The Pell Judgment and Beyond By Ian Wilson LL.B
Cardinal George Pell has lost his appeal before the Victorian Court of Appeal, by a 2-1 decision. What is interesting about this, at least to people in the law, is that the dissenting judgment was given by the brilliant jurist, Justice Mark Weinberg, who delivered a truly massive 204 page critique of the prosecution case against Pell, documenting numerous weaknesses, inconsistencies and implausibility’s in the witness evidence. The general feeling among some lawyers is that Weinberg’s judgment will set the scene for a High Court of Australia challenge, the case being along the lines of the canonical case of M v The Queen (1994) 181 CLR 487, where the High Court quashed a conviction because it was “unsafe.”
It will be fascinating to see how the High Court responses to the Pell case, especially given that the High Court has overturned a number of recent decisions by the Victorian Court of Appeal.