Thursday, 1 April 2010

A victory for freedom of speech!

Congratulation to Simon Singh on his victory at the Appeal Court against a libel action bought against him by the British Chiropracter Association. I initially reported on this story here and then more on libel here and here

This is how the BBC reported on the story:
A science writer has won the right in the Appeal Court to rely on the defence of fair comment in a libel action.

Simon Singh was accused of libel by the British Chiropractic Association over an article in the Guardian in 2008.

Mr Singh questioned the claims of some chiropractors over the treatment of certain childhood conditions.

High Court judge Mr Justice Eady said last May the comments were factual not opinion - meaning Mr Singh could not use the defence of fair comment.

However, the Lord Chief Justice Lord Judge, Master of the Rolls Lord Neuberger and Lord Justice Sedley ruled the High Court judge had "erred in his approach" and allowed Mr Singh's appeal.

Mr Singh described the ruling as "brilliant".

He said: "It is extraordinary this action has cost £200,000 to establish the meaning of a few words."

In the article in April 2008, Mr Singh suggested there was a lack of evidence for the claims over conditions such as colic and asthma.

The British Chiropractic Association alleged that Mr Singh had effectively accused its leaders of knowingly supporting bogus treatments.

This is a victory for common sense as well as freedom of speech and we all look forward to legislation in the new parliament to curb the misuse of our antiquated libel and defamation laws.

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