Sir Van Morrison granted leave to appeal ruling

time:2023-05-31 03:08:24 source:The New York Times

Sir Van Morrison has been granted leave to appeal against a ruling that his legal battle with Health Minister Robin Swann should be heard without a jury.

Mr Swann issued legal proceedings after Sir Van chanted that the minister was "very dangerous", over his handling of Covid-19 restrictions.

This was during a dinner at the Europa Hotel in Belfast in June 2021.

Sir Van is suing Mr Swann and the Department of Health, in a separate action.

This is over an opinion piece Mr Swann wrote for Rolling Stone magazine in 2020.

In June, a High Court judge held that both actions should be heard by a judge alone.

Counsel for the musician confirmed at a hearing last month that his client would be seeking leave to challenge that ruling.

On Monday, the Lady Chief Justice Dame Siobhan McKeegan said the Court of Appeal was granting the leave application.

She told the court that the "leave stage does not involve any adjudication on the substantive merits".

She added: "It was simply to decide whether or not there is an arguable case that should be debated and we consider that the test is met in this case on the basis of the written argument raised."

The Lady Chief Justice said an extension of time would be granted to allow the matter to be debated and for a substantive ruling to be made.

A case management review was scheduled for 24 October, with a potential hearing date of either 30 November or 14 December.

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