Congratulations to Simon Singh and to UK libel reform!

Simon Singh just won the appeal in the libel suit brought by the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) over his article, Beware the Spinal Trap. Because UK libel law is ass backwards, putting the burden of proof on the defendant, the court was not easy on Singh and the judge originally ruled against him based solely on his use of the word “bogus,” interpreting it as claiming deliberate deception on the part of the BCA even though no dictionary defines the word that way. So now the higher court has ruled that the first ruling was in error:

The new ruling, in essence, says that Simon’s statement were an expression of his opinion, not a fact of the state of belief of BCA chiropractors. Therefore Simon can use the “fair comment” defense. This puts him in a very good position to win the overall case.

Also, the full judgment is here (PDF).

The battle for UK libel reform isn’t over yet but this is definitely a major step in the right direction.


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