Simon Singh libel case dropped
British Chiropractic Association ends legal action against science writer for comments in Guardian article
The British Chiropractic Association dropped its libel action against the science writer Simon Singh today, filing a notice of discontinuation in the high court.
The case had become a cause celebre, with scientists, celebrities and freedom of speech campaigners lining up to condemn the British libel laws and argue that Singh had a right to express his opinion in print.
The sudden end to the case will strengthen the campaign for reform of the libel laws, which Jack Straw, the justice secretary, is considering. It is also a specific pledge in the Liberal Democrat manifesto.
Singh was sued by the BCA for a piece he wrote in the Guardian‘s comment pages, criticising the association for defending chiropractors who use treatments for which there is little evidence on children with conditions such as colic and asthma.
Singh and his supporters were dismayed by an early verdict by Mr Justice Eady on the meaning of the words used in the article. The judge ruled that Singh was stating facts, which he would have to prove in his defence, rather than voicing opinion and that he had implied the members of the BCA knowingly promoted what Singh called “bogus treatments”.
Singh argued that was not what he meant and went to the court of appeal. Two weeks ago, he won the point.