Sign up now to keep the libel laws out of science!

The use of the English libel laws to silence critical discussion of medical practice and scientific evidence discourages debate, denies the public access to the full picture and encourages use of the courts to silence critics. The British Chiropractic Association has sued Simon Singh for libel. The scientific community would have preferred that it had defended its position about chiropractic through an open discussion in the medical literature or mainstream media.

Full details of the campaign here

5 thoughts on “Sign up now to keep the libel laws out of science!

  1. Maybe they have, maybe they haven’t. I’m wondering if any of the legal profession have spoke out against this. Any retired judges stopped to look back with a bit of anger at the way the law is being used? Aren’t any serving judges capable of thinking about this while they hand-wash their wigs, and feel something is wrong? Are none not brave enough even to either singularly or collectively write and send a letter to a national newspaper? Do they all really not care?
    The MPs (I haven’t had a single visit to my door from any party, only a green-party leaflet through, probably threw through, the letter box) should have and now should remove this use of the law, with the law.
    Let’s hope Singh’s appeal builds up an immense force behind it.
    Sued for trying to help those at one of the two most vunerable stages of life.
    Since when is it in the interests of children to have the wrong treatment, BCA/Eady? The possibilty of it being given so should always be as near to never as can be. Christ – just the idea of this ruling, aside from the reality, is sickening.

  2. I’m up for it, honestly,

    Hiding behind such laws will only stall the general census for a very short time, but it will waste more of our millions, trying to pass the buck and keep things shtum, yet again big brother flexing their legal muscles in the intrest of their own neglect, My Grandfather would call this kind of treatment their crystal ball mentality with the truth,

    Already the powers at large are starting to take heed about what we all know about the hospital managers failure to save lives whilst trying to make the money go round, endless red tape liable laws will only make their cause much harder.

    The good old clean nurse, dirty nurse or what’s commonly known as the aceptic technique and the wearing face masks and having regular nasal swabs is being brought back in quite a few of our hospitals in order of trying to halt the spread of hospital bugs and cross infections, this is the very first line of defensce against the nasties and it should have never been stopped in the first place, and is the treatment against the cause, save us billions it will.

    A perfect example of their neglect was the miss-diagnosis of my father who having caught scepticemia whilst being admitted for a traffic accident, to cut a long story short he was later literally sent home to die for the fourth time, a very simple check would have saved him a 6 month stay in hospital and the total ruination of his life, yet their neglect cost the tax payer god knows how much to keep him in there, this kind of knowledge cannot be stopped, as a medic in my formative years and some knowledge on such things we threatened to expose the hospital if they sent him home again, a lawyer we contacted about this called this kind neglect, indirect violence in the extreme, the same kind of laws that protect us against someone spitting on the side walk.

    Before he went into hospital he was a very fit 70 year old, who did a 5 mile dog every day,

    Liable they should be,

  3. Britain’s current libel laws, let alone judicial clowns like Eady (and he is not the first), are a threat to everyone, not just to science. But certainly science is a good place to start fighting them.

  4. People entering science had declined every year for decades, and many have to reley on private monies because the government put less and less into the arena.

    I’m not a lawyer, but I do know this, the one thing that makes us all very different to the lawyers amongst the poloticians runing this and many other countries is, we are not immune to suit them buggers are, fighting them in a court of law is, simply playing right into their hands.

    No one man alone can take them on, but the country as a whole backed by the Queen could call for a general ellection at any time, its wheather or not she has the constitution to bring about such an action, maybe if we had some of our French cousins spunk for a result, then things might be a very different matter.

    If the powers at large in the UK think they stand to loose a paticular battle they simply change the rules of engagement and the rules with it and we all go around in circles, at the moment we don’t have an honest leg to stand upon.

    What we need is a free working government who would be prepared to work for the people for free, until the current problems were solved, there would be no interests in personal gain and it would be an insentive for them to get things done as quickly and as efficiently as possible.

    Lets face it most poloticians don’t need the money in order to survive, as most have many lucrative outside intersets to fall back upon, which is probably the route cause of the problem in the first place with pure greed thrown in for good luck, that luck has recently run out, but the majority as another reader says,they will sit on their hands in silence of their own defence.

    We all know that this is never going to happen in Britain any time soon, so I suggest we make the best of what we have., share our knowledge with each other in such ways that benefits us and not them.

  5. it cures flu , he again said it was splitting hairs, saynig that he shouldn’t get in trouble because of imperfect sentences, but it’s really much more than that. There’s a reason that Boiron don’t have the word cure in their promotional literature, and it’s because it would be against the law for them to claim a cure where there isn’t one. Riva said that this is what they are claiming, and that falls very neatly under libel law in Italy, where attribution of a determined fact that is untrue has both a specified fine, and penalty. By putting words in their mouth, Riva left himself open to criticism and sanctions – to say that they claim it’s a flu cure is, factually speaking, untrue.I think that the response is disproportionate, but I also think that sloppy blogging and a casual attitude to copyright have left Riva in a vulnerable position. It’s one thing to criticise homoeopathy, but it’s another to libel a company, and the two shouldn’t become so intermingled in the minds of the public that we begin to think it’s ok to libel someone or something as long as it’s peripherally related to something we believe to be nonsense.Libel laws are, in many countries, downright punishing, and sadly, open to abuse, but here’s the rub – if we want the law to change, to better protect bloggers and authors and anyone else who wishes to share an opinion, then we also have to play nice with the existing laws. Direct criticism of a company or their product is a difficult thing to do, and there is a fine, often poorly defined, line between valid criticism and outright libel. You can be critical of a company or product if you have evidence to back up that criticism, but you cannot invent evidence to support a criticism. You can share your opinion of a product or company, but you can’t put words in their mouth. In short, you can’t libel a company simply because you don’t believe in their product, and you can’t use their copyrighted imagery to help you libel them. I have sympathy for the position that Riva now finds himself in, but I also hope that others take this as a cautionary tale and learn from the mistakes that were made.

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