The BCA had alleged that Dr Singh had made “plainest allegation of dishonesty”, which the court today ruled was 'fair comment'.
This was widely seen as an attempt to stifle criticism of Chiropractors, who who have claimed that their treatment can cure diseases from colic to cancer, with some discouraging parents from allowing their children to be vaccinated against any illness.
There has been a major backlash against the BCA in the blogosphere and amongst other science writers. This has reached such a level that lawyers for the BCA have made the effort of dealing with the backlash as part of the claim against Singh.
British Libel laws are amongst the toughest in the world. The onus is on the defendant to prove that any statement is true, and judgements including costs can often run to hundreds of thousands, allowing organisations like the BCA to use their size as a weapon against dissent. For instance in this case the costs alone, before damages were over £ 200,000, ( $ 300,000).
The BCA has vowed to fight on, presumably assuming that the science journalist will run out of money for legal fees before they do.