Lord Chief Justice to preside over Singh libel appeal

The Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge, is to preside over a three-member panel which will deal with a preliminary hearing in science writer Simon Singh’s libel battle with the British Chiropractic Association.

Lord Judge will sit with the Master of the Rolls, Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury, and Lord Justice Sedley.

The case has become increasingly high-profile as Singh is appealing against a High Court decision by Justice Eady after the judge rejected a defence of fair comment over an article Singh wrote for the Guardian in which he criticised the BCA.

Eady ruled that Singh’s article from April 19 last year amounted to a statement of fact rather than an expression of opinion.

The BCA alleges that the third paragraph of the piece suggested that it claims that chiropractic is effective in helping to treat a range of ailments in children, even though it knows that there is no evidence to support those claims, and that by making such claims it is knowingly supporting bogus treatments.

Singh’s cause has been taken up by a number of organisations, including the National Union of Journalists, who believe libel should be kept out of scientific debate and others that believe the UK’s libel laws are unfairly favour those bringing claims against individual writers and publishers.

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