News flash: bogosity need not be conscious deception?

« previous post | next post »

In the celebrated libel case brought by the British Chiropractic Association against Simon Singh, Singh has won a round in court. Or rather, he's won the right to appeal a previous loss in court.

Last May, Sir David Eady ruled that a passage in Singh's article "Beware the spinal trap" was a statement of fact rather than a comment, and also that when Singh wrote that  the BCA "happily promotes bogus treatments", he accused the BCA of conscious dishonesty, not just of, well, promoting bogus treatments, i.e. treatments that don't work.

Addressing Mr Justice Eady's previous judgement in the case, Lord Justice Laws said Eady had arguably risked swinging the balance of rights too far in favour of the right to reputation and against the right to free expression. Lord Justice Laws said Eady's judgement, centred on Singh's use of the word "bogus" in an article published by the Guardian newspaper, could be seen as "legally erroneous".

So now Singh gets to appeal Eady's rulings.


  1. Tales from the Tubes — 15/​10/​09 | Young Australian Skeptics said,

    October 15, 2009 @ 12:41 am

    […] And some good news: Simon Singh has won the right to re-​​appeal! […]

  2. Graeme said,

    October 15, 2009 @ 4:13 am

    How big is the BCA? Defamation law should protect individuals from reckless allegations; not an amorphous association.

    Truth + public interest was the trad common law defence. As interesting as court cases about words are, the lingustic issue may only turn on whether one possible 'sting' of 'bogus' is 'obviously of knowingly dodgy'. The more interesting decision could be having a judge rule on the efficacy of chiropractice.

    This case may itself prove bogus.

  3. Ginger Yellow said,

    October 15, 2009 @ 6:56 am

    " Defamation law should protect individuals from reckless allegations; not an amorphous association."

    Institutions (apart from government bodies) are protected by defamation law just as much as individuals.

  4. BenHemmens said,

    October 16, 2009 @ 9:04 am

    three pings for signor singh!

RSS feed for comments on this post