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The Courts

Submission + - Science writer wins libel victory (

krou writes: Simon Singh, a science writer, was accused of libel by the British Chiropractic Association due to an article he wrote in The Guardian in 2008 where he said that 'there was a lack of evidence for the claims some chiropractors made on treating certain childhood conditions such as colic and asthma.' In an initial ruling, the UK High Court ruled that Singh's words were fact, and not opinion, and therefore he could not rely on fair comment as a defence. However, a ruling today has overturned that decision, and has allowed Singh to appeal using the fair comment defence. This is an important victory for science, because if the original ruling had stood, 'it would have made it difficult for any scientist or science journalist to question claims made by companies or organisations without opening themselves up to a libel action that would be hard to win.' Coalition for Libel Reform added: 'This case has brought out of the woodwork the fact that so many other discussions are being killed, from discussions of cardiology to human rights to medicines. We're now pushing ahead for bigger changes to the law so that we have the kind of public interest defence that means it wouldn't have taken two years and £200,000 to find out whether Simon can defend himself.'
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Science writer wins libel victory

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