It appears that the Court of Appeal is assembling a very powerful panel indeed to hear the appeal by Simon Singh of the adverse ruling on meaning by the High Court.
(Please note that Court composition is subject to change up to the day of the hearing - likely to be 22 February 2010 - but my information has today been confirmed by the Court of Appeal.)
The Court will be presided over by no less than the Master of the Rolls, Lord Neuberger, the most senior of all the civil appeals judges and indeed former Law Lord.
Significantly, he will be joined by Sir Stephen Sedley, the Court of Appeal judge whose liberal and intellectual reputation is equal to that of Sir John Laws, the appeal judge who granted Simon Singh permission to appeal. (Famously, Sir Stephen is a former communist party member who has listed "changing the world" as his recreation in Who's Who.)
The third judge will be Dame Mary Arden, the highly-regarded former Chair of the Law Commission, the body charged with proposing fundamental law reform.
This would be what lawyers call a "strong" Court of Appeal - indeed it is difficult to think of one stronger - especially for an appeal on what is a preliminary issue, rather than a full substantive appeal.
Any guidance given by such a strong Court of Appeal on what constitutes fair comment and justification in libel (or indeed any other issue) is be likely to have a great impact on the future approach of the High Court.
This is no indication as to what the outcome of appeal will be: Simon Singh can still lose. But it is entirely possible that their judgment will become a leading case whatever the result.
My opinion - and it is only a personal opinion and so could well be wrong - is that the terms of the permission ruling by Sir John Laws (see the case report and my commentary here) make it unlikely that the British Chiropractic Association will repeat their success in the High Court, at least to the extent that Simon Singh will have to show that the BCA were knowingly dishonest.
If this does turn out to be the composition of the Court of Appeal then, more than before, it makes the appeal hearing all the more interesting...