News of George Pell’s death may generate a roller coaster of complex and variable emotions among abuse survivors.
Pell, often described as a conservative Catholic, was jailed for child sexual abuse in Australia in 2019 but maintained his innocence and was acquitted the following year.
There is a clear legal reason why publications including The Age and news.com.au have copped hefty penalties.
A new book by journalist Louise Milligan exposes the brutality of many witnesses’ encounters with the criminal trial process.. It is informed, too, by her own experience of cross-examination.
Pell said after his acquittal he would ‘be very surprised if there’s any bad findings’ in the redacted portions of the royal commission report. This is not the case.
Conviction rates for sexual offences remain low, despite legal reforms in recent years. One reason is the criminal standard of ‘reasonable doubt’ when supporting evidence may be difficult to produce.
The appeal may lead to a loss of public confidence in the jury system, but that’s how the justice process works.
This High Court appeal did not ask whether Pell committed the offences. It asked whether the two majority judges in the Victorian Court of Appeal, in dismissing Pell’s earlier appeal, made an error.
The High Court has referred Cardinal George Pell’s application for special leave to appeal his convictions to the full bench of the High Court.
By a majority of two to one, the Court of Appeal has dismissed Pell’s case, because it found guilty verdicts were open to the jury.
Investigative reporter Louise Milligan on Cardinal Pell and redactions in the Royal Commission’s report
The Conversation55.2 MB (download)
When the royal commission handed down its massive report in late 2017, several sections were redacted until after any legal proceedings against Cardinal Pell were concluded.
Pell trial reporters, a judge and a media lawyer on why the suppression order debate is far from over.
The Conversation, CC BY79.9 MB (download)
On the day George Pell was sentenced, several experts with wide-ranging experiences of suppression orders discussed how they affect the public’s right to know and whether the laws should be reformed.
Parents must encourage open conversations with their children from a young age.
A hung jury does not necessarily undermine a verdict in a subsequent trial – it more likely means some of the jurors from the first trial agreed with the final verdict.
George Pell’s conviction has opened a rift in Australian society, with many people questioning the guilty verdict. Pell’s lawyer has said he will appeal. On what grounds could he do that?
The media frenzy surrounding George Pell’s conviction may force victims of child sexual abuse to relive their own trauma.
Australian Catholics are drifting from the church, and research shows sexual abuse scandals are a main reason why.
George Pell’s current committal hearing engages the principle of ‘open justice’ and some of its most important exceptions.
Anthony Foster’s attention to detail and his clarity about the evil perpetrated in the systematic institutional abuse of children was often the object of media analysis.
One of the most important lessons we have learnt from George Pell’s royal commission appearance is the Catholic Church was – and still is – in a state of denial over child sexual abuse.