Science writer Simon Singh has won a victory in his chiropractic libel battle!
I initially discussed his case in Suppressing science. Briefly, Singh was being sued for libel by the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) because of an article of his in the Guardian. In this he referred to the chiropractic profession happily promoting “bogus treatments.” See Beware the Spinal Trap for the text of Singh’s article.
Back in May the British High Court ruled on the meaning of the words claiming they implied the BCA was deliberately dishonest. Singh contested this saying this was not his meaning and that the ruling would make it difficult to defend himself in a trial. He was refused leave to appeal against the ruling in two court hearings.
Now this interpretation has been rejected in another Appeal court hearing.
This means that he can now proceed to appeal that his article was fair comment. And the hearing will no longer be limited to interpretation of meaning.
Singh described the ruling as the “best possible result.” However, there are still large legal hurdles to surmount.
This case has highlighted how British libel laws are stifling free expression and are in need of reform. Singh’s experience has reuslted in a campaign to achieve that reform