Recently, Simon Singh was sued for libel by the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) for an opinion piece he wrote in the Guardian, criticising some claims made by chiropractors.
Things did not go well for Singh initially, when in the preliminary hearing, the Judge determined Singh’s use of the word bogus to mean the BCA were knowingly deceiving the public by using certain techniques. So in effect, Simon would have to prove that the BCA were being knowingly deceitful and not just niaively. This seemed like an impossible task.
But Simon took the risky step of appealing this decision and today he was granted the right to a full appeal to argue his right to publish the article as fair comment. In a hearing that took place in the London Royal Courts of Justice, the judge referred to the intitial judgement as “disproportionate” and erroneous. He then wasted no time in ruling a full appeal to Singh.
This is bloody good news for Simon but also for journalists and other commentators (like myself) who feared their right to critical comment was to be removed. Those of you who have been following this story would know that some chiropractors have not behaved in a particularly upstanding manner. The MCA instructed their members to remove any reference to treating colic from all their material including websites. Australian Skeptics also received a complaint about republishing Simon’s article on their website from a chiropractor.
You can read more about this story here.
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