Friday, June 11, 2010

Jackson libel case to be heard without a jury

The court of appeal have upheld a judge's decision to do without a jury in the libel case being fought between Channel 4 and Matthew Fiddes, former bodyguard to Michael Jackson.

The likely costs was one reason, but:

The judge also based his ruling on the fact that the case would involve viewing sections of television footage and detailed examination of documents.

It also raised important issues about what was or was not acceptable editorial practice in a TV broadcast presented as factual which, he said, would best be dealt with in a reasoned judgment which could be made public and appealed.

Oh, yes. Membersof the public might find television difficult to cope with - the pictures, they move! What wizardry is this! - and a High Court judge is clearly much better equipped than other people who don't work in television to understand editorial practice.

Why don't they just dispense with the lawyers and witnesses as well? Surely a wise old judge doesn't need them, either, eh?

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