Thursday, April 01, 2010

Thankfully NOT an April Fool

Well done to Simon Singh, on winning his libel appeal against the British Chiropractic Association.  Off to read the judgement, if I can find it.  More later.

Update 1: Judgement here

Update 2: I believe this is now citable precedent under English Law:

We would respectfully adopt what Judge Easterbrook, now Chief Judge of the US Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, said in a libel action over a scientific controversy, Underwager v Salter 22 Fed. 3d 730 (1994):

    "[Plaintiffs] cannot, by simply filing suit and crying 'character assassination!', silence those who hold divergent views, no matter how adverse those views may be to plaintiffs' interests. Scientific controversies must be settled by the methods of science rather than by the methods of litigation. … More papers, more discussion, better data, and more satisfactory models – not larger awards of damages – mark the path towards superior understanding of the world around us."

That's a definite win for common sense, a definite defeat for woo.

Update 3:  Some mild analysis from outlaw.com and a statement released by BCA.  I particluarly like the way the latter refer to Mr Justice Eady as "one of the country’s leading libel judges" while not referring the fact that the three appeal judges included the two senior judges in England.

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