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Court of Appeal judgment in Pell case reinforces robust justice system

Court of Appeal judgment in Pell case reinforces robust justice system

By LIV Media


The majority decision of the Court of Appeal to reject the appeal by Cardinal George Pell against his conviction reinforces the robust nature and fairness of the Victorian justice system, LIV President Stuart Webb said today.

Mr Webb said never had the Victorian criminal justice system been subject to such international scrutiny.

“What today’s judgment has shown is that reasonable minds can disagree, but our legal system has passed the test”.

Mr Webb said the majority verdict by Chief Justice Ferguson and President Maxwell found the complainant to be a credible witness and it was open to the jury to be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that Cardinal Pell was guilty.

Justice Weinberg found that there was a significant possibility that the Cardinal may not have committed the offences.

His judicial colleagues took a different view of the facts.

Mr Webb said the judgment would be examined in great detail, and the potential for a High Court appeal exists.

He said it was also worth noting that the Court of Appeal unanimously rejected the further two grounds of appeal, including that the trial judge had not erred in barring the defence from playing an animation during their summing up that had not been used previously, and that there had not been a “fundamental irregularity” as Pell was arraigned because the jury was in another room and watching by video link.

“The Court of Appeal has determined that being present in the arraignment includes being present by technological means, helpful judicial approval of modern court practices”, Mr Webb said.



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