Science writer Simon Singh today won his Court of Appeal case for the right to rely on a defence of fair comment in the libel action bought by the British Chiropractic Association over his opinion piece in the Guardian, published in April, 2008.
In May last year, High Court judge Mr Justice Eady, in a preliminary ruling , held that Singh's comments were factual assertions rather than expressions of opinion - which meant he could not use the defence of fair comment. The Lord Chief Justice Lord Judge, Master of the Rolls Lord Neuberger and Lord Justice Sedley ruled the High Court judge had ''erred in his approach'' and allowed Mr Singh's appeal.
Singh described the ruling as ''brilliant'', but added: ''It is extraordinary this action has cost £200,000 to establish the meaning of a few words.''
I am a freelance journalist based in the UK and was deputy editor of Press Gazette, the journalists' magazine, from 1993 until 2006. I want to give an independent view on media matters.
You can contact me with stories, ideas and comments by email at email@example.com You can also follow me on Twitter @jonslattery