Science writer Simon Singh is set go to an oral hearing at the Court of Appeal later this year seeking permission to challenge an earlier decision by the court not to allow an appeal over a libel action, according to legal sources.
The move follows the Court of Appeal rejection of Singh’s application for permission to appeal against a High Court ruling that a comment piece he wrote in The Guardian, in April, was a statement of fact rather than opinion.
- October 28, 2016
- November 4, 2013
- September 17, 2013
This latest application will mean a new hearing by the Court of Appeal on October 14.
The British Chiropractic Association, which is suing Singh, alleges that the third paragraph of his comment article meant that the association claims chiropractic is effective in helping to treat children with: colic, sleeping and feeding problems, frequent ear infections, asthma and prolonged crying; although it knows that there is no evidence to support its claims. It alleges that Singh, in effect, accused the BCA’s leaders of knowingly supporting bogus treatments.
Mr Justice Eady upheld the BCA’s pleaded meaning at a hearing in the High Court on May 7.
He also held that Singh’s comments were factual assertions rather than mere expressions of opinion – which means that he cannot use the defence of fair comment.
The Singh case has become something of a cause cÃ©lÃ¨bre for science journalism – with a broad coalition writers and scientists supporting him. They argue that this case will make it harder for UK writers to openly discuss important scientific and health matters.
The case has prompted a campaign for defamation law to be kept out of scientific disputes.