Regardless of the outcome of his particular case, there’s a larger issue, namely the way libel labs in the UK work. Singh lists reasons for libel reform:
(a) English libel laws have been condemned by the UN Human Rights Committee.
(b) These laws gag scientists, bloggers and journalists who want to discuss matters of genuine public interest (including public health!).
(c) Our laws give rise to libel tourism, whereby the rich and the powerful (Saudi billionaires, Russian oligarchs and overseas corporations) come to London to sue writers because English libel laws are so hostile to responsible journalism. (Again, it is exactly because English libel laws have this global impact that we welcome signatories to the petition from around the world.)
(d) Vested interests can use their resources to bully and intimidate those who seek to question them. The cost of a libel trial in England is 100 times more expensive than the European average and typically runs to over £1 million.
(e) Two separate ongoing libel cases involve myself and Peter Wilmshurst, and we are both raising concerns about medical treatments. We face losing £1 million each. In future, why would anyone else raise similar concerns when our libel laws are so brutal and expensive? Our libel laws mean that serious health matters are not necessarily reported, which means that the public is put at risk.
If you haven’t done so, consider signing the petition for libel reform at http://www.libelreform.org/sign. And consider spreading the word.