Alan Young, a lawyer at the forefront of the landmark legal challenge, said it is too early to say whether Tuesday’s decision could open the door to Canada going “the way of Germany with five-storey brothels.”

But to his client, Terri-Jean Bedford, a dominatrix who was convicted in 1998 of keeping a common bawdy house, it was “emancipation day.”

“How am I going to celebrate? I’m going to spank some ass,” Bedford, cracking a riding whip, told reporters.