Politics Simon Singh wins libel case British Chiropractic Association drops its case against science writer. Print HTML I've just heard the fantastic news that the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) has dropped its libel case against Simon Singh. The scientist, who has contributed to the NS in the past, was sued by the BCA after he wrote a piece for the Guardian describing the association's claim that spinal manipulation could be used to treat children with colic, sleeping and feeding conditions as "bogus". But it always looked likely that Singh would triumph after the appeal court ruled earlier this month that he could rely on a defence of "fair comment". This case became a cause célèbre ("Simon Singh" is currently trending on Twitter) precisely because it highlighted the chilling effect that Britain's libel laws have had on free speech and scientific inquiry. Jack Straw's libel reform plan, which would have capped lawyers' success fees at 10 per cent, fell victim to the Parliamentary 'wash up' but all of the three main parties have now committed to libel reform in their manifestos. Reducing the cost of libel cases, as Straw promised, is a necessary reform but it is not a sufficient one. London has become the libel capital of the world, not just because of the sums claimants can win, but because it is easier to win a case here than in any comparable democracy. Only English libel law places the burden of proof on the defendant, meaning the odds are stacked against authors and publishers from the start. Any future government should shift this burden from the defendant to the plaintiff as a matter of urgency. Join us for the first TV leaders' debate tonight. › David Miliband is having a strong anti-Tory campaign George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman. Subscribe More Related articles There are risks as well as opportunities ahead for George Osborne From "cockroaches" to campaigns: how the UK press u-turned on the refugee crisis Can non-voters win the next election for Labour?