Birdwatchers lose RSPB defamation case
TWO birdwatchers who sued the RSPB for criticising their research into an endangered species have lost their case after a judge said the courts should not be used for scientific disputes.
Gordon and Christine Bowker took their defamation claim against the RSPB to the High Court after the charity said their four-year study into the breeding cycle of the black grouse was “reckless” and “dangerous” and could have contributed to the bird’s decline.
Yesterday, Mrs Justice Sharp dismissed the couple’s case after accepting the RSPB’s argument that “scientific disputes are not for the courts”.
She said: “Scientific controversies must be settled by the methods of science rather than by the methods of litigation.”