Simon Singh wins libel case

Simon Singh wins! The British Chiropractic Association(BCA) has today served a Notice of Discontinuance bringing to an end its libel claim against Dr Simon Singh. The science writer was accused of libel for an article in which he cast doubt on chiropractors’ claims of success in treatment of childhood conditions including colic, ear infections, asthma.

Earlier this month Simon Singh scored a crucial victory in his libel defence against the British Chiropractic Association. In a judgment handed down by the court of appeal, the Lord Chief Justice ruled that Singh’s contention that the BCA promoted “bogus” treatments was “a statement of opinion, and one backed by reasons”.

The judgment allowed Singh to pursue a defence of “fair comment”, the ruling could have a defining effect on the entire concept of “fair comment” in English libel law.

Update: Read the BCA’s statement here

PLUS: A good week for libel reform. All the major political parties now back change — and the campaign celebrates 50,000 signatures in support of libel reform

From the Index on Censorship archives: Floyd Abrams’s on libel Through the looking-glass


2008 April Singh publishes an article about chiropractic in the Guardian

2008 July The British Chiropractic Association (BCA) sues Singh personally for libel

2009 May High Court gives a negative ruling on the meaning of Singh’s article

2009 June Singh asks for permission to appeal the ruling on meaning (paper application)

2009 July Mr Justice Eady rejects the application to appeal

2009 August Oral hearing on leave to appeal

2009 October Leave to appeal granted

2010 February Lord Chief Justice says he is “baffled” by case

2010 April 1 Decision on meaning of original Singh article