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Censorship The Courts United Kingdom

Simon Singh To Appeal In UK Court Today 213

Posted by kdawson
from the words-you-never-heard-in-the-bible dept.
TACD writes "Simon Singh, author, television presenter and known critic of pseudoscience, is in court today appealing the decision made against him last May over his use of the term 'bogus' to describe the methods used by the British Chiropractic Association. Today's decision could have far-reaching implications for the movement to reform Britain's horrifically outdated libel laws (that even America is making moves to protect its citizens against), and to begin taking steps to elevate Britain above the likes of China when it comes to open debate and freedom of speech."
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Simon Singh To Appeal In UK Court Today

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  • by nedlohs (1335013) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @04:36PM (#31249858)

    Seriously, anyone who can claim with a straight face that Britain has less freedom of speech than China (and hence is only beginning to take steps to elevate above it) is living in a fantasy world.

    • by bsDaemon (87307) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @04:45PM (#31250006)
      I know! Britain has *just as much* freedom of speech as China does!
    • by wjousts (1529427) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @04:50PM (#31250092)
      Agreed. Less free speech than China is clearly hyperbole. Libel laws are a complete mess and need reform but comparing freedom of speech in Britain to (lack of) freedom of speech in China adds nothing to the debate.
    • by Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @05:07PM (#31250346)

      Hyperbole, Motherfucker! DO YOU SPEAK IT?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by got2liv4him (966133)
      I thought it was obvious from the "even America" remark that the author of the summary has a certain leaning or agenda...
    • by TACD (514008)

      Seriously, anyone who can claim with a straight face that Britain has less freedom of speech than China (and hence is only beginning to take steps to elevate above it) is living in a fantasy world.

      "When it comes to censoring publications and blocking online content, it is arguable that Britain has an even worse record than China." - from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/7294539/Simon-Singh-it-is-too-late-for-me-but-libel-laws-must-change-for-the-public-good.html [telegraph.co.uk]

      However, yes, there may have been a trace of hyperbole in this post, on the internet. Gold star!

    • by CherniyVolk (513591) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @05:51PM (#31251114)

      Truth is far stranger than fiction.

      Perhaps it's you who is living in a fantasy world? A world where you believe you have a freedom of speech? Never mind other freedoms. Have you ever tried to exercise this freedom of speech?

      Let me do that for you, "THE US PRESIDENT IS AN ASSHOLE! ISRAEL IS KILLING PALESTINIAN BABIES!"

      There, does that make you feel proud? Happy? Secure? Free? Is that an example of free speech, a posting on /. a couple of simple sentences? Boy, if that's all it takes to make you happy and believing you have a legally protected Right... then you, my dear friend is much the fool.

      Let's take it up a step further. I walk down town, find a hill, raising 6 feet high, pull out a bull horn and announce controversial views to be heard around for blocks. The views must be controversial, because otherwise the concept of free speech is masked by conformance of what those in power want you to believe; this is called effective free speech, something you apparently know nothing of. Along with effective free speech comes the prospect of actually having people listen to you, and see your ways... you have to effect people, this is the part of free speech people do not understand, like you. If you can't get someone else to see your ways, free speech or not... you're just mumbling to yourself, effectively. And guess what? Rebels and resistance has always mumbled to themselves, regardless of whatever freedoms they are claimed to have.

      So there I am, speaking of controversial views (any view that makes people see things differently is controversial, or will soon become controversial; this I hope you do understand).

      No one stops by, maybe a few that wish to yell back, nothing more than displaying their obedience to their cruel overlords. Police see that my speech has no effect, so they elect to adhere to laws that best suits the situation (my controversial views aren't causing a ruckus), so by laws handed down, noise ordinance laws allows me to be as loud as I want till 10pm. So then, I'm just wasting breath.

      People start forming up around me, listening. A few shy away, a few in the front start showing signs of comprehension and acceptance. Now, the police again has elect the best course of action for the situation. In this case, I'm enlightening the people, so the noise ordinance laws are ignored because I'm actually effecting people. Now comes laws from the other side of the spectrum, assembly laws. Do I have a permit to rally? Do I have a permit for public announcement? Noise ordinance laws are for private individuals with private interests, if I'm making a speech, then they do not apply to me in the same way. Speech being justified by the congregation before me that has been formed. Police aren't there to protect me, but those in power. So they step in, grab the bull horn, and ask for permits. If everyone disperses quietly and no lasting effect has been made on the sheep, then I get off with a warning. But if there's any resistance, showing maybe I opened some eyes, then I go to jail, and maybe some of them too for disrupting the peace; among other laws such as not having a hundred different permits to legally be allowed to do such a thing.

      Depending on the speech, if I anger the wrong people. Then you have libel suits brought against me. Maybe I garner the wrath in all the many forms from those that I anger. The more effective my speech, the worse the wrath will be.

      So, you see, you don't have freedom of speech. Just because you can whisper what you want amongst the crowd of yelling fanatics, doesn't mean your thoughts are going to have any effect therefore pose any real threat to those in power. You think you can change the world with your words, but you can't, and you won't even attempt to prove me wrong because you know I'm right. Do everything you can to justify this believe you so long for.

      In China, you think they don't have freedom of speech. In China perhaps it's illegal to say the president is an

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by nedlohs (1335013)

        America is irrelevant, the comparison is the UK and China, neither of which is America.

        When was the last time thousands of Americans (or to stay more on topic Brits) were run over with tanks by their government for speaking?

        And I disagree that "freedom of speech" means I can blast my rants over a megaphone.

        It does however let me rant and rave about how the 9/11 attacks on the US were justified by US actions, or how they were Gods judgement on our evil sinful society. And people did. And those people were no

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by TACD (514008)

      Seriously, anyone who can claim with a straight face that Britain has less freedom of speech than China (and hence is only beginning to take steps to elevate above it) is living in a fantasy world.

      "When it comes to censoring publications and blocking online content, it is arguable that Britain has an even worse record than China." - Simon Singh, from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/7294539/Simon-Singh-it-is-too-late-for-me-but-libel-laws-must-change-for-the-public-good.html [telegraph.co.uk]

      But yes, there may have been a trace of hyperbole in my post, on the internet. Gold star!

  • More Importantly (Score:5, Informative)

    by JamesP (688957) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @04:37PM (#31249876)

    Simon Singh is the author of VERY COOL books:

    Fermat's Last Theorem
    and
    The Code Book

    (those are the ones I read, at least)

    • by wjousts (1529427)
      I've read The Code Book as well. A very good read.
  • Humbug! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by calibre-not-output (1736770) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @04:38PM (#31249904) Homepage
    This reminds me of the first episode of Penn & Teller: Bullshit! when Penn explains why they call people "motherfuckers" and "assholes" instead of liars, frauds, quacks, etc.

    Quoted from Wikipedia:
    Since their act is not normally associated with a frequent use of profanity, Jillette explains their choice of using the term bullshit in the opening episode: if they referred to people as frauds or liars, they could be sued for slander, even in the face of overwhelming evidence of chicanery, but as "vulgar abuse" is not legally considered slanderous, referring to them as assholes or motherfuckers ostensibly expresses an opinion rather than a statement of fact and is legally safer for them.
    • referring to them as assholes or motherfuckers ostensibly expresses an opinion rather than a statement of fact and is legally safer for them.

      Liar: "It is my opinion that you have lied." Motherfucker: "It is my opinion that you have committed incest." What key difference am I failing to see?

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        the fact that on first glance, the former means what you expanded it to, whereas the latter is more commonly used as a generic insult.

      • by Locke2005 (849178)
        In the US, it is not defamation if a reasonable person wouldn't find it believable. Therefore, saying "Dennis Rodman and Lady Gaga are aliens from outer space!" is not defamation, but saying "Dennis Rodman and Lady Gaga have committed incest!" is defamation. Anybody who accuses you of defamation is really insulting themselves by declaring that those outlandish claims you made which rightfully should be considered satire or hyberbole are actually close enough to the truth so as to be believable by the averag
        • by tepples (727027)

          Therefore, saying "Dennis Rodman and Lady Gaga are aliens from outer space!" is not defamation

          Chop off the "from outer space" and you might defame them to people who are prejudiced against immigrants. My point is that just about every English word has a meaning that defames and one that does not.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Sloppy (14984)

        Liar: "It is my opinion that you have lied." Motherfucker: "It is my opinion that you have committed incest." What key difference am I failing to see?

        Liar only has one meaning. Motherfucker has many, with incest being just one of them (and in fact, usually it doesn't mean that). It's generic and vague, just the sort of thing to call some litigious motherfucking asshole.

      • What key difference am I failing to see?

        Well, I don't know about you, but when I hear one person call another person a "motherfucker", I don't usually think that one person is accusing another of incest. Whereas, if I hear one person call another person a liar, I usually think they mean it literally, not just as generic insult for someone who pisses you off.

    • by idontgno (624372)

      referring to them as assholes or motherfuckers ostensibly expresses an opinion

      I dunno, I suspect someone might have considered an unsubstantiated accusation of incestuous sexual congress with one's own mother as factually slanderous. And then we'd see the limits of the "we didn't mean it literally" defense.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by nedlohs (1335013)

        No, you'd see the bog standard "what would a reasonable person understand the statement to mean" being applied. And nowhere near the limits...

    • Re:Humbug! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by ndogg (158021) <the.rhorn@gmail . c om> on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @05:26PM (#31250638) Homepage Journal

      And in this case, Penn calls these guys "baby twisting motherfuckers."

      I don't think I could have come up with a better phrase than that.

  • What a joke.. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @04:46PM (#31250024)

    "I crack backs; I cure cancer!"
    "I crack backs; I cure deafness!"

    Chiropractic is pseudo-0scientific bullshit. Along the lines of Homoeopathy, Acupuncture and "bad humours"

    Posted AC cuz I'm in the UK oddly enough.
    • My family used chiropractors for years; the industry is so good as passing itself off as mainstream medicine, that I actually had to see the Simon Singh case to realize that chiropractice is woo-woo alternative medicine.

      • Re:What a joke.. (Score:4, Informative)

        by grub (11606) <slashdot@grub.net> on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @04:57PM (#31250192) Homepage Journal

        My family used chiropractors for years; the industry is so good as passing itself off as mainstream medicine, that I actually had to see the Simon Singh case to realize that chiropractice is woo-woo alternative medicine.

        Just look for peer-reviewed studies that show it does anything. If I recall, James Randi's $1,000,000 prize is open to Chiropractors who can show they can do anything other than help some minor back pain.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Falconhell (1289630)

          I know it is anecdotal evidence but personally I am convinced of the value of Chiro in some circumstances.

          I suffer from FSH muscular dystrophy, and get extreme headaches due to it. The ONLY thing that reduces the frequency of these headaches is a regular visit to the chiro.

            I literally can feel an improvement immediately after a visit. That said there are some chiro's who I have tried who got no useful result, leading me to believe that this is not a placebo type effect.

          • by wytcld (179112)

            I haven't seen a chiropractor in years. Not because it doesn't work, but because it does. Seeing how big an effect it made for me, I learned to adjust my own spine. That wasn't easy. I can get it wrong. It's a very specific adjustment required, not just some random act for a presumed placebo effect.

            And that makes sense. We're physical beings. The alignment, balance, symmetry of ourselves as physical bodies - of course that makes a difference, sometimes a big one, in our health. The anti-chiropractic camp wo

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        They are very much helped in this by the fact that some of them are basically just a combination of physical therapist/hardcore masseuse, so(as long as they stick to addressing assorted aches and pains), there isn't anything especially quacky about them.

        The ones who think that they can treat ear infections just by twisting your spine, though? Haha not so much. Unfortunately, as the Singh libel case demonstrated, they tend to stick together when somebody questions the quack side of the house.
        • Re:What a joke.. (Score:4, Interesting)

          by dgatwood (11270) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @05:17PM (#31250486) Journal

          Well, so some degree, ear infections can be caused by muscle tension around the eustachian tubes not allowing the ear to drain properly, so to the extent that this is the case, chiropractic medicine can help (as can a good massage therapist without cracking your spine). This is probably not by any stretch of the imagination the majority of ear infections, of course.

          I suspect that a lot of the things that many people suspect are quackery do, in fact, actually prove beneficial *in some cases*, depending on the underlying root cause. The problem comes when somebody overgeneralizes and distorts this to say that he/she can, as you put it, cure ear infections by twisting your spine. Occasionally, yes, but usually not.

    • Re:What a joke.. (Score:5, Informative)

      by Monkeedude1212 (1560403) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @05:03PM (#31250288) Journal

      I suppose that depends on what your Chiropractor is claiming to fix.

      For example, my girlfriend visits a chiropractor because one of her spinal discs pinches a nerve in her upper back and that causes backpain and headaches.

      She says it helps - and I take her word for it that someone cracking the back is helping the issues aligned with her spine.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Cytotoxic (245301)
        All true - and also helped by the fact that chronic pain is one area where the placebo effect is particularly powerful. Powerful enough to be effective in over 50% of cases. That will get you a lot of testimonials.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          The placebo effect isn't that powerful.

          The placebo effect works for low grade pain, but anything that Tylenol can't handle, the placebo effect won't.

    • Re:What a joke.. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by jockeys (753885) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @05:09PM (#31250386) Journal
      it depends on the claims being made. for instance, the chiropractor I go to makes no claims beyond being able to help you if you throw your back out, and I have found these claims to be justified. anecdotal I know, but not every single chiropractor out there is as you describe.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by mcgrew (92797) *

      Hoemopathy has been scientifically disproven, but not accupuncture. In fact, many mainstream physicians use it these days; it has been tested and found effective. Chiropracy clearly won't do anything for any ailment not related to bones or nerves, such as cholic or cancer, but if you have an aching back it can do wonders. I know several people who had surgeons tell them surgery was their only recourse, only to have a chiropractor fix them good as new. At least one (my dad) was extremely skeptical of chiropr

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by grub (11606)

        acupunctute [...] has been tested and found effective.

        I think Randi's $1M prize is open to acupuncture. Also doing a quick check of PubMed, I don't see any studies showing benefit. Granted this was a quick search.
        • Re:What a joke.. (Score:4, Informative)

          by Luthair (847766) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @05:45PM (#31250986)
          I remembered this article [scientificamerican.com] in which a few studies had found that poking people with needles could relieve pain, but there was no difference between traditional locations and random locations.
          • by sjames (1099)

            At the same time, there was another that showed needles applied to the foot in an area supposedly related to the eyes caused activation of parts of the visual cortex visible in an fMRI. But only when a skilled accupuncturist did it. Medical personel sticking needles into the same general area didn't trigger the brain activity.

        • Re:What a joke.. (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Cytotoxic (245301) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @05:50PM (#31251100)

          acupunctute [...] has been tested and found effective. I think Randi's $1M prize is open to acupuncture. Also doing a quick check of PubMed, I don't see any studies showing benefit. Granted this was a quick search.

          Benefit relative to placebo. Placebos are very effective in treating pain. So both statements could in fact be true.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by c6gunner (950153)

        Hoemopathy has been scientifically disproven, but not accupuncture. In fact, many mainstream physicians use it these days; it has been tested and found effective.

        They also found that a chimpanzee in a white coat poking you with toothpicks was every bit as effective as a trained doctor using needles on meridian points and all that nonsense.

        Acupuncture works as a placebo. It's been well documented that the more invasive a placebo is, the more "effective" it is. Me hitting you in the head with a rubber mallet is more likely to "cure" your headache than if you just took a sugar pill, but neither one actually has any real effect.

        I know several people who had surgeons tell them surgery was their only recourse, only to have a chiropractor fix them good as new.

        I know several people who swear that som

        • by rahvin112 (446269)

          I think your above post admits that the placebo affect is a real documented effect. That the placebo effect can in fact remove pain completely. If such is true, is allowing scam artists to invoke the placebo effect in people and directly improve their lives a bad thing?

          You might hate them and think their all scam artists but the reality is they dramatically improve some peoples lives, even if it's just a bunch of mumbo-jumbo that's the result of the placebo effect I can't condemn them. They are making some

          • Re:What a joke.. (Score:4, Insightful)

            by Chad Birch (1222564) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @07:50PM (#31252806)
            The problem is that people believe it's real medicine, and so they think it'll actually work. And when it doesn't, they don't necessarily go look for the stuff that actually will: Homeopathy Kills a Child [scienceblogs.com]
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by c6gunner (950153)

            I think your above post admits that the placebo affect is a real documented effect.

            Of course.

            That the placebo effect can in fact remove pain completely.

            No, the placebo effect doesn't remove anything. The placebo effect is just an observation about the ability of the human body to affect itself.

            As for the "remove pain completely" bit, that's also completely wrong. I'm fairly certain that if you were to give burn victims a placebo instead of morphine, they'd notice a pretty big difference.

            If such is true, is allowing scam artists to invoke the placebo effect in people and directly improve their lives a bad thing?

            Yes. You may as well ask me why it's wrong to sell cocaine to addicts when it clearly makes them feel so good.

      • by sjames (1099)

        Actual colic is unlikely to be cured by chiropracty but I could see it helping with some general digestive problems that might be colloquially called colic.

        On the other side of the coin, a number of back pain treatments used by "conventional medicine" are poorly supported by evidence.

        But agreed, chiropracty as a cure for cancer is unlikely.

    • Re:What a joke.. (Score:5, Informative)

      by History's Coming To (1059484) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @05:17PM (#31250488) Journal
      Fair enough. I'm in the UK too. However, I would like to say the following: homoeopathy is fraud. I work in the science section of a large bookshop in Edinburgh, I should be easy enough to find and will identify myself if asked.

      Bring on the lawyers. I could intentionally produce a fraudulent, counterfeit, fake homoeopathic remedy (ie a small phial of water), but it would be indistinguishable from a "real" one. I would welcome a court's attention to the matter.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Z34107 (925136)

      I believe the alternative-medicine stuff is BS, but I believe spinal adjustment can be helpful. I had pinched nerves in my shoulders and wrists. Tingling in my fingers eventually turned into a complete numbness of my hands - it was hard to move my fingers unless I was looking at them so I knew where they were.

      After spine snapping, my posture is better, the tingling has been gone for over a year, and X-rays show that my spine no longer looks like a hang-man's gallows.

      I think whatever other remedies get ped

  • Chiroprators (Score:5, Informative)

    by Locke2005 (849178) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @04:47PM (#31250050)
    There are a few conditions a Chiropractic practitioner is good for, e.g. pinched nerves. However, their contention that manipulating the spine can fix virtually any condition is, er, properly described as "bogus".
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by benjfowler (239527)

      I've tried both chiropractice and physiotherapy, and they seem like much of a muchness, although I suppose I have a little more confidence in conventional medicine -- I doubt that the certification process for chiropractors is as rigourous or lengthy as physiotherapy. I've recently heard enough horror stories about people being maimed or killed outright by dodgy chiropractice to ever consider returning to a chiropractor.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        i think most professional athletes would take issue with Physiotherapy being much of a muchness. As would I. As would pretty much every hospital in my County.

        Physiotherapy quite literally got me out of bed and walking without being in agonizing pain within 3 days after spending weeks with Chiropractors. In fact I visit a Physiotherapist a couple of times a year who has helped me no end manage shoulder damage I have had doing sports over the years.

        I am not sure what Physiotherapists you have used, but assumi

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Joe Tie. (567096)
          i think most professional athletes would take issue with Physiotherapy being much of a muchnes

          Bully for them. Unless they've demonstrated experience with experimental methodology and have researched the subject with peer reviewed medical journals I really don't care. Anecdotal evidence is next to worthless for a good reason.

          A large amount of professional athletes will also be happy to explain how their charms and talismans give them magic powers, and that Jesus shoots magic rays down at them to allow t
          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by Anonymous Coward

            I think you'll find, with some minimal digging, that Physiotherapists in the UK (as well as places like Australia and New Zealand where they're professionals and regulated) actually have and continue to provide research to back themselves up. It's harder to do this for physiotherapy since, by the nature of the injuries it treats, getting groups of patients with the same injury so a more traditional study can be done is nigh on impossible. However, there are lots of research based Physiotherapists in Univers

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jedidiah (1196)

        The human back is a tricky thing to deal with. If you want find horror stories, then you don't need to restrict yourself to chiropractors.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I doubt that the certification process for chiropractors is as rigourous or lengthy as physiotherapy.

        The process to become a chiropractor is quite lengthy.

        After all, you don't want to go see a quack, you want a certified quack with a nice framed piece of paper on their wall.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @05:14PM (#31250446)
      In cadaver studies the whole pinched nerve thing was shown to be bogus. The amount a spine would have to be manipulated would cripple the subject.

      They now resort to "subluxations" which, again, have been shown to be bogus. In experiments with n subjects, some with and some without diagnosed "subluxations" were examined by n chiropractors.

      EVERY subject was diagnosed with a "subluxation" and rarely in the same spot.

      Bullshit all around.
  • Is "Two And A Half Men" broadcast in the UK? One of the main characters is a chiropractor and most of the other characters say libelous things about his profession. Where are the lawsuits over this?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by riddic (1751720)

      Is "Two And A Half Men" broadcast in the UK? One of the main characters is a chiropractor and most of the other characters say libelous things about his profession. Where are the lawsuits over this?

      It is broadcast in the U.K., very regularly (it is on syndication on Paramount Comedy or some channel). No, it is not an issue. The reason you've had to ask this question is because you've been subjected to kdawson's ridiculous idiocy where he compares freedom of speech in the U.K. to China.

  • Everyone knows what bogus treatments are. They are not merely treatments which have proved less effective than they were at first thought to be, or which have been shown by the subsequent acquisition of more detailed scientific knowledge to be ineffective. Bogus treatments equate to quack remedies; that is to say they are dishonestly presented to a trusting and, in some respects perhaps, vulnerable public as having proven efficacy in the treatment of certain conditions or illnesses, when it is known that there is nothing to support such claims.

    Please, get this story right, people. It's not about whether these remedies work or not. It's the implication that they offer them, knowing full well that they don't work.
    Here's the OED definition of bogus:

    pretending to be real or genuine

    • Please, get this story right, people.

      Welcome to /. :-)

    • by jabuzz (182671) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @05:21PM (#31250554) Homepage

      If the British Chiropractic Association claim the use of chiropractic works for certain children’s ailments such as asthma, colic, and frequent ear infections, but refuse to provide any evidence that they do then one can only presume that they knew full well that that they don't work and are hence bogus.

      However this is immaterial to the case. In England and Wales (could be different in Scotland as we have a different legal system) the mere fact that Simon Singh's claim whether right or wrong was made and has damaged the claimant aka liabled him to the general public is all that is required in theory for the BCA to win. Truth is no defence against liable in England and Wales.

      • by whoever57 (658626)

        please, please rtfa. the key issue here is the meaning of 'bogus' and if it meant that the bca members knew that chiropractic does not work.

        it's the bca's knowledge and the meaning of bogus that the court will decide. the truth of the singh's claim is key, but the court has to decide what singh was claiming -- and to decide what singh was claiming, the court must decide what 'bogus' meant in this context.

        so truth is a defense -- but it's a different truth to your simplistic view.

  • Judge not impressed (Score:5, Informative)

    by rugatero (1292060) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @04:58PM (#31250214)

    "Simon Singh, author, television presenter and known critic of pseudoscience, is in court today...

    Well, given that it is now approaching 9PM in the UK, it is more correct to say Simon Singh was in court today. And so far things look promising – Lord Judge is less than impressed by BCA's case. See http://www.indexoncensorship.org/2010/02/simon-singh-chiropractic-bca-libel-appeal [indexoncensorship.org]

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Spad (470073)

      He went on to criticise the BCA’s reluctance to publish evidence to back up claims that chiropractic treatments could treat childhood asthma and other ailments.

      “I’m just baffled. If there is reliable evidence, why hasn’t someone published it?”

      Why not indeed? I can't imagine...

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by TACD (514008)

      Well, given that it is now approaching 9PM in the UK, it is more correct to say Simon Singh was in court today. And so far things look promising – Lord Judge is less than impressed by BCA's case. See http://www.indexoncensorship.org/2010/02/simon-singh-chiropractic-bca-libel-appeal [indexoncensorship.org]

      You got to posting the important link before me, so let me instead say that even if Simon wins this round there is still a whole lot more work to be done; firstly, this is only the appeal against the previous judge's decision of what was meant by his use of the word 'bogus', and a win here will just make the rest of the case easier to fight. Secondly, Britain still lacks a proper 'public interest' defense in these sorts of cases, and that is why it is important to support full and considered libel reform [libelreform.org] so

    • by Eil (82413) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @06:06PM (#31251386) Homepage Journal

      It's probably hard to be impressed by anything at all when your formal title and name works out to be Lord Chief Justice Lord Judge.

  • Chiropractic feels good and can be used to temporarily release muscle tension, but you're never going to make me believe that an adjustment on a chiropractor's table lasts beyond using your muscles to get up off the table and walk out of the office. You're better off with deep tissue massage which actually has lasting effects, but DT Massage is often uncomfortable or downright painful, unlike chiropractic. So called "Network Chiropractic" is complete bullshit. The idea that a chiropractor can tap or push

  • If Singh loses this then that would be a surprise, but it would also be based on the current interpretation and application of the law. He wont be hung out to dry (Eady's bewildering decision notwithstanding).

    It's been known in cases like this in the past for the award to the plaintiffs to be nominal - a couple of pennies. I would hope that if he does lose, the judges take exactly that approach.

    Frankly the BCA are acting like a bunch of charlatan's trying to abuse the law to silence legitimate protest and I

  • Britain seems like it could do well to adopt the U.S. Bill of rights.

    • by sir_eccles (1235902) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @07:39PM (#31252646)

      Is it a waste of my time to point out that the UK has had a Bill of Rights since 1689 thus predating the American version by some 100 years.

      Not to mention the more recent European Convention on Human Rights which was written in the 1950s by a Brit.

      • by Dunbal (464142) *

        Is it a waste of my time to point out that the UK has had a Bill of Rights since 1689 thus predating the American version by some 100 years.

              Not to mention the Magna Carta, written into law in 1215... no I think the UK doesn't need to adopt any laws from rebel colonies.

      • by Opyros (1153335)
        In fact, the only reason our first ten Constitutional amendments are nicknamed the "Bill of Rights" is by analogy with the original, English Bill of Rights. (Just as the United States Postal Service is commonly called "the Post Office", or one cent is called a "penny".)
  • Legal Context (Score:5, Informative)

    by Alistair Hutton (889794) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @07:08PM (#31252258) Homepage
    Just to give you some idea of what is going on. Singh was found guilty of libel by a Judge know as Justic Eady, he is the Eastern Texas District Court of Libel Judges. Ridiculous libel decision after ridiculous libel decision has been made by him, well beyond the bounds of Britain's already incredibly strict laws.

    Britain's senior judges have been begging parliament for reform in the libel and defamation laws due to their stupidity. The three judge appeal panel has Britian's two most senior judes on it, they have specifically requested this case for two reason's
    1) To smack down Eady and deliver a sternly worded "No" to him while clipping his nose with a rolled up newspaper.
    2) A spot of judicial activism because the politicians are dragging their feet something rotten

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