Simon Singh WIN!

They think it’s all over… it is now! Plus other selected victory clichés. Edit: Simon blogs!

(Stolen from Crispian Jago)

BCA admits defeat – Ely Place news, INDEX on Censorship (including a timeline), the BHA, BBC News, Nature (lots of groan-worthy back/crack/spine puns on Twitter right now! Follow #SinghBCA) also le Canard Noir blogs (highly recommended).

Implications of this by Jack of Kent.

Important statements from Simon, Robert (his lawyer) and Sense About Science here. Bit of audio in this out-law piece.

Key points:

One in four chiropractors in the UK is now being investigated for making allegedly misleading claims

None of this would have happened if I had backed down and the BCA has successfully silenced my article

The case is not quite over, because we still have to argue over costs. Having backed down and dropped the case, I expect the British Chiropractic Association to pay my legal bill of 200,000 pounds

I will never get back the two years that I have wasted on this case

– Simon Singh

Simon is likely to be out of pocket by about 20,000 pounds… In the game of libel, even winning is costly and stressful.

– Robert Dougans


“Having carefully considered its position in the light of the judgment of the Court of Appeal (1st April 2010), the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) has decided to discontinue its libel action against Simon Singh.

As previously made clear, the BCA brought the claim because it considered that Simon Singh had made a serious allegation against its reputation, namely, that the BCA promoted treatments that it knew to be “bogus”. The Honourable Mr Justice Eady, the UK’s most experienced defamation judge, agreed with the BCA’s interpretation of the article and ruled that it made a serious factual allegation of dishonesty.

The Court of Appeal, in its recent judgment, has taken a very different view of the article. On its interpretation, the article did not make any factual allegation against the BCA at all; it was no more than an expression of ‘honest opinion’ by Simon Singh. While it still considers that the article was defamatory of the BCA, the decision provides Dr Singh with a defence such that the BCA has taken the view that it should withdraw to avoid further legal costs being incurred by either side.

As those who have followed the publicity surrounding this case will know, Simon Singh has said publicly that he had never intended to suggest that the BCA had been dishonest. The BCA accepts this statement, which goes some way to vindicating its position.

The BCA takes seriously its duty and responsibilities to members and to chiropractic patients. The BCA has considered seeking leave to take this matter to the Supreme Court and has been advised there are strong grounds for appeal against the Court of Appeal judgment. However, while it was right to bring this claim at the outset, the BCA now feels that the time is right for the matter to draw to a close.

More media information from Carl Courtney on 07785 397321 but no new information will be given.”

I’m sure more will be coming in thick and fast all day!

Also, bit of extra link round-up:

Interesting post here mentioning some results of the case and other attempts to shut people up.

Quite shocking data on frequency and cost of libel cases here in the Guardian. Also for the Guardian, Ben Goldacre sums up the human cost of silencing criticism in medicine.

Richard Wilson and Skepchick blogs, plus Zeno on chiropractic awareness week.

Debate on libel costs – Simon speaks (from 10mins in) as part of a panel on publishing, journalism, privacy and UK laws (libel reform is an ongoing campaign; please keep sharing the petition! Now >50,000 signatures, fantastic).

Alice in Galaxyland adds more perspectives to the Westminster Skeptics experience and talks about one of my favourite Thames bridges.

Also, a homeopath gave a talk in Oxford recently (sadly the same time as Jack of Kent so a lot of people missed it!) but here’s a nice blogpost on the event – watch this space.

So, let’s keep on with libel reform (Padraig sets out why), but today is a great day! Congratulations to Simon and everyone involved in the campaign 🙂

3 thoughts on “Simon Singh WIN!

  1. Richard Williams (Sx, UK)

    Thanks again for another great round-up Noodlemaz.

    But what of the BCA? Zeno reckons their finances are in a sorry state:

    Will they keep enough members to stave off bankruptcy? Or are they already squirrelling away their resources to prevent Dr Singh recovering his costs?

    Chiropractors making effective ‘manipulations’? Whatever next!!

  2. Pingback: Wooseum to Museum « Purely a figment of your imagination

  3. Pingback: Libel Reform update: 3 years on « Purely a figment of your imagination

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s