Temporary loss of prostitution income was not recoverable

Supreme Court judgment of 8 December 2017, HR-2017-2352-A (case no. 2017/691), civil case, appeal against judgment  

A and others (Counsel Karoline Henriksen) v. H and others (Counsel Øystein Storrvik and Øyvind Sterri)

H (Counsel Storrvik) v. C and others (Counsel Karoline Henriksen)

I (Counsel Øyvind Sterri) v. B and others (Counsel Karoline Henriksen)

J (Counsel Øyvind Sterri) v. A and others (Counsel Karoline Henriksen)

K (Counsel Øyvind Sterri) v. E and others (Counsel Karoline Henriksen)

Justices: Matheson, Falch, Indreberg, Berglund, Øie

Prostitute women who had been robbed and assaulted, submitted during the criminal proceedings a claim for compensation for lost income since they had been unable to sell sexual favours for a short period of time after the assaults. The Supreme Court's majority of three justices concluded that loss of income from prostitution is not recoverable. The majority pointed out that the purchase of sexual favours is a criminal offence, and that, based on the context of the judicial system, one cannot base a claim for compensation on criminal acts that will be committed. Furthermore, it was pointed out that the lawmaker has assessed prostitution as strongly undesirable for criminal and social policy purposes. Recoverability would obstruct the reducing effect the criminalisation of such purchase seems to have had and contribute to a 'normalisation' of a strongly undesired activity. A minority of two justices found that such a loss is recoverable in line with other individual loss of income. The minority emphasised that prostitution income is legal, which means that demanding compensation from an injuring party must be appropriate.

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