On Tuesday I was at the demonstration for Simon Singh outside the Royal Courts of Justice. He is being sued for libel by the British Chiropractic Association, and the latest court appearance was an appeal over meaning.
Inside the court, the judges apparently became quite exhasperated with some of the arguments put forward during the hearing. Padraig Reidy from Index on Censorship reported first-hand:
Lord Chief Justice Lord Judge said he was “troubled” by the “artificiality” of the case. “The opportunities to put this right have not been taken,” Lord Judge said.
He continued: “At the end of this someone will pay an enormous amount of money, whether it be from Dr Singh’s funds or the funds of BCA subscribers.”
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?”
Rogers conceded that had Singh written that there was “no reliable evidence”, the defamation suit might never have happened.
But Lord Justice Sedley suggested “isn’t the first question as to whether something is evidence that it is reliable?”