About a week ago, I lamented an astoundingly bad ruling in the libel case brought by the British Chiropractic Association against skeptic Simon Singh. The ruling was so bad that many observers are wondering whether it’s possible for Singh to go on or whether he can afford to appeal. Blogger Jack of Kent, who has been following the case with astute obsevations, tells us:
I understand that Simon Singh will announce whether he will appeal on Monday 18 May 2009 at a public support meeting to take place in London at 6.30pm.
The venue will be the Penderels Oak, the usual meeting place of London Skeptics in the Pub.
As well as Simon Singh, the leading UK journalist Nick Cohen will be speaking. Other speakers are currently being confirmed.
Leading me to think that Singh will try to appeal is this:
I understand that a fund is being considered either to support this case (though third party funding of UK litigation is a complex area) or as a distinct legacy fund to support the ongoing scrutiny of the promotion of CAM. A dedicated website on this case, and the issues relating to the promotion of CAM, is also being prepared. More details to follow.
As I said before, I really hope that Singh will appeal, but I understand why he might decide not to. The British Chiropractic Association is nothing more than a bunch of cowards and bullies, hiding behind ridiculously plaintiff-friendly U.K. libel laws because they know they cannot stand on the science. If they win and force a settlement, it will be galling indeed. As I said before, thanks to the insanity that is U.K. libel law, where plaintiffs only have to show that a statement is potentially defamatory, not that it is false, and the defendant has to prove what he wrote was true, the U.K. represents an inhospitable place for skeptics. To all of my London readers, I urge those of you who can attend to attend, and, if there is a defense fund set up, I urge you to contribute. I know I will.
And, even if Singh is forced to settle, try not to be too discouraged.