16 Responses to Stop Press: BCA drop case against Simon Singh

  1. Lee Turnpenny says:

    So I’m not to run up and down the corridor shouting it out loud just yet…..?
    Thanks, Austin – eagerly awaiting confirmation.

  2. Stephen Curry says:

    This is fantastic news! I presume Simon’s barristers would not have gone public if the matter was in any doubt.

  3. Heather Etchevers says:

    There will be an enormous collective sigh of relief, but I suspect the people who went with blind faith to their chiropractors will continue to do so. Luckily there is a greater issue at stake, and libel cases will hopefully become more difficult and sticky to bring in England.

  4. Grant Jacobs says:

    BCA statement now available (PDF file)

  5. Lee Turnpenny says:

    In case you’ve not seen the BCA’s statement yet… the last two paragraphs… well…

  6. Lee Turnpenny says:

    Sorry, Grant – simultaneity.

  7. Grant Jacobs says:

    Simon Singh has tweeted, thanking the BCA: “Hats off to the BCA for helping raise awareness of the need for radical #libelreform”.

  8. Austin Elliott says:

    Anyone who has read the BCA’s “concession statement” might find this mildly diverting.

  9. Ken Doyle says:

    Saw this on the BBC website this morning…good news indeed.

  10. Lee Turnpenny says:

    Kind of nicely book-ended : the original article that provoked the case appeared during Chiropractic Awareness Week; the case is dropped during World Homeopathy Awareness Week. There’s a sort of pleasing symmetry there.

  11. Austin Elliott says:

    It’s even better than that, Lee. According to the BCA’s website, 13-19th April 2010 is…. wait for it… this year’s…

    Chiropractic Awareness Week…!

    Cosmic coincidence or what?

  12. Lee Turnpenny says:

    Oh wow! (Although they seem to have, err, compressed this year’s week.)

    I guess we should help them make people aware, then, eh?

  13. Matt Brown says:

    Ben Goldacre suggests that Singh will now harry the BCA for expenses, which could be very costly for the organisation.

  14. Austin Elliott says:

    The BCA’s lawyers were RUMOURED (see the last Private Eye) to be planning, in case the BCA had won and thus been awarded costs, to try to charge Singh a “100% libel success fee uplift”. This is part of the controversial contingency fee set-up used by some libel lawyers, whereby they can charge a “winner’s premium” of DOUBLE the actual cost in terms of “billable hours”.

    Private Eye also aired rumours that these same lawyers would have sought to charge at their standard £££ hourly rate for “time spent dealing with bloggers” – which might conceivably have meant “time spent reading blogs about the case that supported Simon Singh.”

    Given this sort of thing, one could see why Singh might not be inclined to feel merciful.

    In any case, the main thing from Singh’s perspective is presumably that he should not have to be out of pocket tens of thousands for defending himself, which is fair enough. He is already looking at two years spent not doing any real writing work on a book, which is time he won’t get back. The cost of that is NOT recoverable, but the legal fees should be.

  15. Mike Fowler says:

    I dunno, Austin. Seems like Simon could get some pretty useful material out of all this… And as he’s not been found guilty of any crime, he can profit out of his experience.
    Not that that always stopped certain other would-be author/politicians.

  16. Austin Elliott says:

    Heh. I think I predicted somewhere that some publisher would likely offer Simon S a large advance for the story of “My fight with the BCA”. But I still suspect he would rather have spent the two years thinking about something else…

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