Irene Pollini

Voluntary prostitution: unifying trends and open constitution in the most recent constitutional jurisprudence

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Moving from a critical analysis of judgment no. 141/2019 of the Italian Constitutional Court, the article explores from a comparative perspective whether and how the concept of human dignity can be used as a «conversational stopper», thus threatening to foreclose democratic debate on sex work. Against the background of the feminist movement’s debate on the emancipatory potential of sexuality, the article frames the discussion on voluntary prostitution within the framework of an open idea of constitution. Moreover, by shedding light on the varieties of practices which go into making up the notion of prostitution, it is argued that the definition of a one-size-fits-all legal regime is questionable in the light of the principle of formal equality


  • voluntary prostitution
  • human dignity
  • open Constitution
  • European constitutional case law
  • principle of formal equality


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