s health and drug policy campaign. Adrienne is counsel in a constitutional challenge to federal regulations that restrict access to heroin-assisted treatment, and is counsel for a coalition of intervenors in a case that is fighting for needle distribution programs in Canadian prisons.
  • Sebastian Köhn (moderator) is a program officer for the Open Society Public Health Program.

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