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BHA reasserts support for Simon Singh’s appeal against libel case

The BHA welcomed the announcement today from scientist Simon Singh that he will continue the fight in his libel case with the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) after his application to appeal the preliminary ruling was rejected last week. He has now has the option to try and overturn that decision at an oral appeal.

The BCA took legal action after an article written by Simon and published in The Guardian newspaper offered criticisms against claims made by them, among others, on some of the alleged medical benefits of chiropractic therapy.  Rather than mounting a robust scientific defence against the claims made in the article, the BCA instead personally sued Simon Singh for libel.

In June, BHA Chief Executive Hanne Stinson joined many other organisations and public figures in signing a statement headed “The law has no place in scientific disputes” which supported Simon in his stand against the BCA.

The BHA also published a shorter version of the article on their website and in the BHA members’ newsletter BHA News in solidarity with a number of other newspapers, magazines and organisations who reprinted the article on 29th July 2009.

Simon said today, “A great deal has happened since my original article was published back in April 2008 and I suspect that the libel case will continue for many more months (or maybe years). While my case is ongoing, it continues to raise a whole series of arguably more important issues, particularly the appalling state of English libel laws.”

BHA Campaigns Officer Pepper Harow, added, “The BHA is very happy to support Simon on this issue. Scientists should be able to point out and criticise claims about the medical benefits of a service without fear of legal action against them.”

Notes

For further comment or information, contact Pepper Harow, BHA Campaigns Officer, on 020 7462 4992.

The British Humanist Association (BHA) is the national charity representing and supporting the non-religious and campaigning for an end to religious privilege and to discrimination based on religion or belief. It is the largest organisation in the UK working for a secular state.

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