In a very welcome development, science writer Simon Singh (discussed twice before in relation to alternative medicine) has won his appeal against the libel suit brought against him by the British Chiropractic Association. It was brave of him to launch the appeal, with all the further financial harm that would have accompanied another loss. Getting to this stage involved legal costs of £200,000. The whole kerfuffle was spawned when Singh wrote in an article that chiropractors promoted ‘bogus’ treatments, for which there was no scientific evidence of effectiveness. This statement was interpreted very strangely by a judge at an earlier stage in these legal proceedings, leading to much of the subsequent trouble.
This is a victory for free speech, sanity, and open inquiry. Hopefully, it will also free up some of Mr. Singh’s time to write more excellent books.
British Chiropractic Association President Richard Brown has said that they may appeal to the Supreme Court.
[Update: 11:20am] The ruling is online and worth a look. It contains some strong wording, along the lines of: “to compel its author to prove in court what he has asserted by way of argument is to invite the court to become an Orwellian ministry of truth.”