If you’re free in the capital today, head to the Royal Courts of Justice for the preliminary hearing of the British Chiropractic Association’s libel case against science writer, journalist and broadcaster Simon Singh. The hearing will clear up some legal grey areas and decide what the judge requires as a valid defence for the full trial in autumn.
The case stems from comments made by Simon in his book Trick or Treatment, and an article published in Guardian entitled “Beware the spinal trap” (mirror). The BCA seem to consider it defamatory to tell people there is no evidence that the alternative therapy can cure colic, chronic ear infections, and other childhood illnesses.
If you are interested and have the time, then you are welcome to attend all or part of the hearing. There should be plenty of room in court. If you get lost then my friend David Allen Green will be standing by the information desk in the main hall of the Royal Courts of Justice at 9.30am on Thursday. I hope to be able to join David for lunch at the Knights Templar pub on Chancery Lane, and this will also be a good meeting place for supporters.
Lawyer Jack of Kent has taken a special interest in the case and his blog is an excellent resource for current information. You can also join a Facebook group in support of Simon here, with news and info added regularly. Stand up for free speech, spread the word, leave Simon a message of support, do what you can!
UPDATE – the judge presiding over the case has found in favour of the BCA, meaning that to mount a successful defence, Singh would have to prove the BCA had intent to deceive. This is very, very difficult. Index on Censorship explains the ruling here.