Newsletter 32: Preliminary hearing starts tomorrow

Apologies for the second newsletter in a week, but this is just a very quick note about the preliminary hearing of my libel case which starts on Thursday 7 May.

Simon Singh v The British Chiropractic Association (BCA).

What will be happening?
The British Chiropractic Association is suing me for libel and this hearing will be a chance to for the Judge to clear up a couple of grey areas before we gear up for a full trial this autumn. The decisions will be very important as they are likely to determine what the Judge will require in the form of a valid defence and the meaning of the article at the centre of the trial.

How to find out more?
The Contempt of Court Act applies so there are severe limitations on what anybody (particularly me) can write on the subject until the preliminary trial is underway.
Therefore, the best source of information is the web, which contains lots of articles and blogs that have discussed the case in detail. You can Google words such as Singh, BCA & libel.

In particular, I would recommend visiting a blog written by Jack of Kent who is a lawyer and who has taken a special interest in this case. This blog will be updated during the hearing and Jack of Kent will also be twittering from outside the court at appropriate breaks in proceedings. (This blog is particularly relevant and is followed by keywords that you can use to find other postings relating to the case.)

Jack of Kent will also be posting to the Facebook group.

Where and when?

The hearing on Thursday 7 May might start as early as 10am, but it is more likely to be 10.30, or possibly even 11am. There is a good chance that it will run into Friday. It will take place at the Royal Courts of Justice on the Strand (WC2A 2LL), probably Court 13 or 14.
If you are interested and have the time, then you are welcome to attend all or part of the hearing. There should be plenty of room in court. If you get lost then my friend David Allen Green will be standing by the information desk in the main hall of the Royal Courts of Justice at 9.30am on Thursday. I hope to be able to join David for lunch at the Knights Templar pub on Chancery Lane, and this will also be a good meeting place for supporters.
If you need more information then you can call the Royal Courts of Justice on 020-7947 6010 (case reference no. is HQ08X02657), otherwise just drop in. As long as you are quiet and do not disturb proceedings then you can arrive and leave during the hearing.

And, finally, thanks to everyone who has been so supportive over the last year. The blogs, emails, facebook postings, pats on the back and phone calls have all been much appreciated and a real morale booster.