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Kevin Bonham
04-07-2017, 09:53 PM
As noted in the moderation threads I've moved a number of the George Pell posts offline because of possible sub judice issues.

Several of the general posts were moved back. I've decided for now to leave the remaining posts offline, although most of them were probably OK, but to indicate that some degree of discussion on the issue is allowed by starting a new thread.

Cardinal Pell has been charged with historic sex abuse offences and has indicated he will appear in Victoria on the 18th of July and has stated the charges are false and he will defend them vigorously. For some details see here: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-06-29/cardinal-george-pell-charged-sexual-assault-offences/8547668

While the case is being tried we do not want comment on here to potentially influence jurors or cause otherwise good jurors to be disqualified, however small the risk of these things happening. Therefore please do not post any of the following:

* arguments that prejudge that Pell is guilty or innocent based on a selection of the facts, political assumptions or results of other cases
* strong praise or criticism of Pell, his accusers, the police handling of the matter or the courts, whether related to the case or not.

The following however are permitted:

* factual details of progress of the case
* debate about whether or not Pell will get a fair trial provided that that debate does not discuss his guilt or innocence except very hypothetically
* discussion of Vatican responses to the case (ditto to above)
* discussion of the impact on Pell's standing and positions in the Vatican

etc.

If in any doubt at all I will tend to delete questionable posts entirely without warning and not put them back.

If quoting from or linking to outside material please read it very carefully to ensure it complies with the above.

Desmond
04-05-2018, 10:23 PM
And committed to stand trial for 2 of the historical sexual crimes, from the 1970's to the 1990's. Allegedly, I guess.

Apparently the treasurer for the vatican is not wanting for coin for legal representations. Go figure.

Patrick Byrom
26-02-2019, 12:31 PM
And committed to stand trial for 2 of the historical sexual crimes, from the 1970's to the 1990's. Allegedly, I guess.
Apparently the treasurer for the vatican is not wanting for coin for legal representations. Go figure.
And now we have a verdict: (https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/live/2019/feb/26/cardinal-pell-vatican-treasurer-convicted-on-historic-child-sex-abuse-charges-latest-news)

Cardinal George Pell, once the third most powerful man in the Vatican in Rome and Australia’s most senior Catholic, has been found guilty of sexually assaulting two 13-year-old boys in Melbourne in the mid 1990s. Pell was found guilty of sexually penetrating a child under the age of 16 and guilty of four charges of an indecent act with a child under the age of 16. The assaults occurred in December 1996 and early 1997 at St Patrick’s Cathedral, months after Pell was inaugurated as archbishop of Melbourne.

Kevin Bonham
26-02-2019, 02:17 PM
Yes, the primary case is now over and all suppression orders have been lifted.

The case is subject to appeal and I have seen some lawyers saying that they think Pell has good prospects of winning the appeal based on the guilty finding being so reliant on the evidence of a single witness. However the prosecution's case doesn't rely solely on one witness's testimony but also on establishing that that witness knows things about the layout of the area in question that they would not know if they were making it all up, so we'll see.

Desmond
26-02-2019, 04:51 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YDmmLAoBuJ0

Capablanca-Fan
27-02-2019, 06:18 AM
There are good reasons to think that Pell's appeal will be succesful. The case smacks of trying to get a high-profile Catholic, just like the ludicrous and overturned Chamberlain guilty verdict was motivated by trying to get someone from what they regarded as a cult. See Catholics, Sex, and Cardinal Pell (https://quadrant.org.au/opinion/qed/2019/02/catholics-sex-and-cardinal-pell/) from Quadrant:


The verdict revealed today is not an indictment of George Pell and the Catholic Church. It is an indictment of the media, whose vindictive witch hunt led to frenzied demands that someone, anyone, be punished. In this case the designated victim has done more than anyone to eradicate the very abuse for which he was laughably convicted.

Hopefully, the verdict will be overturned on appeal, which strikes me as most likely, as was the case with the equally egregious verdict against Archbishop Wilson.

Harm has been done. Firstly to Archbishop Wilson and Cardinal Pell, both faithful servants of the Church and the wider community. Secondly to the Church, which despite having lower rates of abuse than other bodies, has been, with a few appalling exceptions, open, forthright and pro-active in acknowledging abuse where it occurred, and putting processes in place to support victims. Many other institutions face a far larger public reckoning; there is filth lurking in places yet undreamed of. Thirdly to Wilson and Pell’s friends and families, who, like many other friends or family of alleged child abusers, have been subject to irrational hatred and slander, as well as unnecessary pain and doubt and confusion. Fourthly to genuine victims of child abuse, who, seeing these trials and their politically-driven outcomes, will wonder how they can rely on those whose duty it is to listen to them and protect them.

And finally, following these debacles, harm has been done to Australia’s courts and police (https://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article/truth-and-justice-after-the-pell-verdict), whose credibility and independence is rightly open to question.

__________________________

The Herald Sun‘s Shannon Deery lists the defence’s ten key arguments which failed to persuade jurors.

Desmond
27-02-2019, 07:38 AM
There are good reasons to think that Pell's appeal will be succesful. Father Frank Brennan on 730 (https://www.abc.net.au/7.30/father-frank-brennan-on-the-conviction-of-george/10851858):

Now, I don't think I'm being trite in saying even if the processes of the law were to show that the verdict were unsafe, and that won't be a matter for me, that's a matter for an appeal court, and I passionately believe in our legal system as well as the church, but even if that happens, we're all left with the realisation that 12 decent Australians off the street listening to the evidence of the victim and listening to everything that was outlined, including the improbabilities, say we are absolutely convinced that Cardinal Pell did something dreadful to this young man and his companion.

idledim
27-02-2019, 08:42 AM
https://george-pell-a-case-in-which-justice-never-had-a-fair-chance/news-story/7511475687c011524b623c61e65a6f50 (https://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/inquirer/george-pell-a-case-in-which-justice-never-had-a-fair-chance/news-story/7511475687c011524b623c61e65a6f50)

GREG CRAVEN

So what we have witnessed is a combined effort by much of the media, including the public broadcaster, and elements of Victoria’s law enforcement agency, to blacken the name of someone before he went to trial. And remember, Victoria’s prosecutorial authorities never determined to proceed. They returned the police brief three times, before the police forced the case to go forward.

Desmond
27-02-2019, 08:52 AM
https://george-pell-a-case-in-which-justice-never-had-a-fair-chance/news-story/7511475687c011524b623c61e65a6f50 (https://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/inquirer/george-pell-a-case-in-which-justice-never-had-a-fair-chance/news-story/7511475687c011524b623c61e65a6f50)

GREG CRAVEN

So what we have witnessed is a combined effort by much of the media, including the public broadcaster, and elements of Victoria’s law enforcement agency, to blacken the name of someone before he went to trial. And remember, Victoria’s prosecutorial authorities never determined to proceed. They returned the police brief three times, before the police forced the case to go forward.

He had the best defence money can buy. Still convicted by 12 ordinary people.

Why hasn't he been in jail for the last 2 months?

Patrick Byrom
27-02-2019, 10:20 AM
He had the best defence money can buy. Still convicted by 12 ordinary people.As a high profile defendant, Pell certainly received much adverse publicity. But he also had many public defenders, and an expensive defence. There must be many poor people who plead guilty due to lack of money or who can't afford to appeal their verdicts whom we never hear about.

Desmond
27-02-2019, 10:51 AM
As a high profile defendant, Pell certainly received much adverse publicity. But he also had many public defenders, and an expensive defence. There must be many poor people who plead guilty due to lack of money or who can't afford to appeal their verdicts whom we never hear about.

Yes the church isn't short of a quid when it comes to defending its own against child sex charges. Pity they don't follow the same approach to compensating victims.
Maybe Pell could justify the outlay based on the money he "saved" the church over the years by denying just compensation, and telling people to be quiet and go away.

ER
27-02-2019, 03:48 PM
what exactly is "vanilla penetration sex"? is there such a legal jargon, or is it a slang expression used in in this case to describe a not so serious sexual offense ?

Capablanca-Fan
28-02-2019, 07:35 AM
There must be many poor people who plead guilty due to lack of money or who can't afford to appeal their verdicts whom we never hear about.

That is not good either.

Capablanca-Fan
28-02-2019, 07:43 AM
He had the best defence money can buy. Still convicted by 12 ordinary people.
After being acquitted 10-2 by 12 other ordinary people. Sometimes those ordinary people can convict wrongly, e.g. Chamberlain.

Miranda Devine (https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/rendezview/how-pell-became-the-vaticans-sacrificial-lamb/news-story/9927de87c79e50194d971cdd42e722cc):


It’s devastating because I don’t believe that Pell, who I know slightly and admire greatly, could be guilty of sexually assaulting two choirboys in a busy cathedral after Sunday mass when he was Archbishop of Melbourne in 1996...

How hard it must have been to find 12 impartial souls after the campaign of vilification against Pell over the past two decades and the carefully orchestrated drip feed of lurid allegations by Victoria police to selected media against the backdrop of shocking revelations of child sexual abuse by clergy around the world...

Anyone who knows how crowded and open is the sacristy at St Patrick’s Cathedral after Sunday mass must know the accusations are implausible. “Only a madman would attempt to rape boys in the sacristy immediately after mass,” said Pell’s legal team.

It is the word of one man, codenamed AA, against the word of Cardinal Pell.

There are no witnesses and evidence was given that the second alleged victim, who died long ago, told his mother that he had not been sexually abused while a chorister.

Desmond
28-02-2019, 08:03 AM
what exactly is "vanilla penetration sex"? is there such a legal jargon, or is it a slang expression used in in this case to describe a not so serious sexual offense ?Not sure, but my reading was the latter. As in, he "just" forced the boy to suck his penis, didn't bugger him or worse.
Pretty grubby stuff, but I guess that's the job of the defence lawyer, picking up a princely sum for his trouble.
Others arguing for Pell, well that's a whole other story.

Desmond
28-02-2019, 08:05 AM
After being acquitted 10-2 by 12 other ordinary people. Sometimes those ordinary people can convict wrongly, e.g. Chamberlain.

Miranda Devine (https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/rendezview/how-pell-became-the-vaticans-sacrificial-lamb/news-story/9927de87c79e50194d971cdd42e722cc):


It’s devastating because I don’t believe that Pell, who I know slightly and admire greatly, could be guilty of sexually assaulting two choirboys in a busy cathedral after Sunday mass when he was Archbishop of Melbourne in 1996...

How hard it must have been to find 12 impartial souls after the campaign of vilification against Pell over the past two decades and the carefully orchestrated drip feed of lurid allegations by Victoria police to selected media against the backdrop of shocking revelations of child sexual abuse by clergy around the world...

Anyone who knows how crowded and open is the sacristy at St Patrick’s Cathedral after Sunday mass must know the accusations are implausible. “Only a madman would attempt to rape boys in the sacristy immediately after mass,” said Pell’s legal team.

It is the word of one man, codenamed AA, against the word of Cardinal Pell.

There are no witnesses and evidence was given that the second alleged victim, who died long ago, told his mother that he had not been sexually abused while a chorister.Victim disbelief and blaming, belief of abusers in power ... have we learnt nothing from the royal commission?

Capablanca-Fan
28-02-2019, 08:17 AM
Victim disbelief and blaming, belief of abusers in power ... have we learnt nothing from the royal commission?

That is begging the question of whether the accuser is a victim. We have only his word, an implausible scenario, and decades.

Lindy Chamberlain was also convicted by 12 ordinary people.

idledim
28-02-2019, 08:21 AM
Victim disbelief and blaming, belief of abusers in power ... have we learnt nothing from the royal commission?

truth-and-justice-after-the-pell-verdict (https://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article/truth-and-justice-after-the-pell-verdict)

FRANK BRENNAN

Desmond
28-02-2019, 08:24 AM
That is begging the question of whether the accuser is a victim. We have only his word, an implausible scenario, and decades.Actually "we" (you and I) haven't heard his word, it was delivered in a closed sitting. Which evidently the jury found credible beyond a reasonable doubt. The jury heard all the plausibility arguments, and on the weight of all the evidence, convicted.


Lindy Chamberlain was also convicted by 12 ordinary people.Wrongful convictions have occurred in the past, so no conviction is valid, is that your argument?

Capablanca-Fan
28-02-2019, 08:41 AM
Wrongful convictions have occurred in the past, so no conviction is valid, is that your argument?
No, the argument is that it has some similarities with the Chamberlain conviction.

Andrew Bolt:


Declaration: I have met Pell perhaps five times in my life and like him. I am not a Catholic or even a Christian.

But here is why I cannot believe this verdict, which clearly shocked reporters when first announced (but suppressed) last year, and which Pell is appealing as unsound.

You are meant to believe that Pell in the mid-1990s found the two choir boys in St Patrick’s cathedral’s sacristy drinking altar wine just after a Mass at which Pell had officiated.

You are meant to believe that Pell forced one boy to give him oral sex while grabbing the other, and also molesting them both.

Here is why I don’t believe this gothic story — or not enough to think this conviction reasonable.

One of the boys, now dead, denied he’d been abused.

The other, whose identity and testimony remain secret, didn’t speak of it for many years.

The attack is meant to have happened straight after Mass, when Pell is known to have traditionally spoken to worshippers leaving Mass.

It allegedly happened in the sacristy, normally a very busy room, where Pell would have known people were almost certain to walk in.

The boys had allegedly slipped away from the procession after Mass to break into the sacristy, but none of the other choristers who gave evidence said they’d noticed them doing so, or noticed them rejoining the choir later.

Pell was normally followed everywhere during and after Mass by the master of ceremonies, Monsignor Charles Portelli, who testified that he escorted the then Archbishop from the moment he arrived at the cathedral, until the moment he left. He declared the assault impossible.

Not a single witness from what was a busy cathedral at the time of the alleged abuse noticed a thing during the estimated 10 minutes of this alleged attack.

There is no history or pattern of similar abuse by Pell, unlike with real church paedophiles such as Gerard Ridsdale who raped or assaulted at least 65 children. Pell was 55 years old at the time of alleged abuse.

No wonder that a first jury failed to convict Pell. I am unable to tell you just how very close it came to acquitting him before it was discharged as deadlocked.

Desmond
28-02-2019, 10:25 AM
No, the argument is that it has some similarities with the Chamberlain conviction.Such as? I don't think it was a dingo in this case.



Andrew Bolt:

[INDENT]Declaration: I have met Pell perhaps five times in my life and like him.Probably the case with vast majority of paedophiles - they get away with it due to position of power and are often charismatic. Victims often not believed.

The rest of Bolt's arguments were all before the jury, who had the added benefit of AA's testimony which Bolt doesn't have. They convicted. Rehashing the defence changes nothing.

ER
28-02-2019, 10:29 AM
Not sure, but my reading was the latter. As in, he "just" forced the boy to suck his penis, didn't bugger him or worse.
Pretty grubby stuff, but I guess that's the job of the defence lawyer, picking up a princely sum for his trouble.
Others arguing for Pell, well that's a whole other story.

It really is grubby stuff! I doubt that the judge would accept this as a serious line of defense aiming to minimise the seriousness of
the offense worded in such an improper and unacceptable manner; let alone contradicting Pell's maintaining his innocence!

Kevin Bonham
28-02-2019, 10:30 AM
I am unable to tell you just how very close it came to acquitting him before it was discharged as deadlocked.[/INDENT]

This is because it is illegal to disclose the vote of the jury. But while Bolt seems to think he knows, this does raise the question of how he would know and whether his source is reliable or unreliable.

A pro-Pell publication overseas had claimed the margin was 10-2 in favour of acquittal, but provided no evidence as to how it supposedly knew this. Is Bolt's claim based on this unreliable publication or other secondary rumours, or does he actually know something? He has been sloppy with facts in the past (causing him to lose his racial discrimination case).

Kevin Bonham
28-02-2019, 10:37 AM
Not sure, but my reading was the latter. As in, he "just" forced the boy to suck his penis, didn't bugger him or worse.
Pretty grubby stuff, but I guess that's the job of the defence lawyer, picking up a princely sum for his trouble.
Others arguing for Pell, well that's a whole other story.

Some more of Richter's comments:


“It lasted less than six minutes,” he said about the rape of one choirboy and molestation of another in Melbourne’s St Patrick’s Cathedral in 1996.

“There are no physical injuries. There is no ejaculation. There is no recording of the offences for later. No prior history. No breach of trust in the traditional sense. No pre planning. No use of any implement.”

https://www.news.com.au/national/victoria/courts-law/george-pell-returns-to-court-in-last-bid-for-freedom/news-story/831cd5e77aca7e71b1817eefe4f535ec

He was basically just trying to claim an absence of aggravating factors beyond the basic offence - which the judge didn't agree with.

Desmond
28-02-2019, 10:38 AM
truth-and-justice-after-the-pell-verdict (https://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article/truth-and-justice-after-the-pell-verdict)

FRANK BRENNAN

Thanks for the link, I think Frank Brennan is usually pretty sensible. This may be true:


I was very surprised by the verdict. In fact, I was devastated. My only conclusion is that the jury must have disregarded many of the criticisms so tellingly made by Richter of the complainant's evidence and that, despite the complainant being confused about all manner of things, the jury must nevertheless have thought — as the recent royal commission discussed — that children who are sexually violated do not always remember details of time, place, dress and posture. Although the complainant got all sorts of facts wrong, the jury must have believed that Pell did something dreadful to him. The jurors must have judged the complainant to be honest and reliable even though many of the details he gave were improbable if not impossible.

Patrick Byrom
28-02-2019, 01:34 PM
After being acquitted 10-2 by 12 other ordinary people. Sometimes those ordinary people can convict wrongly, e.g. Chamberlain.

Miranda Devine (https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/rendezview/how-pell-became-the-vaticans-sacrificial-lamb/news-story/9927de87c79e50194d971cdd42e722cc):

... How hard it must have been to find 12 impartial souls after the campaign of vilification against Pell over the past two decades and the carefully orchestrated drip feed of lurid allegations by Victoria police to selected media against the backdrop of shocking revelations of child sexual abuse by clergy around the world ... In the past you've argued that Australia should have a level of free speech similar to the US. Have you changed your mind? Because as a public figure, Pell would be subject to a much greater level of free speech if Australia had a First Amendment.

Desmond
28-02-2019, 02:15 PM
Ray Hadley condemns John Howard and Tony Abbott for 'gross errors of judgment' on Pell
(https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/ray-hadley-condemns-john-howard-and-tony-abbott-for-gross-errors-of-judgment-on-pell-20190228-p510t5.html)

Sydney shock jock Ray Hadley has taken aim at former Liberal prime ministers John Howard and Tony Abbott over their show of support for George Pell in the wake of his conviction for child sexual abuse, declaring they had made "gross errors of judgment".

In an excoriating attack, Hadley accused the two former prime ministers of showing "a complete lack of understanding" of the victims of paedophiles, and implied Mr Abbott's actions could cost him his seat in Federal Parliament at the election. ...

Capablanca-Fan
01-03-2019, 07:31 AM
In the past you've argued that Australia should have a level of free speech similar to the US. Have you changed your mind? Because as a public figure, Pell would be subject to a much greater level of free speech if Australia had a First Amendment.

No I have not changed my mind. But when a case is pending, it is irresponsible for the Polizei to drip feed lurid allegations to the Leftmedia who have vilified Pell for decades.

Capablanca-Fan
01-03-2019, 07:36 AM
Sydney shock jock Ray Hadley … accused the two former prime ministers of showing "a complete lack of understanding" of the victims of paedophiles, and implied Mr Abbott's actions could cost him his seat in Federal Parliament at the election. ...
What a load of balls. No one is condoning pedophilia, just pointing out that an accusation is not proof. E.g. Andrew Bolt was very clear that if Pell really had done what he was accused of, then Bolt would despise him for it.


[Citing Frank Brennan]Although the complainant got all sorts of facts wrong, the jury must have believed that Pell did something dreadful to him. The jurors must have judged the complainant to be honest and reliable even though many of the details he gave were improbable if not impossible.
That could be grounds for a successful appeal, because to find Pell guilty, they needed to find not that this complainant was likely honest and reliable (despite many implausibilities and even impossibilities), but that there was no reasonable doubt that Pell did what he was accused of.

Patrick Byrom
01-03-2019, 10:12 AM
No I have not changed my mind. But when a case is pending, it is irresponsible for the Polizei to drip feed lurid allegations to the Leftmedia who have vilified Pell for decades.What lurid allegations? And you're saying that people need to be protected against vilification - if not, your complaint is meaningless?

Patrick Byrom
01-03-2019, 10:14 AM
What a load of balls. No one is condoning pedophilia, just pointing out that an accusation is not proof. E.g. Andrew Bolt was very clear that if Pell really had done what he was accused of, then Bolt would despise him for it.It's not just an "accusation" - Pell was convicted of the offence!

Kevin Bonham
01-03-2019, 10:53 AM
E.g. Andrew Bolt was very clear that if Pell really had done what he was accused of, then Bolt would despise him for it.

Or rather that if Andrew Bolt thought Pell had really done what he was accused of, then Bolt would despise him for it. But Bolt has already said that even if the appeal is dismissed he will not be convinced of Pell's guilt unless he sees further "evidence" of it. What kind of evidence would convince Bolt?

I do think a lot of people who strongly oppose Pell (for which there are no shortage of valid reasons) are celebrating the guilty verdict as definitive proof and rubbing the religious right's nose in it prematurely. Better to wait and see what happens at the appeal.

Kevin Bonham
01-03-2019, 11:07 AM
There is a surprising appeal ground - the defence is claiming that Pell was not arraigned before the jury panel.

Patrick Byrom
01-03-2019, 01:58 PM
... I do think a lot of people who strongly oppose Pell (for which there are no shortage of valid reasons) are celebrating the guilty verdict as definitive proof and rubbing the religious right's nose in it prematurely. Better to wait and see what happens at the appeal.I think there is going to be a major problem whatever the outcome of the appeal. If it succeeds, a lot of people will conclude that Pell 'got away with it'; if it fails, Pell's supporters will continue to claim that he is innocent. So Pell will become an even more controversial figure than he already is, and I expect that he will quietly disappear even if the appeal is successful.

Desmond
01-03-2019, 02:25 PM
I think there is going to be a major problem whatever the outcome of the appeal. If it succeeds, a lot of people will conclude that Pell 'got away with it'; Naturally; if convicted by evidence and ordinary people, and excused by expensive legal teams and technicalities. Under different circumstances the likes of CF would be talking about "shyster lawyers" and "the anointed".


if it fails, Pell's supporters will continue to claim that he is innocent. Nothing new if they ignore reality. :)

Kevin Bonham
02-03-2019, 01:51 AM
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Capablanca-Fan
02-03-2019, 04:35 AM
Naturally; if convicted by evidence and ordinary people, and excused by expensive legal teams and technicalities. Under different circumstances the likes of CF would be talking about "shyster lawyers" and "the anointed".
If there was actual evidence more than he said - he said.


Nothing new if they ignore reality. :)
You mean, believe a single accuser and the most implausible scenario? Beyond reasonable doubt? Spare me!

Desmond
02-03-2019, 07:36 AM
If there was actual evidence more than he said - he said. The question was asked earlier; what evidence would be convincing to you?
Or to put it another way - assuming it were true, what evidence would you expect there to be?



You mean, believe a single accuser and the most implausible scenario? Beyond reasonable doubt? Spare me!
I mean - reality is a conviction that has survived appeal process (in the hypothetical scenario I was commenting on).

Patrick Byrom
02-03-2019, 11:17 AM
One of the reporters covering the trial answers some of the questions raised: (https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/mar/02/cardinal-george-pells-conviction-the-questions-that-remain)

But courts have been frustrated by the lack of successful prosecutions against sex offenders and the unfairness to victims, so evidence requirements have changed. There is overwhelming evidence that shows many victims do not speak about their abuse until decades later. The vast majority of sexual assault cases now come down to the complainant’s word. To ensure trials are still fair, legislation now requires the judge to give jurors specific directions to balance any unfairness against the defence or complainant when it comes to word on word cases. Jurors are commonly told they must consider that the defendant may be deprived of an alibi (if the complainant cannot specify the time of the alleged offence) and is at significant forensic disadvantage due to the passage of time. They are told it is up to prosecutors to prove guilt, not up to the defence to prove innocence. They are told it is not uncommon for child abuse victims to forget exact dates and peripheral details, or to report only as an adult. The jurors in the Pell case were given clear, repeated directions along these lines.

Capablanca-Fan
02-03-2019, 01:27 PM
The question was asked earlier; what evidence would be convincing to you?
Or to put it another way - assuming it were true, what evidence would you expect there to be?

Corroboration of the accuser's claims, a pattern of behaviour evinced by other accusers of Pell, a plausible place and time where this abuse could have happened. As it stands, guilt has not been proven beyond reasonable doubt.

Desmond
02-03-2019, 07:49 PM
Corroboration of the accuser's claims, From whom would you expect that to come in this case? The only other witness is deceased, his life having been consistent with someone who suffered great trauma in childhood.


a pattern of behaviour evinced by other accusers of Pell,I don't see why you would expect this, unless it is alleged that he was a serial abuser as opposed to the incidents for which he was convicted. Anyway there were other charges, that his expensive legal team managed to allow him to dodge.

a plausible place and time where this abuse could have happened. As previously noted including by Frank Brennan and others, victims sometimes get the details wrong. Maybe it was a rehearsal the day before. Maybe it was an hour after the ceremony. Maybe the robes worn on that day weren't the ones furnished to the court decades later. As Brennan said, "Although the complainant got all sorts of facts wrong, the jury must have believed that Pell did something dreadful to him." Maybe he was fuzzy on the time and place, but he remembers quite vividly what was done to him, I expect.


As it stands, guilt has not been proven beyond reasonable doubt.You cannot know that; you haven't heard the evidence. Those who have did hear it evidently think that he was guilty beyond reasonable doubt. They're in a better position to know than you are.

Patrick Byrom
02-03-2019, 10:09 PM
... Under different circumstances the likes of CF would be talking about "shyster lawyers" and "the anointed".I am amazed that Capablanca-Fan has finally conceded that unrestricted free speech can be a bad thing and that unelected judges are needed to protect people from the outcome of a vote.

Capablanca-Fan
03-03-2019, 04:19 AM
From whom would you expect that to come in this case? The only other witness is deceased, his life having been consistent with someone who suffered great trauma in childhood.
And who denied it to his mother.


I don't see why you would expect this, unless it is alleged that he was a serial abuser as opposed to the incidents for which he was convicted. Anyway there were other charges, that his expensive legal team managed to allow him to dodge.
Normally someone with such proclivities doesn't confine it to one person.


As previously noted including by Frank Brennan and others, victims sometimes get the details wrong.
But not to propose very implausible scenarios. And there was no cross-examination. The evidentiary maxim falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus has apparently flown the coop.


Maybe it was a rehearsal the day before. Maybe it was an hour after the ceremony. Maybe the robes worn on that day weren't the ones furnished to the court decades later. As Brennan said, "Although the complainant got all sorts of facts wrong, the jury must have believed that Pell did something dreadful to him." Maybe he was fuzzy on the time and place, but he remembers quite vividly what was done to him, I expect.
The jury convicted them, yes. But if they convicted him for those reasons, that would have disobeyed the judge's clear instructions, as per the helpful Guardian article (https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/mar/02/cardinal-george-pells-conviction-the-questions-that-remain) PB posted. It should not have been enough to believe that Pell did something dreadful to him. They should have convicted only if they thought there was no reasonable doubt of the fact. And although they were told that they must not make a scapegoat of Pell for abuse in the Catholic church that the media has been all over (ignoring the 100 times more prevalent abuse in the secular government schools (https://www.cbsnews.com/news/has-media-ignored-sex-abuse-in-school/)), they may have done so anyway.

The same article said:


Is there a chance the conviction could get overturned on appeal and how does the process work?
There is a good chance the appeal will succeed (https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/feb/28/george-pell-has-good-chance-of-winning-appeal-against-convictions-expert-says), experts have said, but it is much more likely on one of the three grounds (https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/mar/01/george-pell-appeals-over-fundamental-irregularity-in-his-sexual-abuse-trial) cited by Pell’s lawyers than the other two. The prominent Sydney barrister Bret Walker, not Richter, will lead the appeal.

So legal experts think there are grounds to distrust the jury.

Desmond
03-03-2019, 08:24 AM
And who denied it to his mother.Not unusual.
But there was another witness - Pell. He declined to testify.



Normally someone with such proclivities doesn't confine it to one person.
He was convicted for offences on two people, and there were additional charges on others also.


But not to propose very implausible scenarios. And there was no cross-examination. The evidentiary maxim falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus has apparently flown the coop.
From what I read, he was cross-examined at some length. 2 and a half days.
Mis-remembering small details doesn't mean the event didn't happen. If Pell orally raped him on a Thursday and the victim thought it was a Sunday, would you want Pell walking free?

Reuters (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-australia-abuse-pell-trial/how-australian-abuse-victims-powerful-testimony-sank-top-vatican-official-idUSKCN1QF02F):

In his closing argument to the jury, prosecutor Mark Gibson, in a quiet voice, called the accuser’s evidence “powerful and persuasive”.

“He was not a person indulging in fantasy or imagining things to the point where he now believed his own imaginative mind, but was simply telling it as it was and is,” Gibson told the court.


The jury convicted them, yes. But if they convicted him for those reasons, that would have disobeyed the judge's clear instructions, as per the helpful Guardian article (https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/mar/02/cardinal-george-pells-conviction-the-questions-that-remain) PB posted. It should not have been enough to believe that Pell did something dreadful to him. They should have convicted only if they thought there was no reasonable doubt of the fact. And although they were told that they must not make a scapegoat of Pell for abuse in the Catholic church that the media has been all over (ignoring the 100 times more prevalent abuse in the secular government schools (https://www.cbsnews.com/news/has-media-ignored-sex-abuse-in-school/)), they may have done so anyway.

The same article said:


Is there a chance the conviction could get overturned on appeal and how does the process work?
There is a good chance the appeal will succeed (https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/feb/28/george-pell-has-good-chance-of-winning-appeal-against-convictions-expert-says), experts have said, but it is much more likely on one of the three grounds (https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/mar/01/george-pell-appeals-over-fundamental-irregularity-in-his-sexual-abuse-trial) cited by Pell’s lawyers than the other two. The prominent Sydney barrister Bret Walker, not Richter, will lead the appeal.

So legal experts think there are grounds to distrust the jury.On legal technicalities. They could win, it's possible. And everyone will know it's because of tricky lawyering, not a truth.


Doubters’ outcry over Pell verdict disrespectful to jury, legal system (https://www.smh.com.au/national/doubters-outcry-over-pell-verdict-disrespectful-to-jury-legal-system-20190301-p51154.html)


Was George Arthur Pell found guilty, “beyond reasonable doubt”, by a jury of his peers, of orally raping a 13-year-old boy and molesting another? Emphatically, yes.

Despite that undeniable fact, a series of commentators and conservative figures– mostly those who agitated that he never be put on trial in the first place – have sought to cast serious doubt on the verdict.

Those figures include Tony Abbott, who has remained front and centre in public support, despite Pell's conviction.

One of the doubters' key thrusts is that Pell has been found guilty because he is such a high figure in the Catholic Church, and is being made to pay for its manifest sins, rather his own.

To those commentators, let me ask one quick question: what would have been your reaction if Pell had been found innocent and, in my column, I had written, “Yeah well, I know this man, and I’ve looked at the trial transcripts, and I think he is guilty anyway.”

Can you imagine?
...

MichaelBaron
03-03-2019, 10:44 AM
https://www.change.org/p/jurisprudence-of-australia-ask-cardinal-george-pell-to-undergo-lie-detector-test?utm_medium=email&utm_source=promoted_petition_activation&utm_campaign=triggered&j=489670&sfmc_sub=753797974&l=32_HTML&u=66356249&mid=7233052&jb=2628&fbclid=IwAR3NxN3VV2DTF_f7BwSAOIiE0678_0t1UAjOty2iz iHH9Ecaq3C9BqRfe5Y

Someone suggested lie detector :)

Patrick Byrom
03-03-2019, 12:55 PM
... Someone suggested lie detector :)Lie detectors are not reliable unfortunately. And if Pell didn't testify at his own trial, it's unlikely he would take a lie-detector test.

Desmond
05-03-2019, 02:13 PM
Normally someone with such proclivities doesn't confine it to one person.

You might want to check out last night's 4 Corners (https://www.abc.net.au/4corners/guilty:-the-conviction-of-cardinal-pell/10869116).

Garrett
06-03-2019, 02:58 AM
You might want to check out last night's 4 Corners (https://www.abc.net.au/4corners/guilty:-the-conviction-of-cardinal-pell/10869116).

Thanks for posting this link.

Desmond
07-03-2019, 08:20 PM
Thanks for posting this link.

No worries.

I thought this (https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/audio/2019/mar/02/david-marr-on-the-extraordinary-rise-of-george-pell-the-reckoning-podcast)was quite instructive as well. David Marr on the rise of George Pell (27 min audio, also available as a podcast).

Kevin Bonham
13-03-2019, 10:16 AM
Pell jailed for six years. Minimum non-parole period three years and eight months.

Capablanca-Fan
13-03-2019, 11:41 AM
Doubters’ outcry over Pell verdict disrespectful to jury, legal system

Doubters’ outcry over Lindy Chamberlain verdict disrespectful to jury, legal system

Desmond
15-03-2019, 08:18 PM
The sentencing of Convicted Paedophile Catholic Priest Cardinal Pell.
Now a registered sex offender.
Still a cardinal.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7BBppZNrjeY

idledim
01-04-2019, 04:17 PM
Still no coverage on the ABC of the Appeal judgement in Tyrrell v. The Queen!

https://www.supremecourt.vic.gov.au/case-summaries/judgment-summaries/john-francis-tyrrell-v-the-queen-2019-vsca-52

Yet Tony Jones solemnly declares on Q & A (4 March) that it is disrespectful for anyone to question a decision of a jury (which presumably includes the 3 Appeal judges); and Charlie Pickering (20 March) insists that the voice of the victim should not be contested. That's what's known as 'balance' on the ABC.

Desmond
02-04-2019, 04:17 PM
Still no coverage on the ABC of the Appeal judgement in Tyrrell v. The Queen!

https://www.supremecourt.vic.gov.au/case-summaries/judgment-summaries/john-francis-tyrrell-v-the-queen-2019-vsca-52

Yet Tony Jones solemnly declares on Q & A (4 March) that it is disrespectful for anyone to question a decision of a jury (which presumably includes the 3 Appeal judges); and Charlie Pickering (20 March) insists that the voice of the victim should not be contested. That's what's known as 'balance' on the ABC.

Probably in the wrong thread, but do you see bias when the ABC supports the judicial process? :hmm:

idledim
02-04-2019, 04:32 PM
Probably in the wrong thread, but do you see bias when the ABC supports the judicial process? :hmm:

If it is in the wrong thread it will be moved eventually. In the meantime:

- the judgement in Tyrrell v. The Queen is significant and should have been covered by the national broadcaster, and particularly so given the extensive reporting of the Pell case.

- the comments by Jones and Pickering reflect an ignorance of judicial process - as the judgement in Tyrrell v. The Queen clearly demonstrates. To assert that complainants must always be believed, or to assert that it is disrespectful to question the decision of a jury, effectively holds the judicial process in contempt.

I do not believe Tony Jones or Charlie Pickering intended to treat the judicial process with contempt; however, I do believe they 'misspoke.'

Capablanca-Fan
03-04-2019, 12:05 AM
TWO CATHOLIC PRIESTS WRONGLY CONVICTED. IS PELL THE THIRD? (https://www.heraldsun.com.au/blogs/andrew-bolt/two-catholic-priests-wrongly-convicted-is-pell-the-third/news-story/0a6e9e4c9fb5f97ef5f4b5dbfcd39303)
Andrew Bolt, Herald Sun
17 March 2019

John Francis Tyrrell walked free from jail last week, an innocent man ruined.
Yet another Catholic priest falsely convicted.

Just last December, another Catholic, former Adelaide archbishop Philip Wilson, was also freed. Also wrongly convicted, said a judge.

Two such cases in just three months should make many media commentators pause.

idledim
24-05-2019, 01:02 PM
A few links (from Quadrant online, by Professor Keith Windschuttle, Peter West et al) for readers interested in the Pell matter:

Pell’s vestments: The prosecution’s impossible claim (https://quadrant.org.au/opinion/qed/2019/03/99203/)

The Borrowed Testimony that Convicted George Pell (https://quadrant.org.au/opinion/qed/2019/04/the-fanciful-testimony-that-convicted-george-pell/)

The Course and Consequences of Operation Get Pell (https://quadrant.org.au/opinion/qed/2019/05/operation-get-george-pell/)

Memoirs of an Abused Altar Boy (https://quadrant.org.au/opinion/qed/2019/03/memoirs-of-an-abused-altar-boy/)

When a Jury Gets it Ludicrously Wrong (https://quadrant.org.au/opinion/qed/2019/03/when-a-jury-gets-it-ludicrously-wrong/)

simdeaf
24-05-2019, 01:31 PM
A few links (from Quadrant online, by Professor Keith Windschuttle, Peter West et al) for readers interested in the Pell matter:


When a Jury Gets it Ludicrously Wrong (https://quadrant.org.au/opinion/qed/2019/03/when-a-jury-gets-it-ludicrously-wrong/)

I read the above link. In summary, it says that it is implausible that the abuse incident ever occurred. Given the way it is told, that is true. Implausible does not mean impossible, however.

The evidence given to substantiate the allegations must have been very compelling. It would have to have been compelling to go against the implausibility of the event. Remember, Pell had a QC defending him. You would think a QC, faced with a case that meant that it was implausible that his client did it, would have a field day. Rather like being on a soccer pitch, with the ball and in front of an open goal (or, given we are on Chess Chat, King and Rook vs King), how could the QC fail to succeed?

As an open minded person, there are two possible outcomes:

- Pell was indeed convicted on insufficient evidence. Hard to believe given a QC defending him.
- Pell indeed did do it. The evidence is there that he did it, and a fair minded jury duly convicted. The implausibility of the incident is actually in favour of the guilty verdict - the less likely the incident, the stronger the evidence must have been that Pell did it.

If we are going to debate implausibility, then you would have to say that it is extremely implausible that a QC faced with a case that seems open and shut would not get his client off.

I'm happy to be convinced either way. However, if the conviction is indeed wrongful, then I am sure with the billions that the Catholic Church has, they can get the best lawyers to get it overturned on appeal.

ER
24-05-2019, 01:59 PM
(…) Rather like being on a soccer pitch, with the ball and in front of an open goal (…)

Extremely hard to miss, however, it has happened.


(…) I am sure with the billions that the Catholic Church has, they can get the best lawyers to get it overturned on appeal.

strictly adhering to soccer reality, using those millions in order to "convince" a referee into ruling the attacker as scoring from an offside position would have been neither implausible nor impossible! :D

Patrick Byrom
24-05-2019, 06:16 PM
Since his appeal is only about a week away, maybe we should just wait and see what happens.

Desmond
27-05-2019, 10:27 PM
George Pell will not seek reduced sentence if appeal against guilty verdict fails (https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-05-27/pell-will-not-seek-reduced-sentence-if-guilty-verdict-is-upheld/11153442)

Disgraced Cardinal George Pell will not seek a reduced sentence if the Court of Appeal upholds his conviction for sexually abusing two Melbourne choirboys in the 1990s.

Pell has been behind bars since February and is due to return to court next month to fight his conviction.

But he will not be adding an appeal against the six-year prison sentence handed down by County Court Chief Judge Peter Kidd in March.

Pell was ordered to serve at least three years and eight months of that sentence after being convicted by a jury in December of one charge of sexual penetration of a child and four charges of committing an indecent act with or in the presence of a child.

Pell raped one 13-year-old choirboy and sexually molested his friend in the sacristy of St Patrick's Cathedral in Melbourne in 1996 when he was newly-installed as Archbishop. ...

Kevin Bonham
01-06-2019, 02:53 PM
If Pell's appeal succeeds it could still go to the High Court which has overturned acquittals on appeal in other cases:

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/jun/01/the-george-pell-story-is-a-long-way-from-ending-even-if-he-wins-his-appeal

(I try to avoid posting links to the Guardian recklessly but a legal source says this article is generally good. Graphic content warning.)

idledim
02-06-2019, 06:34 PM
The Appeal will be live-streamed. This will enable RR and ABC journalists to learn more about how the Appeal process works in Victoria.

Desmond
04-06-2019, 09:29 PM
Appeal judges tour Pell crime site (https://www.theaustralian.com.au/nation/appeal-judges-tour-pell-crime-site/news-story/74abe9632e7b3274fa870a870bc94f3e)
The Australian, 4 June 2019

Three Victorian Court of Appeal judges have visited the scene of George Pell’s sex crimes to examine what a jury saw before convicting him of multiple offences. The judges visited St Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne last week to see the same parts of the church that the jury was shown before convicting Pell, 77, of multiple sex offences. The tour, which was not publicised, was confirmed tonight by the Supreme Court of Victoria and is believed to have included the sacristy, where the court found Pell brutally assaulted two choirboys. ...

Survivor groups warned yesterday the Court of Appeal hearing would serve as a trigger for sex abuse victims across Australia. ...

The Blue Knot Foundation advocates for victims of trauma. Its president Cathy Kezelman said Pell’s six-year sentence, with a non-parole period of three years, eight months, was a crucial development. “George Pell’s conviction of six years was a watershed moment, as it showed that no one is above the law,’’ she said. “But the fact that there is a possibility of an appeal, and a possibility of overturning the conviction and the possibility of George Pell being released, will unsettle, anger and distress many.

“Questioning the validity of a survivor’s abuse history, and not being believed is an enormous trigger. Many survivors will identify with this strongly.” ...

idledim
05-06-2019, 10:32 AM
https://www.streaming.scvwebcast1.com/the-matter-of-george-pell-v-r-5-june-2019/

Patrick Byrom
06-06-2019, 09:54 PM
That claim is more credible than the one Pell was convicted for.The Victorian Court of Appeal seems to be taking it fairly seriously, considering that Pell is still in prison - although that may change tomorrow, of course.

antichrist
06-06-2019, 10:32 PM
The Victorian Court of Appeal seems to be taking it fairly seriously, considering that Pell is still in prison - although that may change tomorrow, of course.

As an altar boy for 12 years who watched priest robing and de-robing hundreds of times and who wore the "sutans" (or cowls) I think the Cardinal has no clothes

Patrick Byrom
07-06-2019, 10:21 AM
... and I suggest you read what you wrote in #78. The context of your remarks was clear. ... If you say so. Perhaps you should take this up with the moderators - I don't care if they delete my post (it's not that significant).


If you were intending to refer to the Appeal currently being heard by the Victorian Court of Appeal, perhaps you could explain why it is surprising for the court to take an Appeal seriously in circumstances where the Applicant is still in prison.If the original decision was as bad as has been claimed, then surely the VCA would have immediately overturned the verdict, freeing Pell from prison. The fact that Pell is still in prison and the VCA is still considering his appeal suggests that the jury verdict was at least reasonable, even if it is later overturned.

idledim
07-06-2019, 10:48 AM
If you say so. Perhaps you should take this up with the moderators - I don't care if they delete my post (it's not that significant).

If the original decision was as bad as has been claimed, then surely the VCA would have immediately overturned the verdict, freeing Pell from prison. The fact that Pell is still in prison and the VCA is still considering his appeal suggests that the jury verdict was at least reasonable, even if it is later overturned.

... and the word for today is casuistry. It does not follow that the interests of justice are served by immediately overturning jury verdicts - even if they are unreasonable. It does not follow that because a proper Appeal process takes a couple of days or more that any inferences can or should be made about the reasonableness of the jury verdict. Indeed, if the court eventually determines that the verdict was reasonable, the Applicant will not be released. If it determines the verdict was unreasonable on the basis of the evidence, he will be.

You are very quick to dole out advice to others about accepting the word of experts in areas where you're not one. It's a shame you don't feel the call to heed your own sage counsel in this matter.

Desmond
07-06-2019, 10:53 AM
The Victorian Court of Appeal seems to be taking it fairly seriously, considering that Pell is still in prison - although that may change tomorrow, of course.From what I've read, the ruling may take a couple of weeks.

Sounds like Convict Pell had a rather good day yesterday, with the prosecutor stumbling a few times. His lawyer seemed more confident. Amazing what money can buy.

Kevin Bonham
07-06-2019, 11:59 AM
Posts moved offline

I have moved a baseless accusation by antichrist and five posts arising from it offline.

I am not satisfied that the initial post was necessarily a legal problem yet bearing in mind Pell's reputation at this precise point of time, and the extremely low probability of anyone not agreeing with the court verdict taking antichrist's post seriously. In the event of Pell being cleared it would have clearly required immediate removal.

I am satisfied that at best it was not a helpful contribution to quality debate, nor made with due seriousness.

antichrist is warned not to make hearsay allegations of this kind in future.

Anyone wishing to discuss this decision may do so in the Help and Feedback section only.

Patrick Byrom
07-06-2019, 01:22 PM
... and the word for today is casuistry. It does not follow that the interests of justice are served by immediately overturning jury verdicts - even if they are unreasonable. It does not follow that because a proper Appeal process takes a couple of days or more that any inferences can or should be made about the reasonableness of the jury verdict. Indeed, if the court eventually determines that the verdict was reasonable, the Applicant will not be released. If it determines the verdict was unreasonable on the basis of the evidence, he will be.If the verdict was clearly unreasonable (as some have suggested), and the appeal court are thus sure that Pell is innocent, surely they would want, in the interests of justice, to order his immediate release? Leaving him in prison for weeks or months - or even a single day - when they believe he is innocent, seems blatantly unjust.


You are very quick to dole out advice to others about accepting the word of experts in areas where you're not one. It's a shame you don't feel the call to heed your own sage counsel in this matter.What expert advice am I rejecting?

idledim
07-06-2019, 03:16 PM
If the verdict was clearly unreasonable (as some have suggested), and the appeal court are thus sure that Pell is innocent, surely they would want, in the interests of justice, to order his immediate release? Leaving him in prison for weeks or months - or even a single day - when they believe he is innocent, seems blatantly unjust.

What expert advice am I rejecting?

Whether or not the verdict was reasonable is still being decided. It's the main reason for the Appeal. Pell says:

1. The verdicts are unreasonable and cannot be supported having regard to the evidence because on the whole of the evidence, including unchallenged exculpatory evidence from more than 20 Crown witnesses, it was not open to the jury to be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt on the word of the Complainant alone.

Who says the Appeal Court have already decided that Pell is innocent? Your post is just plain silly. If and when the court determines that the jury erred, then the prisoner will be released. It's really as basic as that - and leads to the inescapable conclusion that the expert advice you're rejecting, for reasons known only to yourself, is the clear advice from the Victorian Court of Appeal that they haven't yet made their decision.

Patrick Byrom
07-06-2019, 06:05 PM
Whether or not the verdict was reasonable is still being decided. It's the main reason for the Appeal. Pell says:
1. The verdicts are unreasonable and cannot be supported having regard to the evidence because on the whole of the evidence, including unchallenged exculpatory evidence from more than 20 Crown witnesses, it was not open to the jury to be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt on the word of the Complainant alone.

Who says the Appeal Court have already decided that Pell is innocent? Your post is just plain silly. If and when the court determines that the jury erred, then the prisoner will be released. It's really as basic as that - and leads to the inescapable conclusion that the expert advice you're rejecting, for reasons known only to yourself, is the clear advice from the Victorian Court of Appeal that they haven't yet made their decision.I carefully used the phrase "clearly unreasonable" to indicate what I thought would happen if it was clear to the appeal court that the original verdict was unreasonable. And I carefully started my post with "If" to indicate that my first paragraph was only a hypothetical (I possibly could have been clearer there).

I agree completely that whether Pell is innocent (ie, the verdict was unreasonable) is still being decided - Pell has in fact returned to prison to await that verdict. My claim is merely that the verdict is not clearly unreasonable - or obviously wrong, to put it more simply.

idledim
07-06-2019, 08:08 PM
My claim is merely that the verdict is not clearly unreasonable - or obviously wrong, to put it more simply. PB

To repeat: There is absolutely no basis for this claim. If the verdict is obviously wrong, and thus clearly unreasonable, the court will so rule. I believe the Victorian Court of Appeal is efficient. On that basis, I'd expect a decision before August. For the court to rule that a verdict is obviously wrong within a day of hearing an Appeal would be highly unusual. I'm not familiar with any Victorian cases where a jury verdict has been overturned within a day of the Appeal being heard. Are you? If so, please share. If not, on what exactly do you base your contention?

Patrick Byrom
08-06-2019, 10:55 AM
My claim is merely that the verdict is not clearly unreasonable - or obviously wrong, to put it more simply. PB
To repeat: There is absolutely no basis for this claim. If the verdict is obviously wrong, and thus clearly unreasonable, the court will so rule. I believe the Victorian Court of Appeal is efficient. On that basis, I'd expect a decision before August. For the court to rule that a verdict is obviously wrong within a day of hearing an Appeal would be highly unusual. I'm not familiar with any Victorian cases where a jury verdict has been overturned within a day of the Appeal being heard. Are you? If so, please share. If not, on what exactly do you base your contention?I'm not aware of any cases, but that may simply mean that there have been no cases where the jury verdict was obviously wrong. If the verdict was obviously wrong, wouldn't the VCA want to release Pell as soon as possible (and he's still in prison, so it's now two days)?

EDIT: This is from Qld (https://www.abc.net.au/pm/content/2003/s983982.htm), but presumably the VCA would hold a similar view:

The judges also made some interesting points in their statements that the Court strived to deliver an early judgement when there is only reasonable prospect of an appellant in custody being released, hence the one day hearing yesterday and the quick decision back today.

antichrist
08-06-2019, 10:59 AM
Big George is now facing new charges for allegedly protecting a Brother who was allegedly abusing boys.

Kevin Bonham
08-06-2019, 12:04 PM
Big George is now facing new charges for allegedly protecting a Brother who was allegedly abusing boys.

Seems he is being sued, not charged.

antichrist
08-06-2019, 12:38 PM
Seems he is being sued, not charged.

Sorry re error had heard on radio. I mixed with priests for decades and kind of hard to believe they subjected their congregation's children in such an off handed manner. As an altar boy the only cold-heartedness I witnessed was with a doctor of theology priest who would crack jokes all the way to funerals and back. Maybe I felt it because I knew these mourning people but he was new to the area.

And there was the funny situation when someone's dog ate a child-vomited out communion host (wafer) that is the body and blood of Jesus. It did not concern him at all whereas I read decades later that the priest is supposed to immediately consecrate (bless) another wafer and thus turning it into the body and blood of Jesus, as a doctor he should have known that.

I didn't mind doing funerals (that I never got paid for) because it got me out of school for a few hours whereas for weddings we were paid well.

Desmond
20-07-2019, 02:53 PM
Yes the church isn't short of a quid when it comes to defending its own against child sex charges. Pity they don't follow the same approach to compensating victims.
Maybe Pell could justify the outlay based on the money he "saved" the church over the years by denying just compensation, and telling people to be quiet and go away.

Revealed: the true costs of George Pell's abuse compensation scheme (https://www.theage.com.au/politics/victoria/revealed-the-true-costs-of-george-pell-s-abuse-compensation-scheme-20190629-p522ju.html)

The controversial scheme set up by George Pell to handle sex abuse claims against Melbourne’s Catholic Church spent almost as much money paying its independent commissioner as it did compensating hundreds of victims. The church’s own figures reveal that between 1996 and March 2014, the archdiocese spent $34.27 million to run its so-called Melbourne Response, but only $9.72 million – or 28 per cent of it – was used to compensate 307 child sex abuse victims.

The bulk of the money during that period was spent on other operational costs for the scheme, including $7.8 million to employ barrister Peter O’Callaghan, QC, as its independent commissioner, and a further $4.7 million on general legal fees. Mr O’Callaghan’s job was to determine the credibility of victims’ claims and make suggestions about what action to take against alleged abusers.

Another $432,000 was used to fund the compensation panel that made recommendations about ex gratia payments, and $11 million was used to fund the church counselling service known as Carelink, most of which was spent on staff and administration.
...

https://d3cdtxx03omvla.cloudfront.net/2230123_1561808330015.png

Capablanca-Fan
24-07-2019, 11:55 PM
My claim is merely that the verdict is not clearly unreasonable - or obviously wrong, to put it more simply. PB

To repeat: There is absolutely no basis for this claim. If the verdict is obviously wrong, and thus clearly unreasonable, the court will so rule. I believe the Victorian Court of Appeal is efficient. On that basis, I'd expect a decision before August. For the court to rule that a verdict is obviously wrong within a day of hearing an Appeal would be highly unusual. I'm not familiar with any Victorian cases where a jury verdict has been overturned within a day of the Appeal being heard. Are you? If so, please share. If not, on what exactly do you base your contention?

I agree. It's hardly beyond reasonable doubt when there was only one complainant who was uncorroborated and when the alleged acts were decades ago. But between the first trial and the second, the Royal Commission and ScoMo had weighed in about Catholic sexual abuse, replacing presumption of innocence with presumption of guilt. The jury members were most likely influenced by this mentality. E.g.


Why I find the George Pell verdict hard to believe (https://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2019/02/why-i-find-the-george-pell-verdict-hard-to-believe/)
Melanie McDonagh, Spectator, 26 February 2019

But if the implausibilities in the prosecution case have not changed, what has is the force of the assumption that you are innocent until proven guilty. In cases of child abuse that is no longer a given. After the royal commission into child abuse and the Victoria state’s own parliamentary inquiry, the shared assumption in Australia – and here – seems to be that anyone who alleges abuse must be believed, unless, perhaps, the evidence to the contrary is overwhelming. Indeed we have this on good authority. In his parliamentary apology to victims of child sex abuse (two weeks before the rerun of the Pell trial), the Australian prime minister, Scott Morrison said: “not just as a father but as prime minister, I am angry too at the calculating destruction of lives…including those who have abused the shield of faith and religion to hide their crimes…They stand condemned…On behalf of the Australian people…I simply say, I believe you, we believe you, your country believes you”.

What? Every single time? No matter what the strength of evidence?

Obviously, there have been countless cases of clerical child abuse in Australia that are proven, egregious, shameful and deserving of the kind of abuse that came Cardinal Pell’s way today. But because many victims weren’t believed in the past, because many clerical abusers got away with criminal offences, it isn’t to say that everyone who alleges abuse must be believed, any more than the fact that every woman who alleges rape should be believed, simply because many women have been badly served by the criminal justice system.

Desmond
25-07-2019, 07:35 AM
I agree. It's hardly beyond reasonable doubt when there was only one complainant who was uncorroborated and when the alleged acts were decades ago. But between the first trial and the second, the Royal Commission and ScoMo had weighed in about Catholic sexual abuse, replacing presumption of innocence with presumption of guilt. The jury members were most likely influenced by this mentality. E.g.


Why I find the George Pell verdict hard to believe (https://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2019/02/why-i-find-the-george-pell-verdict-hard-to-believe/)
Melanie McDonagh, Spectator, 26 February 2019

But if the implausibilities in the prosecution case have not changed, what has is the force of the assumption that you are innocent until proven guilty. In cases of child abuse that is no longer a given. After the royal commission into child abuse and the Victoria state’s own parliamentary inquiry, the shared assumption in Australia – and here – seems to be that anyone who alleges abuse must be believed, unless, perhaps, the evidence to the contrary is overwhelming. Indeed we have this on good authority. In his parliamentary apology to victims of child sex abuse (two weeks before the rerun of the Pell trial), the Australian prime minister, Scott Morrison said: “not just as a father but as prime minister, I am angry too at the calculating destruction of lives…including those who have abused the shield of faith and religion to hide their crimes…They stand condemned…On behalf of the Australian people…I simply say, I believe you, we believe you, your country believes you”.

What? Every single time? No matter what the strength of evidence?

Obviously, there have been countless cases of clerical child abuse in Australia that are proven, egregious, shameful and deserving of the kind of abuse that came Cardinal Pell’s way today. But because many victims weren’t believed in the past, because many clerical abusers got away with criminal offences, it isn’t to say that everyone who alleges abuse must be believed, any more than the fact that every woman who alleges rape should be believed, simply because many women have been badly served by the criminal justice system.

Meanwhile in reality, the royal commission findings as they pertain to Pell are redacted (https://www.thecourier.com.au/story/5950347/royal-commission-redactions-to-remain-until-after-pell-appeal/), until the end of Pell's lavish appeal process.

Which from Pell's perpsective is a good thing too, since so many crimes were committed when he was in a position to stop them. But it wasn't of much interest to him. I wonder if there is anyone in Autralia with more child sexual abuse crimes lain before their feet.

idledim
11-08-2019, 11:20 AM
If Pell's appeal succeeds it could still go to the High Court which has overturned acquittals on appeal in other cases:

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/jun/01/the-george-pell-story-is-a-long-way-from-ending-even-if-he-wins-his-appeal

(I try to avoid posting links to the Guardian recklessly but a legal source says this article is generally good. Graphic content warning.)

This link says all we need to know about the 1964 Shore School 2nd. Speaker (aka David Marr). Notwithstanding his confident assurances about what the Canberra judges might do in the matter of John Tyrell, the record can now show that the judges dismissed it on the documents. I suspect it also says all we need to know about The Guardian. Of course I'd be grateful if anyone can show me where this matter was reported by either The Guardian or Their ABC.

Desmond
11-08-2019, 11:46 AM
speaking of The Guardian...

Cardinal George Pell: purported letter from prison sparks investigation (https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/aug/10/cardinal-george-pell-purported-letter-from-prison-sparks-investigation)

Victorian justice department says prisoners are not allowed to post on social media or ask others to post on their behalf

Authorities are investigating whether a letter circulating online, apparently written by disgraced Cardinal George Pell to supporters breaks prison rules.

The letter, dated 1 August, was posted on Twitter by an account called “Cardinal George Pell Supporters” on Friday night.

A Victorian Department of Justice spokeswoman on Saturday said prisoners are not allowed to post on social media or use the internet. They are also not allowed to ask others to post on their behalf.

“[The department] will thoroughly investigate this social media activity,” the spokeswoman said. “Any prisoner found to be contravening prison regulations faces disciplinary action.” ...

Kevin Bonham
11-08-2019, 12:52 PM
Notwithstanding his confident assurances about what the Canberra judges might do in the matter of John Tyrell, the record can now show that the judges dismissed it on the documents.

Yes, they found it "does not give rise to any question of general principle suitable for the grant of special leave to appeal".

The attempted basis for the appeal against the appeal was whether the appeal court should have watched a video of the complainant testifying before they made their decision.

Patrick Byrom
11-08-2019, 02:50 PM
The interesting point to me is that Tyrell was in jail for twelve months (April 2018 - March 2019) before the VCA acquitted him of all charges. And Pell has now been in jail for six months awaiting the outcome of his appeal (although only two months since the appeal was heard) - which will apparently be soon. Whereas we know that in the case of Pauline Hanson the QCA released her immediately once they decided she was obviously innocent. In all cases, the prisoners were convicted by a jury. So it would seem that the different outcomes are either a result of where the trial takes place, or a result of the more serious crimes that Pell and Tyrell were originally convicted of.

Kevin Bonham
21-08-2019, 09:39 AM
Appeal dismissed 2-1.

Patrick Byrom
21-08-2019, 09:39 AM
Pell's appeal has been dismissed.

EDIT: I see Kevin beat me by a microsecond, so I'm adding the live streaming from the Guardian (https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/live/2019/aug/21/cardinal-george-pell-appeal-sexual-assault-conviction).

Patrick Byrom
21-08-2019, 10:09 AM
Of the three issues that Pell appealed on, the Court was split 2-1 only on the reasonableness of the verdict (from the Guardian link above):

In summary, the appeal of the disgraced cardinal George Pell has been dismissed. On the first ground – that the jury acted unreasonably in coming to a guilty verdict – the judges dismissed the appeal by a margin of two to one. Chief Justice Anne Ferguson and the president of the court of appeal Justice Chris Maxwell found against Pell, while Justice Mark Weinberg agreed with Pell’s lawyers. On the second and third grounds the judges dismissed the appeal unanimously.

Kevin Bonham
21-08-2019, 11:33 AM
So now he has 28 days to apply to the High Court for leave to appeal.

antichrist
21-08-2019, 02:53 PM
If Pell believes in the power of the RCC confession in the long term it is all beer and skiddles.

Capablanca-Fan
25-08-2019, 07:34 AM
C.L. : No country for old Catholics (http://catallaxyfiles.com/2019/08/22/c-l-no-country-for-old-catholics)
22 August 2019

It was a combination of unwavering viciousness and happenstance that allowed evil to win in the Coen brothers’ celebrated neo-noir neo-Western. Hopes for a just denouement were dashed on the rocks of brutal reality – though it must be acknowledged, with due respect, that evil was playing a long game and conscientiously. The enemies of Cardinal George Pell had that sort of resolve and that sort of luck. A DPP who kept indulging preposterous briefs of “evidence,” a Pell-hating police force now regarded as the most corrupt in the country, a public broadcaster with a years-simmering hatred of the Cardinal, a second jury of dupable vigilantes eager to convict the self-same but, by then, notorious George Pell and an appeals court which this morning raised preposterous hearsay to the level of DNA and CCTV. For make no mistake: the liberty of any Victorian accused by a single person of an unverifiable crime (even one allegedly committed decades ago) is now in jeopardy. That is, until such time as similar accusations are made against a beloved leftist whereupon “growing calls” will be heard to reform the law. If ever there was a case in need of High Court correction, this is it. The future of the Commonwealth depends on it.

Whenever I’ve encountered scorners’ schadenfreude, I’ve always told them I’m a happy warrior. Scorn all you like; the fight continues. In that spirit, I wanted to review a little-noticed and bizarre feature story about George Pell’s supposed “fall” written by Louise Milligan in March. She has made herself the face of the anti-Pell movement, after all. It is instructive to parse the entire article to remind ourselves what a witch-hunt looks like. In brief: George Pell is in prison because conjoined twins – enfants terribles indeed – assassinated his character. There was absolutely no chance of him ever receiving a fair trial. No person with a triple digit IQ can deny that. The degree of joint enterprise by Victoria Police and the ABC is not known at this time. Suffice to say – and nothing more is here argued – that these two notoriously anti-Catholic, anti-Pell institutions were always sailing in the same direction. Perhaps the scandal is not that they colluded en route but that signal flags were never needed.

Loud and Shouty


A loud and shouty minority has insisted Pell is innocent. The fact that the defenders of a now-convicted paedophile include two former Prime Ministers floors me. I understand that people have friendships and political alliances with Pell. They have gone in to battle with him in the culture wars. But their comments have shown, in my view, an extraordinary lack of empathy for victims and their families who are hurting.

Two other former prime ministers, Gough Whitlam and Paul Keating, defended Pol Pot and General Suharto respectively. I doubt Milligan would be floored to learn this. History (and hours of videotape) prove that the only “loud and shouty” people in the larger Pell circus were the ones outside various court houses in Melbourne during the accused’s committal and trial. In the judgement of Victoria Police – which dispatched tens of armed officers to protect the Cardinal – he was in very real danger of being assaulted or worse. In sentencing, Justice Kidd accepted the truth and appropriateness of the character references provided to the court. Pointedly, he also noted that “these references were not challenged or contradicted by the prosecution.” Notice also Milligan’s plural trickery: “victims.” There was, of course, only one (supposed) “victim.” The second choirboy told his mother he was never sexually abused. Moreover, George Pell also has a family but that didn’t concern the ABC when it was slandering him using testimony from men whose claims have now been flushed down the Victorian legal system’s toilet. And a busy old dunny it is, already clogged with the Lawyer X scandal whose leitmotif is – get this – rigged prosecutions.

As for the “loud and shouty,” they were dealt with by Justice Kidd in an extraordinary aside:


… we have witnessed, outside of this court and within our community, examples of a ‘witch-hunt’ or ‘lynch mob’ mentality in relation to Cardinal Pell. I utterly condemn such behaviour. That has nothing to do with justice or a civilized society. The Courts stand as a bulwark against such irresponsible behaviour.

You can always pick the ring-leaders of a lynch mob. They invariably claim to speak for “everyone else in Australia” and “99.9 percent” of people.

antichrist
25-08-2019, 08:29 AM
Capa Fan. How does the headline in the above post about old Catholics have anything to do with the text? I am an old Catholic but it didn't light my fire. Old Catholics are only conspiracies we believe in took place a few thousand years ago. Catholics, generally speaking in the 21st C are not in the looney bin category where a lot of USA Prodos have deteriorated to.

Patrick Byrom
25-08-2019, 03:04 PM
Capa Fan. How does the headline in the above post about old Catholics have anything to do with the text? I am an old Catholic but it didn't light my fire. Old Catholics are only conspiracies we believe in took place a few thousand years ago. Catholics, generally speaking in the 21st C are not in the looney bin category where a lot of USA Prodos have deteriorated to.The text makes no sense anyway. The author is alleging, without any evidence, a conspiracy between the police and the ABC, supported by a majority of the Court of Appeal, and jurors who apparently didn't do their job properly.

If juries are not deciding cases on the evidence before them, then the obvious conclusion, which Capablanca-Fan blatantly ignores, is that no conviction is safe. And the death penalty should be immediately abolished in the US, for the same reason.

Desmond
27-08-2019, 10:23 AM
C.L. : No country for old Catholics (http://catallaxyfiles.com/2019/08/22/c-l-no-country-for-old-catholics)
22 August 2019

Not a whole country perhaps, but it seems still-a-Cardinal Pell has found his just place.

Getting the damned back together: George Pell to spend time with familiar faces (https://www.nambuccaguardian.com.au/story/6346478/getting-the-damned-back-together-pell-to-spend-time-with-familiar-faces/)


Now his appeal has been denied, George Pell is likely to join at least seven other current and former Catholic clerics who have been locked up in Ararat for sex crimes against children.

Five of those seven priests and brothers already imprisoned at the Hopkins Correctional Centre, 200 kilometres west of Melbourne, worked in the Ballarat archdiocese and would be known to Australia's most senior cleric, who has been in custody since February. ...

Most notable among those imprisoned at the Hopkins centre is paedophile ex-priest Gerald Ridsdale - Pell's former housemate at Ballarat's St Alipius presbytery in the 1970s.

The shadow of Ridsdale has dogged Pell since he was photographed accompanying the former cleric to court when he was first tried for sexually abusing children during the 1990s.

Pell was raised in the goldrush city of Ballarat, and started his career in the vast Ballarat archdiocese, which covers western and central Victoria, from Portland in the state's south-west to Mildura in the north.

During hearings on cases of child sexual abuse by clergy in Ballarat, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse heard that Ridsdale had raped a girl at the St Alipius presbytery between 1972 and 1973 while another priest was present.

Despite persistent questioning over several days, Ridsdale said he was unable to remember who that priest was, or who his housemates were at the presbytery at that time. Church records showed that Ridsdale had lived at the presbytery in 1973 with Pell and another priest. ...

Desmond
29-08-2019, 01:23 PM
'I hope it is all over now': George Pell's victim speaks (https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/this-is-not-about-money-george-pell-s-victim-speaks-20190821-p52ja1.html)

I am relieved by the decision of the court of appeal. It is four years since I reported to the police. The criminal process has been stressful. The journey has taken me to places that in my darkest moments I feared I would not return from.

The justice machine rolls on with all of its processes and punditry almost forgetting about the people at the heart of the matter. ...

After attending the funeral of my childhood friend, the other choir boy, I felt a responsibility to come forward. I knew that he had been in a dark place, I have been in a dark place. I gave a statement to the police because I was thinking of him and his family. I felt I should say what I saw and what had happened to me. I had experienced something terrible as a child and I wanted some good to come of it. I would like to acknowledge my friend who passed away, the other choir boy.

I would like to acknowledge the courage of those people who reported to the police. For one reason or another, those matters did not proceed.

My heart goes out to you. I would like to acknowledge the Victoria Police and Office of Public Prosecutions. I am grateful for the steady hand of your honour Justice [Peter] Kidd in guiding the trial and his compassionate, balanced and fair sentencing.

In February, due to other cases not going ahead, I ended up in the spotlight alone. The suppression order was to be lifted and I suddenly found myself in the centre of worldwide media interest. ...

My journey has not been an easy one. It has been all the more stressful because it involved a high profile figure.

I thank the media for respecting my privacy and for continuing to protect my identity. I need to be able to define myself away from all of this.

Recently I have started a new chapter in my life as a father. The experiences I have been through have helped me understand what is truly important.

I am grateful for a legal system that everyone can believe in, where everyone is equal before the law and no one is above the law.

Capablanca-Fan
29-08-2019, 02:06 PM
The text makes no sense anyway. The author is alleging, without any evidence, a conspiracy between the police and the ABC, supported by a majority of the Court of Appeal, and jurors who apparently didn't do their job properly.
They didn't. They just wanted to "get" a high-profile Catholic.


If juries are not deciding cases on the evidence before them, then the obvious conclusion, which Capablanca-Fan blatantly ignores, is that no conviction is safe.
I didn't ignore it. That is one of my points. If someone from a religion that is the victim of bigotry can be convicted of a crime alleged decades ago just on the word of one accuser, then no conviction in Victoria is trustworthy.

Capablanca-Fan
29-08-2019, 02:08 PM
'I hope it is all over now': George Pell's victim speaks (https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/this-is-not-about-money-george-pell-s-victim-speaks-20190821-p52ja1.html)I am grateful for a legal system that everyone can believe in, where everyone is equal before the law and no one is above the law.
You mean, when someone can be convicted on the basis of an uncorroborated accusation about something decades ago. The Left tried something similar on Judge (now Justice) Kavanaugh in the USA to try to derail his SCOTUS nomination.

antichrist
29-08-2019, 02:51 PM
They didn't. They just wanted to "get" a high-profile Catholic.


I didn't ignore it. That is one of my points. If someone from a religion that is the victim of bigotry can be convicted of a crime alleged decades ago just on the word of one accuser, then no conviction in Victoria is trustworthy.

Years ago I knew a lady who suffered sexual abuse when a very young age. She got flashbacks for decades. There were no witnesses so no justice?? What do you tell her?

Desmond
29-08-2019, 03:45 PM
You mean, when someone can be convicted on the basis of an uncorroborated accusation about something decades ago. He was a witness of truth, clearly not a fantacist or a liar, as held by the prosecution, and accepted by the jury and the majority opinion of the appeal judges.

You might like to ignore evidence and imagine conspiracies, but the court didn't.

Desmond
29-08-2019, 04:31 PM
From 2015 - i.e. before he was a convicted paedophile and concurrent catholic cardinal - described as cold-hearted, callous, sociopathic, and dangerous by child protection commissioner.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ZeWEEzkZI8

antichrist
29-08-2019, 04:37 PM
Will he get a refund for his return ticket to Rome? Surely they can't expect him to escape incarceration to catch the plane.

Patrick Byrom
29-08-2019, 06:05 PM
I didn't ignore it. That is one of my points. If someone from a religion that is the victim of bigotry can be convicted of a crime alleged decades ago just on the word of one accuser, then no conviction in Victoria is trustworthy.So I assume that you are now a campaigner against the death penalty, since convictions can't be trusted?

antichrist
29-08-2019, 07:39 PM
I wish that Michael was here so that could we ask him if he thinks that the Cardinal Pell is laughing at our criminal justice system.

Capablanca-Fan
04-09-2019, 01:44 PM
How faith was lost on judgment day for a state legal system (https://www.theaustralian.com.au/inquirer/how-faith-was-lost-on-judgment-day-for-a-state-legal-system/news-story/3eddaf9fe5e809f61c611edbd827f392)
Justice Mark Weinberg’s dissent is long and closely reasoned, ensuring grave doubts about Pell’s guilt will not be dissipated by the 2-1 verdict against him.
PAUL KELLY, Australian, 24 AUGUST 2019

The 2-1 Victorian Court of Appeal dismissal of George Pell’s appeal against his sexual offences convictions may settle Pell’s guilt in the eyes of the law, but this contested judgment cannot constitute an enduring settlement or convincing argument in relation to Pell’s guilt.

It is an extraordinary judgment. The power, logic and suasion lies in the 200-page minority judgment by Mark Weinberg, a former commonwealth director of public prosecutions and the most experienced of the three judges in criminal law. Weinberg’s dissent is long and closely reasoned. Weinberg has ensured that grave doubts about Pell’s guilt will not be dissipated by the 2-1 verdict against him.

Weinberg has undermined the assumptions of the prosecution case as accepted by Chief Justice Anne Ferguson and Justice Chris Maxwell, president of the Court of Appeal. Given this minority judgment, Pell’s legal team is likely to take recourse to the High Court.

In upholding Pell’s appeal and in the arguments he made, Weinberg raises the implication an innocent man is being convicted and this, in turn, raises far wider questions. Can the public have faith in the criminal justice system of Victoria? The majority case, obviously, must be accepted. But a reading of the entire judgment suggests the majority case is flawed and less convincing than the minority.

The Pell trial has never been about the egregious crimes of the Catholic Church in relation to sexual abuse of children. It is about only one issue: whether Pell is a sexual predator. Yet these two elements seem difficult, almost impossible, to separate, and this tension seems embedded in the legal process and Court of Appeal decision.

In summary, Weinberg said that Bret Walker SC, acting for Pell, had identified a sufficient body of evidence to cast reasonable doubt on the verdict and that he would set aside the convictions. In conclusion he referred to the Lindy Chamberlain case when Justice William Deane of the High Court would have allowed the appeal from a jury decision.

Deane made the critical distinction — it was not about saying a person was innocent when found guilty; it was about saying the person had not been proven to be guilty according to the test required by the criminal justice system. Deane felt, despite the jury’s verdict, the evidence did not establish Chamberlain’s guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

“I find myself in a position quite similar to that which confronted Deane J,” Weinberg said. He believed there was a “significant possibility” Pell did not commit the offences. That meant he had to be acquitted.

The split Victorian Court of Appeal judgment exposes a split over the law: are complainants about child sexual abuse to be accorded a higher status of believability despite evidence that would normally cast reasonable doubt? The Weinberg judgment raises the most serious questions about the test used not just in Pell’s conviction but about how the law is to be applied.

Desmond
04-09-2019, 03:42 PM
How faith was lost on judgment day for a state legal system (https://www.theaustralian.com.au/inquirer/how-faith-was-lost-on-judgment-day-for-a-state-legal-system/news-story/3eddaf9fe5e809f61c611edbd827f392)
Justice Mark Weinberg’s dissent is long and closely reasoned, ensuring grave doubts about Pell’s guilt will not be dissipated by the 2-1 verdict against him.
The a priori position held by paedophile Pell's supporters needed no bolstering - they would have clung on to any dissent no matter if the reasons given were that the dissenting justice had Elvis appear to him/her in a dream and crooned the word "innocent" while doubling Jesus on a unicycle.


Given this minority judgment, Pell’s legal team is likely to take recourse to the High Court.
Again there was never any doubt of this, Cardinal Paedophile's legal resources are practically limitless. Indeed his victim gave thanks that Ridsdale's former bunk buddy had the best defence that money can buy.


The majority case, obviously, must be accepted.
Yep. It's actually interesting to read the judgment (https://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdoc/au/cases/vic/VSCA//2019/186.html) including the systematic analysis of why the paedophile's defence was unsuccessful.

But a reading of the entire judgment suggests the majority case is flawed and less convincing than the minority.
lol A priori much.

Requiring only a majority to overturn seems a fairly low bar when compared to unanimous requirement to convict, but nope not this time buddy.

idledim
11-09-2019, 09:13 AM
John Finnis AC QC is professor emeritus at Oxford University, having been Professor of Law and Legal Philosophy from 1989 to 2010. He is a Fellow of the British Academy (Law and Philosophy sections). A barrister of Gray’s Inn, he practised from 1979 to 1995 and was appointed Queen’s Counsel [QC] (honoris causa) in 2017. Originally from South Australia, he was created a Companion in the Order of Australia in 2019 ‘for eminent service to the law, and to education, to legal theory and philosophical enquiry, and as a leading jurist, academic and author’.

Here is his analysis of the Judgment: where-the-pell-judgment-went-fatally-wrong (https://quadrant.org.au/opinion/qed/2019/09/where-the-pell-judgment-went-fatally-wrong/)

Desmond
11-09-2019, 08:03 PM
John Finnis AC QC is professor emeritus at Oxford University, having been Professor of Law and Legal Philosophy from 1989 to 2010. He is a Fellow of the British Academy (Law and Philosophy sections). A barrister of Gray’s Inn, he practised from 1979 to 1995 and was appointed Queen’s Counsel [QC] (honoris causa) in 2017. Originally from South Australia, he was created a Companion in the Order of Australia in 2019 ‘for eminent service to the law, and to education, to legal theory and philosophical enquiry, and as a leading jurist, academic and author’.

Here is his analysis of the Judgment: where-the-pell-judgment-went-fatally-wrong (https://quadrant.org.au/opinion/qed/2019/09/where-the-pell-judgment-went-fatally-wrong/)One term not used in this particular article is "advantage". I.e. the advantage that the jury had, and indeed so did the appeal court, of having, you know, heard the evidence from the former choirboy. The author of that article has never heard it.

It's great that idledim has found someone with some legal experiece to write a piece defending paedophile Pell. But you know what, I reckon the court of appeal justices have some credentials too. I'll leave that as an exercise for idledim to document them. And of course, they heard the evidence and deliberated on it for some time. That's probably useful, unless of course you already decided the outcome without bothering with encumberances like evidence.

idledim
11-09-2019, 09:10 PM
One term not used in this particular article is "advantage". I.e. the advantage that the jury had, and indeed so did the appeal court, of having, you know, heard the evidence from the former choirboy. The author of that article has never heard it.

It's great that idledim has found someone with some legal experiece to write a piece defending paedophile Pell. But you know what, I reckon the court of appeal justices have some credentials too. I'll leave that as an exercise for idledim to document them. And of course, they heard the evidence and deliberated on it for some time. That's probably useful, unless of course you already decided the outcome without bothering with encumberances like evidence.

All 3 Appeal judges have brilliant minds and a wealth of experience. For what it's worth, it is usually acknowledged that the dissenting judge is the most experienced. That they saw the law differently should mean, in my view, that the High Court grants leave to Appeal - because only it can finally rule on the correct approach in such cases. The majority view appears to be that, howsoever implausible or improbable each of the circumstances might be, none were impossible and it was therefore open to the jury to deliver a guilty verdict. The dissenting view seems to be that, when all the improbabilities and implausibilities are added up, they amount to practical impossibility.

This is not a matter of whether anyone, whether they be the Appeal judges or learned commentators like John Finnis AO QC, has or has not reviewed the evidence. It is about judicial responses to evidence and obviously different understandings about that process of review. I think the High Court only grant Leave to Appeal in about 15 per cent of cases. I think John Finnis' response provides another reason why it should hear this Appeal.

idledim
11-09-2019, 09:17 PM
This article outlines Professor Keith Windschuttle's concerns with the evidence: the-contradictions-of-the-choirboy/ (https://quadrant.org.au/opinion/qed/2019/09/the-contradictions-of-the-choirboy/)

Desmond
11-09-2019, 10:21 PM
All 3 Appeal judges have brilliant minds and a wealth of experience. For what it's worth, it is usually acknowledged that the dissenting judge is the most experienced. That they saw the law differently should mean, in my view, that the High Court grants leave to Appeal - because only it can finally rule on the correct approach in such cases. The majority view appears to be that, howsoever implausible or improbable each of the circumstances might be, none were impossible and it was therefore open to the jury to deliver a guilty verdict. The dissenting view seems to be that, when all the improbabilities and implausibilities are added up, they amount to practical impossibility.

This is not a matter of whether anyone, whether they be the Appeal judges or learned commentators like John Finnis AO QC, has or has not reviewed the evidence. It is about judicial responses to evidence and obviously different understandings about that process of review. I think the High Court only grant Leave to Appeal in about 15 per cent of cases. I think John Finnis' response provides another reason why it should hear this Appeal.
I am reminded of previous remarks:


...The court must also independently review the evidence. Indeed, the High Court has ruled that it must and I am confident it will do its duty.
...

What happened to the confidence? Reviewing evidence seems (seemed) to be important, so I guess having access to it might be useful.

In any case, of the 3 appeal court judges, one is the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Victoria, another is President of the Victorian Court of Appeal, and the other is the dissenter.

idledim
11-09-2019, 11:48 PM
I have already indicated why I believe that the issue in the Pell case is not about whether the court properly reviewed the evidence, but about how courts should be directed to review evidence. I have also indicated that I believe all three judges have brilliant minds and a wealth of experience. The dissenting judge has more criminal law experience than either the Chief Justice or the President of the Victorian Court of Appeal - that's all. Indeed, Mark Weinberg has been described as Australia's most prominent criminal law jurist. Professor Mirko Bagaric (a Swinburne legal academic) described him as, 'clearly the brightest bloke on the Victorian Court of Appeal.' Mark Weinberg formed the view that the conviction was not safe. It is impossible to read his 204 page dissent without concluding that the High Court should grant George Pell special leave to Appeal. He lists a number of cases where, “notwithstanding the apparent credibility of a complainant in relation to an allegation of sexual abuse, the countervailing circumstances, including any defence evidence, have led the High Court to quash the conviction and enter a verdict of acquittal”.

Here is the article by Mirko Bagaric: dissenting-judge-gives-pell-reason-to-clutch-at-high-court-lifeline (https://www.swinburne.edu.au/news/latest-news/2019/08/opinion-dissenting-judge-gives-pell-reason-to-clutch-at-high-court-lifeline.php)

Desmond
12-09-2019, 05:30 AM
Mark Weinberg formed the view that the conviction was not safe. It is impossible to read his 204 page dissent without concluding that the High Court should grant George Pell special leave to Appeal. Impossible would seem to be a term bandied about a lot of late in an incorrect usage.

I would say that it is impossible to conclude that the majority view judges did not fully read and consider the dissenting opinion, and that being the case means that your assertion that for them to do so and come to the conclusion that they did being impossible is in itself an impossible assertion.



He lists a number of cases where, “notwithstanding the apparent credibility of a complainant in relation to an allegation of sexual abuse, the countervailing circumstances, including any defence evidence, have led the High Court to quash the conviction and enter a verdict of acquittal”.
And the fact that he was unable to persuade the other 2 brilliant jurists of that point of view is perhaps an indication that it's not as clear cut as some would like it to be.


Here is the article by Mirko Bagaric: dissenting-judge-gives-pell-reason-to-clutch-at-high-court-lifeline (https://www.swinburne.edu.au/news/latest-news/2019/08/opinion-dissenting-judge-gives-pell-reason-to-clutch-at-high-court-lifeline.php)
As though Pell attempting to take it to the high court is news to anybody.

idledim
12-09-2019, 08:36 AM
Impossible would seem to be a term bandied about a lot of late in an incorrect usage.

I would say that it is impossible to conclude that the majority view judges did not fully read and consider the dissenting opinion, and that being the case means that your assertion that for them to do so and come to the conclusion that they did being impossible is in itself an impossible assertion.

If this is true, then it should be easy for you to show us where Anne Ferguson & Chris Maxwell indicate that George Pell should not be given special leave. Personally, I'd be surprised if such eminent jurists took it upon themselves to decide in advance what the High Court should decide. Indeed, one of the reasons for publishing reasons is to give higher courts an indication of the judges reasoning.

In this case, whether or not compounding improbabilities should equal practical impossibility in the mind of the jury is now a question best addressed by the High Court.

Desmond
12-09-2019, 09:47 AM
If this is true, then it should be easy for you to show us where Anne Ferguson & Chris Maxwell indicate that George Pell should not be given special leave.indeed so, I refer you to the fact that they dismissed the appeal in full knowledge of the dissent opinion.


In this case, whether or not compounding improbabilities should equal practical impossibility in the mind of the jury is now a question best addressed by the High Court.because you didn't get the answer you wanted.

idledim
12-09-2019, 10:37 AM
indeed so, I refer you to the fact that they dismissed the appeal in full knowledge of the dissent opinion.

because you didn't get the answer you wanted.

The question is whether or not special leave should be granted. When the majority refer to the dissenting opinion they do not address this - nor should they. The majority view was that it was open to the jury to convict because, in their view, none of the 13 or so circumstances described by the Defence as impossibilities was actually impossible. The dissenting opinion was that compounding improbabilities equals - as it does, said Mark Weinberg, in game theory, practical impossibility. In other words, by misunderstanding your task, you've avoided it. It really is as simple as that in this case.

Capablanca-Fan
12-09-2019, 02:23 PM
For some, including the jury and two of the appeals judges, the perceived need to punish the Catholic church trumped normal notions of ‘beyond reasonable doubt’—in this case an uncorroborated accusation about something that allegedly occurred decades ago, without the slightest forensic evidence.

Patrick Byrom
12-09-2019, 06:44 PM
For some, including the jury and two of the appeals judges, the perceived need to punish the Catholic church trumped normal notions of ‘beyond reasonable doubt’—in this case an uncorroborated accusation about something that allegedly occurred decades ago, without the slightest forensic evidence.So everyone (including all twelve jurors!) who thinks Pell is guilty is driven by a need to punish the Catholic Church :P

Desmond
12-09-2019, 07:38 PM
The question is whether or not special leave should be granted. When the majority refer to the dissenting opinion they do not address this - nor should they. The majority view was that it was open to the jury to convict because, in their view, none of the 13 or so circumstances described by the Defence as impossibilities was actually impossible. The dissenting opinion was that compounding improbabilities equals - as it does, said Mark Weinberg, in game theory, practical impossibility. In other words, by misunderstanding your task, you've avoided it. It really is as simple as that in this case.My only task, such that I had any task at all, was to show that your assertion that it was impossible to disagree with the dissenting opinion was wrong, was really a lay down misere.

But while we're talking about completing tasks, I am yet to hear any comment on why your confidence that the appeal court would duly hear the evidence and justly rule was thrown out the window after you heard their ruling. In the absence of such I will assume it's because it disagreed with your a priori position.

Paedo Pell was looking forward to his day in court. Until he got convicted.
His supporters were looking forward to the appeal, until it got rejected.
Now their hoping for another round.

It's a bit like a little kid who loses at rock paper scissors and wants to go for two out of three. Then when they lose again, they want best of 5. Convict Catholic Cardinal has it even better than that, he doesn't need to win best of 5, just once will do. Maybe if he rolls the dice often enough he'll get Yatzhee, until then his supports can believe what they want in spite of the evidence and its consideration.

idledim
12-09-2019, 08:05 PM
My only task, such that I had any task at all, was to show that your assertion that it was impossible to disagree with the dissenting opinion was wrong, was really a lay down misere.

But while we're talking about completing tasks, I am yet to hear any comment on why your confidence that the appeal court would duly hear the evidence and justly rule was thrown out the window after you heard their ruling. In the absence of such I will assume it's because it disagreed with your a priori position.

Paedo Pell was looking forward to his day in court. Until he got convicted.
His supporters were looking forward to the appeal, until it got rejected.
Now their hoping for another round.

It's a bit like a little kid who loses at rock paper scissors and wants to go for two out of three. Then when they lose again, they want best of 5. Convict Catholic Cardinal has it even better than that, he doesn't need to win best of 5, just once will do. Maybe if he rolls the dice often enough he'll get Yatzhee, until then his supports can believe what they want in spite of the evidence and its consideration.

Please do not misquote me, RR - or else show where I have ever asserted that it was impossible to disagree with the dissenting opinion.You keep making this mistake. I keep reminding you that I did not say it - and you keep saying i said it. What i said in post # 122 was that it was impossible to read the dissenting opinion without concluding that the High Court should grant special leave in this case. This is very different from an assertion that the dissenting opinion must be right!

It is also incorrect to assert that I have somehow lost my faith in the ability of the Victorian Court of Appeal to independently and properly review the evidence - the context of which was originally your failure to understand the responsibilities of the Victorian Court of Appeal when reviewing criminal convictions. You have continued to assert this rubbish despite my clear indications that, in my view, the issue is not about whether the court has done its job in reviewing the evidence; and that it is now, in the context of the two clearly competing principles revealed by the Majority judgment and the dissenting opinion, about how courts should be directed to review the evidence. That decent, brilliant and experienced judges should review the same evidence so differently ought to give rise to, at least the possibility, that the conviction is not safe. To suggest otherwise is either malicious or just plain silly.

Your repeated misrepresentations of what I have actually said on this matter is nothing to do with me, of course - but that they are misrepresentations can be quickly and easily checked by anyone following this discussion.

antichrist
12-09-2019, 10:00 PM
For some, including the jury and two of the appeals judges, the perceived need to punish the Catholic church trumped normal notions of ‘beyond reasonable doubt’—in this case an uncorroborated accusation about something that allegedly occurred decades ago, without the slightest forensic evidence.

But couldn't the case of Jesus or God's existence be questioned on exactly the same grounds? As this issue is paramount to the RCC they should at least attempt to be consistent.

Desmond
13-09-2019, 10:33 AM
What i said in post # 122 was that it was impossible to read the dissenting opinion without concluding that the High Court should grant special leave in this case. An assertion which is 100% wrong. It is perfectly possible to read the entire judgement, and I invite you to do so, and not reach that conclusion.


It is also incorrect to assert that I have somehow lost my faith in the ability of the Victorian Court of Appeal to independently and properly review the evidence - Actually I was asking you about it and when you didn't answer I drew a conclusion. Not answering every aspect of a post is fine, but to do so and then claim that someone else has not completed their task is inconsistent.


the context of which was originally your failure to understand the responsibilities of the Victorian Court of Appeal when reviewing criminal convictions.
Actually the context was me pointing out that 2 of the 3 grounds for appeal were technicalities that would be silly to grant, and that was borne out to be true in the majority and dissenting opinions alike.



... in the context of the two clearly competing principles revealed by the Majority judgment and the dissenting opinion, about how courts should be directed to review the evidence. That decent, brilliant and experienced judges should review the same evidence so differently ought to give rise to, at least the possibility, that the conviction is not safe. To suggest otherwise is either malicious or just plain silly.

Not at all. It is perfectly possible to have 2 valid approaches to doing something. If very experienced judges are doing so, that would explain the difference far more readily that to suggest as you do that two of them have erred so fundamentally.

Desmond
23-09-2019, 10:15 AM
Choirboy can be believed - and Pell freed, Cardinal's lawyers say (https://www.smh.com.au/national/choirboy-can-be-believed-and-pell-freed-cardinal-s-lawyers-say-20190920-p52t8f.html)

For more than four years, the fate of Australia’s most powerful Catholic cleric rested on the word of a former choirboy. For police, for the courts and the church, it all came down to the truthfulness, credibility and believability of a single witness, alone and unsupported in what he alleged against George Pell.

In an application lodged this week for special leave to appeal his case to the High Court, Pell’s legal team shifted ground. It is both a vindication of the choirboy and a last bid by Pell, now serving a six-year prison sentence, to have his child sex convictions quashed.

The Cardinal’s lawyers no longer question the credibility of the man who first told police in 2015 that Pell raped him and sexually assaulted a friend in St Patrick’s Cathedral when they were 13 years old. They no longer dismiss Pell’s accuser as a fantasist or argue that the County Court jury should have done the same. Instead, they contend that both sides of this bitterly contested prosecution should co-exist; that Pell’s accuser can be believed and the Cardinal acquitted of all charges and released from jail. ...

To attract the interest of the High Court, Pell is not arguing that the jury’s verdict was unreasonable on all the evidence. That question has already been asked and answered before the Victorian Court of Appeal. ...

antichrist
15-10-2019, 11:55 PM
Of course Pell knows if he is guilty. If so guilty maybe instead of objecting he should be admitting any other similar crimes so they are taken into consideration when sentencing rather than have further charges come up when he is released and more sentences added.

Desmond
16-10-2019, 11:31 AM
Of course Pell knows if he is guilty. If so guilty maybe instead of objecting he should be admitting any other similar crimes so they are taken into consideration when sentencing rather than have further charges come up when he is released and more sentences added.

Pell has already been sentenced. He is serving 6 years for the rape of a child and other sex crimes.

antichrist
16-10-2019, 01:09 PM
Pell has already been sentenced. He is serving 6 years for the rape of a child and other sex crimes.

But has he admitted all so they can be taken into consideration at time of sentencing? If not there may another Melbourne Cup field of allegations upon his release. I was thinking of my plumber's tale.

Desmond
16-10-2019, 02:06 PM
But has he admitted all so they can be taken into consideration at time of sentencing? If not there may another Melbourne Cup field of allegations upon his release. [snip-mod]

I recommend watching the 4 Corners episode (https://www.abc.net.au/4corners/guilty:-the-conviction-of-cardinal-pell/10869116) that I linked to earlier in this thread. From the transcript:


LOUISE MILLIGAN, REPORTER: The police investigation into Pell widened. New claims were made about alleged abuse in the 1970s at the Eureka Stockade pool in George Pell's hometown of Ballarat. Damian Dignan was eight years old at the time. In 2015 he made a complaint to police...we spoke to him the following year.
DAMIAN DIGNAN (7:30, 2016) Father Pell was always at the deep end around his chest height there, and he would love to pick the kids up and throw them over his shoulder. Or throw them up in the air. So they could have a splash.

LOUISE MILLIGAN, REPORTER: So things got a bit rough? So what happened?

DAMIAN DIGNAN Ah, around the testes, around the anus.

LOUISE MILLIGAN, REPORTER: What would he do?

DAMIAN DIGNAN Grab you.

LOUISE MILLIGAN, REPORTER: How did it make you feel?

DAMIAN DIGNAN Scared. Scared but hurt. Very forceful around the anus. ...

DAMIAN DIGNAN: You've got no confidence, you can't talk, and you'll never talk. You feel ashamed. And ah, yeah, as far, as, you asked me how it affected me mentally? Ruined me life. Ruined it. For years, I was very angry. I grew up an angry young bloke. I took a lot of my anger out on myself. Self-destruction. And other people who cared about me and loved me.

LOUISE MILLIGAN, REPORTER: Damian Dignan had a drinking problem and he developed leukaemia. Police laid charges in relation to his alleged abuse, but they were dropped when he died in January 2017. He was 47. He told me he was always proud of coming forward.

and


LOUISE MILLIGAN, REPORTER: Lyndon Monument described playing the same game with George Pell in the pool.

LYNDON MONUMENT (7:30, 2016): Well it was his hand touching your genitals and stuff on the outside of your bathers or your shorts, and then that slowly became hand down the front of your pants or your bathers or whatever you call them.

LOUISE MILLIGAN, REPORTER: Under the water?

LYNDON MONUMENT: Under the water.

LOUISE MILLIGAN, REPORTER: Lyndon Monument told police that Pell would then invite him into the change rooms.

LYNDON MONUMENT: He'd undress and then he'd say to us to undress and so we'd undress and then he'd have a towel and he'd say 'make sure that you wiped under your testicles' and all that sort of stuff.

LOUISE MILLIGAN, REPORTER: And while he was doing this, was he wearing clothes?

LYNDON MONUMENT: No.


and


LOUISE MILLIGAN, REPORTER: Ballarat local, Phil Nagle, said he also saw Pell in the change rooms.

PHIL NAGLE: Obviously, as kids, pretty discreetly in the corner because we didn't want anyone to see our doodles and we're still little kids. Uh, tapped me on the shoulder, look around and Cardinal Pell, stark naked, and he was actually had his towel up and he was drying his back and there was no discretion at all. So he's actually the first adult male I ever saw naked.


and


Six months after the Ballarat men went to police, another man came forward. Les Tyack told police that in the mid 1980s he saw Pell in the changerooms at the Torquay Life Saving Club.

LES TYACK When I walked in, I saw a fellow there towelling himself, criss-crossing across the back, towelling himself off. And there were three young kids, about eight to ten years of age, they would have been two metres across from him. Um, also getting changed. I went into the showers and I would've been been in the showers probably five to ten minutes. When I came out, this fellow, was facing the boys with the towel over his right shoulder. And I thought that to be a very odd situation. Here I was, in the shower, he had not got dressed, he was facing the boys and I thought then, immediately, there's something's not right here.
I said to the boys, 'if you're finished, off you go, we'll see you here again another time'. And I said, to this fellow, um, 'George, I know what you're up to. Get dressed, piss off and don't come back to this club again. If I see you back here, I'll call the police.

LOUISE MILLIGAN, REPORTER: And George was George Pell?

LES TYACK: George was George Pell.

LOUISE MILLIGAN, REPORTER: So, what you're saying is, you thought that George Pell was exposing himself to those boys."

LES TYACK: Absolutely. Absolutely. I have no doubt whatsoever.

LOUISE MILLIGAN, REPORTER: Les Tyack was inspired to speak up when the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse began sitting.
I am very curious to read the royal commission's findings as they pertain to Pell, once they are released.

Desmond
01-11-2019, 07:32 AM
[Convicted Paedophile] George Pell lands a $10-a-week job in jail after requesting the role to give his days purpose - as he fights to overturn child sex abuse conviction (https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7635409/Convicted-pedophile-George-Pell-given-job-gardener-Melbourne-Assessment-Prison.html)

Convicted paedophile George Pell has landed a job behind bars as he continues to fight his child sex conviction.

The 78-year-old former cardinal has been appointed as a gardener for Melbourne Assessment Prison.

Pell is subject to 23 hours a day in solitary confinement and requested a job to give his days purpose, a prison insider told Herald Sun. ...

antichrist
01-11-2019, 07:59 AM
[Convicted Paedophile] George Pell lands a $10-a-week job in jail after requesting the role to give his days purpose - as he fights to overturn child sex abuse conviction (https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7635409/Convicted-pedophile-George-Pell-given-job-gardener-Melbourne-Assessment-Prison.html)

Convicted paedophile George Pell has landed a job behind bars as he continues to fight his child sex conviction.

The 78-year-old former cardinal has been appointed as a gardener for Melbourne Assessment Prison.

Pell is subject to 23 hours a day in solitary confinement and requested a job to give his days purpose, a prison insider told Herald Sun. ...

fancy poor guy getting 23 hours a day solitary but it is not really solitary because he can talk to Jesus all day. In open prison he can be real popular hearing confessions and absolving sins because he has not being stripped of his priesthood yet. And would they have hefty sins to confess to, murder, rapes, terrorists activities - he may need counselling each session. He can guarantee Heaven to the prison guards etc. wow he will be popular.

Patrick Byrom
13-11-2019, 06:27 PM
The High Court sort of agreed to hear Pell's appeal (https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/nov/13/what-has-happened-with-cardinal-george-pells-appeal-against-child-sex-abuse):

Pell’s lawyers will present their case as if special leave had been granted, proceeding with his arguments on appeal. This will look and feel like an appeal. However, at any point in the case, the justices of the high court can direct Pell’s lawyers to make submissions about whether or not he should be granted special leave.
So they’re starting with the substantive arguments about why the conviction should be quashed, but Pell has not technically cleared the threshold question of whether the court should hear the appeal. It’s a bit like snakes and ladders – Pell has moved forward a few squares, but at any point could slide back to having to justify why the court should weigh in on the rightness or wrongness of the conviction at all.

antichrist
18-11-2019, 08:14 PM
The High Court sort of agreed to hear Pell's appeal (https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/nov/13/what-has-happened-with-cardinal-george-pells-appeal-against-child-sex-abuse):

Pell’s lawyers will present their case as if special leave had been granted, proceeding with his arguments on appeal. This will look and feel like an appeal. However, at any point in the case, the justices of the high court can direct Pell’s lawyers to make submissions about whether or not he should be granted special leave.
So they’re starting with the substantive arguments about why the conviction should be quashed, but Pell has not technically cleared the threshold question of whether the court should hear the appeal. It’s a bit like snakes and ladders – Pell has moved forward a few squares, but at any point could slide back to having to justify why the court should weigh in on the rightness or wrongness of the conviction at all.

better than God's justice, any avenues of appeal up there? I doubt it. any juryman of laymen? I doubt it? any mitigating circumstances taken into account? I doubt it. Any presidential pardons? I doubt it

Desmond
01-02-2020, 08:30 PM
George Pell team ignores evidence, says DPP (https://www.theaustralian.com.au/nation/george-pell-team-ignores-evidence-says-dpp/news-story/41d865be5a3fcd910ae0375083e43fd5)
The Australian

George Pell’s appeal to the High Court ignores, overstates and misstates evidence and ought to be rejected, the Victorian Director of Public Prosecutions argues in submissions to the court released on Friday.

A strong part of the cardinal’s application to appeal his conviction of sexually abusing two children related to the credibility of the sole surviving victim and inconsistencies between his testimony and that of other witnesses. ...

Director of Public Prosecutions Kerri Judd said Pell’s legal team had focused on the Court of Appeal majority’s “belief” in the victim.

“(Pell’s legal team) disregards an important aspect of the majority’s assessment of (the victim’s) credibility and reliability: that undisputed facts regarding the applicant’s use of the priests’ sacristy (at St Patrick’s Cathedral) and the layout of the priests’ sacristy provided independent support for (the victim’s) account,” Ms Judd said. ...

In her response to the High Court, Ms Judd said the majority “reviewed the whole of the evidence” and assessed the victim’s credibility and reliability in several contexts, including consistencies and inconsistencies between his account and other evidence, the defence contention that his story was inherently improbable and the defence contention that it was factually impossible for the offending to have occurred as alleged.

Ms Judd said Pell’s submission “ignores” and “glosses over evidence supportive” of the victim’s account such as his description of the priests’ sacristy where the abuse occurred.

She said the classification of evidence from church figures as “alibi evidence” also overstates their evidence. ...

Ms Judd said the dissenting Court of Appeal judge Mark Weinberg “did not sufficiently acknowledge the jury’s role as the primary tribunal of fact”.

“It is fundamental to our system of criminal justice that the jury is the constitutional tribunal for deciding issues of fact,” she said. “The role of the jury as representative of the community in a jury trial is of abiding importance … The jury also has epistemic advantages as the primary fact-finder.” ...

Desmond
27-02-2020, 07:28 PM
Happy anniversary Prisoner Pell. A year ago today.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZtoUNNBQHxQ

Kevin Bonham
11-03-2020, 08:29 PM
Pell High Court transcript from today:
http://classic.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/cth/HCATrans/2020/26.html

Kevin Bonham
12-03-2020, 11:34 AM
Word is the defendant is having a good day today. One journo has said that the bench's handling of the prosecution's attempt is "like watching a baby seal getting clubbed."

Kevin Bonham
12-03-2020, 07:18 PM
Pell transcript day two https://jade.io/article/720001

Patrick Byrom
12-03-2020, 11:49 PM
The High Court has reserved its decision (https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/mar/12/george-pell-appeal-cardinals-lawyers-question-victorian-judges-decision-to-watch-video-evidence):

The full bench of the high court in Canberra has reserved its decision about whether to grant Cardinal George Pell special leave to appeal his case for a final time, after listening to two days of arguments from his barrister and the prosecution. The seven judges asked for further written submissions from the legal parties and have given them two business days to deliver. The bench will then consider those materials before returning to deliver their decision at a date yet to be determined. Once they return to court, if the court does grant special leave, the bench may then immediately decide whether to accept the arguments from Pell’s team and acquit him, or they could dismiss the appeal in which case the verdict would hold.

idledim
13-03-2020, 07:20 AM
The High Court has reserved its decision (https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/mar/12/george-pell-appeal-cardinals-lawyers-question-victorian-judges-decision-to-watch-video-evidence):

The full bench of the high court in Canberra has reserved its decision about whether to grant Cardinal George Pell special leave to appeal his case for a final time, after listening to two days of arguments from his barrister and the prosecution. The seven judges asked for further written submissions from the legal parties and have given them two business days to deliver. The bench will then consider those materials before returning to deliver their decision at a date yet to be determined. Once they return to court, if the court does grant special leave, the bench may then immediately decide whether to accept the arguments from Pell’s team and acquit him, or they could dismiss the appeal in which case the verdict would hold.

They could also decide to refer the matter to the Victorian Court of Appeal - unlikely but possible.

Desmond
13-03-2020, 08:41 PM
Pell High Court transcript from today:
http://classic.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/cth/HCATrans/2020/26.html

Pretty impressive how much time they can waste arguing about trivial nonsense, such as whether the absence of a witness that they never asked to be called constitutes reasonable doubt, or whether the appeal court watching the testimony is reviewing "evidence" or not, as opposed to reading it.

Desmond
02-04-2020, 08:48 AM
Two new accusers say George Pell abused them when they were boys in the 1970s (https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-04-02/george-pell-ballarat-allegations-revelation/12109952)
April 2, 2020

antichrist
02-04-2020, 10:46 AM
Two new accusers say George Pell abused them when they were boys in the 1970s (https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-04-02/george-pell-ballarat-allegations-revelation/12109952)
April 2, 2020

I just realized what your sigfile refers to and who the devil may have been.

Desmond
02-04-2020, 05:48 PM
I just realized what your sigfile refers to and who the devil may have been.

Haha no gladly I didn't receive any "holy sacraments" by Pell. The character is Desmond from Lost, if you're interested.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AHmKKARwfYQ

Desmond
06-04-2020, 08:01 PM
George Pell’s bid for freedom: high court verdict to decide cardinal's future (https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/apr/06/george-pells-bid-for-freedom-high-court-verdict-to-decide-disgraced-cardinals-future)
Melissa Davey
Mon 6 Apr 2020

On Tuesday, almost two years after being committed to stand trial on multiple charges of historical child sexual abuse, the case against the former financial controller of the Vatican, Cardinal George Pell, will likely end with him either walking free or remaining in jail to serve the rest of his sentence. ...

Once they return to court on Tuesday the high court bench will immediately deliver its decision as to whether the majority of the seven justices accepts the arguments from Pell’s team and will acquit and release him, or whether the majority dismissed the appeal in which case the guilty verdict will hold and Pell’s opportunities to appeal will have been exhausted. ...

The judgment delivery itself will be over in a minute or two, with just the orders being read out by the chief justice Susan Kiefel. The judgment summary will then go live on the court’s website, with the bench’s full reasons for their judgement becoming available shortly after.

While there are a few different scenarios that could unfold, including the court granting leave to appeal on only certain convictions and not others, or sending the original appeal back to court to be reconsidered, the most likely scenarios are that the bench will either grant the appeal and quash the conviction, or refuse the appeal, upholding the conviction. ...

Kevin Bonham
07-04-2020, 10:20 AM
Pell acquitted.

idledim
07-04-2020, 10:58 AM
Pell acquitted.

7-0

Capablanca-Fan
07-04-2020, 11:43 AM
Cardinal George Pell's abuse convictions overturned by Australia's High Court (https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/cardinal-george-pells-abuse-convictions-overturned-by-australias-high-court-66750)
Ed Condon and JD Flynn, Catholic News Agency, 6 Apr 2020

The High Court found the appellate court that heard Pell’s appeal last year “failed to engage with the question of whether there remained a reasonable possibility that the offending had not taken place, such that there ought to have been a reasonable doubt as to the applicant’s guilt.”

With regard to the jury, “The Court held that, on the assumption that the jury had assessed the complainant's evidence as thoroughly credible and reliable, the evidence of the opportunity witnesses nonetheless required the jury, acting rationally, to have entertained a reasonable doubt as to the applicant's guilt in relation to the offences involved in both alleged incidents,” the judgment summary explained.

The Court’s April 7 summary release added that “The unchallenged evidence of the opportunity witnesses was inconsistent with the complainant's account, and described: (i) the applicant's practice of greeting congregants on or near the Cathedral steps after Sunday solemn Mass; (ii) the established and historical Catholic church practice that required that the applicant, as an archbishop, always be accompanied when robed in the Cathedral; and (iii) the continuous traffic in and out of the priests' sacristy for ten to 15 minutes after the conclusion of the procession that ended Sunday solemn Mass.”

In their appeal, Pell’s attorney argued that the conviction should have been overturned because it was based upon uncorroborated testimony of only one complainant.

antichrist
07-04-2020, 11:55 AM
Cardinal George Pell's abuse convictions overturned by Australia's High Court (https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/cardinal-george-pells-abuse-convictions-overturned-by-australias-high-court-66750)
Ed Condon and JD Flynn, Catholic News Agency, 6 Apr 2020

The High Court found the appellate court that heard Pell’s appeal last year “failed to engage with the question of whether there remained a reasonable possibility that the offending had not taken place, such that there ought to have been a reasonable doubt as to the applicant’s guilt.”
In their appeal, Pell’s attorney argued that the conviction should have been overturned because it was based upon uncorroborated testimony of only one complainant.


We can also judge when Mr Pell passes from the surface of this planet - my mother used to say that the elderly are too afraid to die because they know where they are going when they do die.

As an altar boy of more than decade standing I would say that there would have been ample opportunities for abuse to take place. Not saying that this took place in Pell's situation. I was often the only altar boy at funerals when i was let out of school to attend, driven by the priest and no one else in attendance. I can still smell the incense in my nostrils now.

MichaelBaron
07-04-2020, 01:40 PM
Separate reminder of the ''score'' Pell was cleared with: 7-0 I believe....

MichaelBaron
07-04-2020, 02:20 PM
Re Pell case...compare with the Harley W. case...and accusations against Pell were far more severe I believe..

Capablanca-Fan
07-04-2020, 02:54 PM
George Pell: A good priest, falsely accused through a politically motivated investigation and unfair trial (https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/opinion/george-pell-a-good-priest-falsely-accused-through-a-politically-motivated-investigation-and-unfair-trial/news-story/e60c524bbe616eb95a3c73ebe9ed224a)
Miranda Devine, The Daily Telegraph. 7 Apr 2020

The case that he sexually assaulted two choir boys after Sunday mass in 1996 in a crowded St Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne was patently implausible from the start.

He was convicted and imprisoned over the most heinous of all crimes on the word of one anonymous complainant, whose testimony was unsupported by any other witnesses, or any forensic evidence. The same fate could befall any Victorian.

The media lynch mob and the entire Victorian legal system stand condemned. The unanimous decision of the High Court is a conclusive repudiation of everyone involved in the false imprisonment of Cardinal George Pell, every politician, every cop, every lawyer, every journalist, every coward who naively trusted the system and vilified as “paedophile protectors” those who maintained Cardinal Pell’s innocence.

His false conviction raises urgent questions about the jury system, for so long the bedrock of our criminal justice. But that system was perverted by politicians pursuing ideological outcomes, who created legislation in Victoria that altered the balance of justice, so that defendants in sex trials now have to prove their innocence, turning the onus of proof on its head.

At every step of the way there were terrible failures.

Convicting innocent people does not help the victims of child sexual abuse. Quite the opposite. It allows the guilty to go free and creates doubt over genuine cases

The High Court has restored our faith in Australian justice, but it utterly condemns Victoria.

Mark Weinberg, the sole dissenting judge on the Victorian Court of Appeal, has been vindicated. His 204-page dissenting judgment last year formed the basis for Pell’s appeal to the High Court.

As the High Court said in its judgment today the Court of Appeal did not leave open the reasonable possibility that the offending did not happen.

The Jury assessed the complainant’s evidence as reliable but they should have entertained the possibility of reasonable doubt.

idledim
07-04-2020, 05:34 PM
Two new accusers came out of the wood work a few weeks [snip-mod]

I presume you are referring to the accusers interviewed by Sarah Ferguson in the 3rd. installment of Revelation, aired last Thursday by the ABC.

The allegations by "A" and "PC" were not new. Both were considered by Victoria Police in 2016 and 2017. The Victorian Office of Public Prosecutions withdrew one set of charges before committal and the other charges were dismissed sometime after the commital proceedings had commenced.

The programme was originally scheduled to air this evening, but was brought forward for reasons not explained by the ABC. The ABC has now removed the programme from iview and all other platforms - which should answer most questions, including why it changed the schedule so that the programme could be aired before the High Court ruling.

One of the accusers was Peter Clarke. In 2005 he was interviewed by the Ballarat Courier about his childhood in the orphanage. Here's an excerpt from that interview:

Mr Clarke said he loved growing up in the boy’s orphanage.

“It was great fun,” he said.

“There was always a new boy and you’d be saying “oh who’s that.”

Mr Clarke spent 18 years at the orphanage, but his toughest time was when he was released.

“This represents my family to me. They were good to me at the orphanage and did the right thing by me,” he tells, happy to speak about a childhood that has such an impact on his life…

Capablanca-Fan
08-04-2020, 06:41 AM
High Court takes the high road on question of passion or precedent (https://www.smh.com.au/national/victoria/high-court-takes-the-high-road-on-question-of-passion-or-precedent-20200407-p54hwn.html)
John Silvester, SMH, 7 Apr 2020

Not since Lindy Chamberlain lost her baby to a dingo at Uluru 40 years ago has a criminal case so polarised the community as Cardinal George Pell’s arrest, conviction and acquittal.

The High Court found that on the evidence put to the jury it should have found there was reasonable doubt. It did not find that Pell didn’t do it, nor that the complainant was a liar. It found there was sufficient doubt to demand an acquittal.

To overturn a jury decision is a huge call as it is the basis of the trial system. To do so means the High Court found the conviction a massive miscarriage of justice that had to be righted.

This was not one man’s word against another. In a criminal trial the allegation must be proved and without compelling corroboration it is simply impossible.

And that is the system. All crimes, no matter how heinous, are treated equally. Terrorism is an international scourge. So, do we drop the evidentiary bar there? Make it 70 per cent sure rather than really sure. Or better yet, don’t have any trials at all.

The system works because the accused is judged on the evidence, not on the nature of the crime. The system works because the courts make decisions on the basis of the law not on the basis of popularity. We demand beyond reasonable doubt even in unreasonable crimes.

In the court of public opinion Pell would get life, which is why judges are appointed and not elected – to do their job without being swayed by external noise.

This is a two-tiered justice system where sex crimes are treated differently. There are plenty of murder cases where police are convinced, they know the identity of the killer but lack corroboration and charges are not laid. Who decided that sex crimes are different?

Prosecutions have been launched in historical sex crimes without compelling corroboration. Tuesday's quashing of Pell’s conviction may bring an end to those sort of cases.

The High Court decision will be deeply unpopular to many and devastating to the many victims of the Catholic Church.

But it was the right one.

Capablanca-Fan
08-04-2020, 08:30 AM
Sky News Australia

Cardinal George Pell “should never have been convicted” with his persecution representing “one of this nation’s greatest miscarriages of justice,” according to Sky News host Andrew Bolt.

Mr Bolt said a “witch hunt” has permeated facets of society against the Cardinal, which has subsequently “ruined his reputation, destroyed his brilliant career” and “robbed him” of his freedom.

On Tuesday, Cardinal Pell had his sexual abuse conviction overturned by Australia’s highest court, in a unanimous decision, after having spent 405 days in jail following an initial ruling which had found him guilty in 2018.

Cardinal Pell had come out and said he holds “no ill will toward my accuser” adding “I don’t want my acquittal to add to the hurt and bitterness so many feel; there is certainly hurt and bitterness enough”.

Mr Bolt said shame should fall upon the “state institutions which tried so destroy a man loathed by the Left as a conservative and chosen by the mob to be the scapegoat for his church.”

“Shame also on the ABC, our national broadcaster, for hysterically promoting damaging claims against Pell that all turned out to be too absurd to lead to charges, or too flimsy to go to trial, or now, too weak to survive an appeal”.

Mr Bolt also showed a recreation of the alleged timeline of events which were levelled against Cardinal Pell saying, “neither Pell, the supposed criminal, nor his victims could have been at the scene of the crime at the only time the crime was possible”.

“It seems the High Court agreed.”


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bP1HN6T2FG8

MichaelBaron
08-04-2020, 09:00 AM
[overquote snipped-mod]

Ok, so he was accused in horrible crimes. Now he has been acquitted. Where does the Australian law stand on what should be done next? Does Pell have a right to commence a case against those who accused him for ruining his reputation and making claims that were not substantiated? Is he entitled to compensation for all the time he spent behind bars?

idledim
08-04-2020, 12:01 PM
Ok, so he was accused in horrible crimes. Now he has been acquitted. Where does the Australian law stand on what should be done next? Does Pell have a right to commence a case against those who accused him for ruining his reputation and making claims that were not substantiated? Is he entitled to compensation for all the time he spent behind bars?

I suspect the cost to the Victorian taxpayer will be huge - as it should be, of course.

MichaelBaron
08-04-2020, 12:15 PM
I suspect the cost to the Victorian taxpayer will be huge - as it should be, of course.

Unfortunately....I agree :(.

Desmond
08-04-2020, 12:28 PM
george-pell-accuser-witness-j-reacts-to-high-court-judgment (https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-04-08/george-pell-accuser-witness-j-reacts-to-high-court-judgment/12130684)

...In a statement issued this morning, Witness J said he respected and accepted the court's decision and thanked police for their work.

He said he understood "why criminal cases must be proven beyond all reasonable doubt".

"No-one wants to live in a society where people can be imprisoned without due and proper process.

"This is a basic civil liberty. But the price we pay for weighting the system in favour of the accused is that many sexual offences against children go unpunished.

"I would like to reassure child sexual abuse survivors that most people recognise the truth when they hear it.

"They know the truth when they look it in the face. I am content with that. ...

He said he hoped the outcome would not discourage abuse survivors from reporting cases to police. ...

Chief executive of the Australian Catholic Church's Truth, Justice and Healing Council Francis Sullivan said the court's decision could lead people to "think twice" about coming forward.

"It's a hard thing to do to come forward, to talk about being sexually abused in the first place," he said.

"It's very complex. Child sexual abuse is an act that's usually performed in secret.

"Normally there's only two people who know. Finding other evidence is very difficult.

"A lot of people shake their heads and say it's not going to be worth it for me to go through. This type of result will deter people, yes."

Dr Waller acknowledged Cardinal Pell's acquittal may lead some people to lose faith in the legal system. ...

Patrick Byrom
08-04-2020, 01:42 PM
Unfortunately....I agree :(.Possibly not (https://www.smh.com.au/national/george-pell-high-court-decision-live-ruling-due-on-cardinal-s-child-sex-abuse-conviction-appeal-20200407-p54hqo.html):

Could he claim compensation for wrongful conviction? Is he able to sue for defamation? In theory, Pell could sue Victoria Police or the complainant for the legal tort known as malicious prosecution. However, experts agree that this would be highly unlikely, because of the extraordinarily high bar he’d have to meet in order to succeed. “It would require him to prove that authorities knew there was nothing to this case, yet they went ahead anyway,” says Melbourne University Law School Professor Jeremy Gans. “Tactically, it would also be a very foolish thing to do as it would reopen all sorts of questions...In other words: he won’t go there.”

I don't believe that there is any guarantee of compensation from the Victorian government, although they may make an ex-gratia payment.

idledim
08-04-2020, 02:27 PM
Possibly not (https://www.smh.com.au/national/george-pell-high-court-decision-live-ruling-due-on-cardinal-s-child-sex-abuse-conviction-appeal-20200407-p54hqo.html):

Could he claim compensation for wrongful conviction? Is he able to sue for defamation? In theory, Pell could sue Victoria Police or the complainant for the legal tort known as malicious prosecution. However, experts agree that this would be highly unlikely, because of the extraordinarily high bar he’d have to meet in order to succeed. “It would require him to prove that authorities knew there was nothing to this case, yet they went ahead anyway,” says Melbourne University Law School Professor Jeremy Gans. “Tactically, it would also be a very foolish thing to do as it would reopen all sorts of questions...In other words: he won’t go there.”

I don't believe that there is any guarantee of compensation from the Victorian government, although they may make an ex-gratia payment.

The Victorian Office of Public Prosecutions clearly thought the case was problematic - or they wouldn't have recommended against running it. That the police chose to run it despite the advice from the Victorian Office of Public Prosecutions should concern all Victorian taxpayers. The simple fact is that an acquittal - even if it was 4-3 instead of 7-0 - restores the presumption of innocence, and anyone wrongfully convicted is entitled to compensation for that wrong. Cardinal Pell's wrongful conviction should and will not be treated differently from any other wrongful conviction.

Capablanca-Fan
08-04-2020, 02:34 PM
GREG CRAVEN VS MISS ABC 7TH APRIL 2020
Prof Craven, Vice-Chancellor of the Australian Catholic University, slams the vindictive prosecution of Cardinal Pell, and the baying mob of the GayBC.
6 Apr 2020


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7x29VznAZOE&feature=youtu.be

Patrick Byrom
08-04-2020, 03:20 PM
The Victorian Office of Public Prosecutions clearly thought the case was problematic - or they wouldn't have recommended against running it. That the police chose to run it despite the advice from the Victorian Office of Public Prosecutions should concern all Victorian taxpayers. The simple fact is that an acquittal - even if it was 4-3 instead of 7-0 - restores the presumption of innocence, and anyone wrongfully convicted is entitled to compensation for that wrong. Cardinal Pell's wrongful conviction should and will not be treated differently from any other wrongful conviction.But I haven't suggested that Pell should be treated differently from any other wrongful conviction. Which means - as I understand it - that he can only obtain compensation by suing the Victoria Police (or his accuser, I guess) or by being given an ex gratia payment from the Victoria government. If I'm wrong, please correct me.

If we agree, then I'm not sure of your point. Are you arguing that the Victorian government should make an ex gratia payment? Or that Pell would have an excellent chance of a successful lawsuit against the Victorian Police?

MichaelBaron
08-04-2020, 04:10 PM
Possibly not (https://www.smh.com.au/national/george-pell-high-court-decision-live-ruling-due-on-cardinal-s-child-sex-abuse-conviction-appeal-20200407-p54hqo.html):

Could he claim compensation for wrongful conviction? Is he able to sue for defamation? In theory, Pell could sue Victoria Police or the complainant for the legal tort known as malicious prosecution. However, experts agree that this would be highly unlikely, because of the extraordinarily high bar he’d have to meet in order to succeed. “It would require him to prove that authorities knew there was nothing to this case, yet they went ahead anyway,” says Melbourne University Law School Professor Jeremy Gans. “Tactically, it would also be a very foolish thing to do as it would reopen all sorts of questions...In other words: he won’t go there.”

I don't believe that there is any guarantee of compensation from the Victorian government, although they may make an ex-gratia payment.

No guarantee...but a second dimension is...people are accused of serious wrong doings, then cleared...what about those who make the accusations. E.g. someone accuses me in stealing 10,000 dollars from him...the case goes to course, i prove my innocence...what about that person, can I take legal action against him rather than ask government for compensation? I believe that I can.

Patrick Byrom
08-04-2020, 04:38 PM
No guarantee...but a second dimension is...people are accused of serious wrong doings, then cleared...what about those who make the accusations. E.g. someone accuses me in stealing 10,000 dollars from him...the case goes to course, i prove my innocence...what about that person, can I take legal action against him rather than ask government for compensation? I believe that I can.If you are found not guilty at the trial, then you can't sue for wrongful imprisonment (obviously!). I guess you could sue to recover legal costs, but the person accusing you is a witness to the crime, not your prosecutor. Unless they are conspiring with the police or perjuring themselves - both of which are illegal anyway - I don't think you would have a case. I've certainly never heard of any such case in Australia.

And Pell's accuser probably doesn't have much money anyway.

antichrist
08-04-2020, 05:11 PM
Pell is lucky that he is in Oz fighting this case and not in Italy fighting Wuhan virus.

idledim
08-04-2020, 05:13 PM
But I haven't suggested that Pell should be treated differently from any other wrongful conviction. Which means - as I understand it - that he can only obtain compensation by suing the Victoria Police (or his accuser, I guess) or by being given an ex gratia payment from the Victoria government. If I'm wrong, please correct me.

If we agree, then I'm not sure of your point. Are you arguing that the Victorian government should make an ex gratia payment? Or that Pell would have an excellent chance of a successful lawsuit against the Victorian Police?

I did not suggest that you had suggested anything.

I believe the Victorian government should make an ex gratia payment. I do not believe Cardinal Pell has an excellent chance of a successful lawsuit against the Victorian Police because of the difficulties with such a tort given the absence of a formal compensation mechanism in most jurisdictions (I think only with the exception of the ACT).

When Lindy Chamberlain was acquitted she received an ex gratia payment of about 1.3 million, plus about 400,000 in legal costs and about 20000 to replace her car. Cardinal Pell has been the victim of the biggest miscarriage of Australian justice since the Chamberlain case.

Garvinator
08-04-2020, 05:29 PM
When Lindy Chamberlain was acquitted she received an ex gratia payment of about 1.3 million, plus about 400,000 in legal costs and about 20000 to replace her car.
Lindy Chamberlain received those compensation payments because it was clearly shown that Police and the DPP had a clear agenda to get a guilty verdict, no matter what is took. They fabricated evidence that made her look guilty and ignored evidence or statements that could have given rise to a not guilty verdict.

I think it is a very good piece of Australian legal history that almost all Australian's recognise that Lindy Chamberlain's conviction and time in jail was one of the greatest miscarriages of justice in our history as a country. The common line at the time though was - if we had the death penalty, she would be executed without hesitation.

Kevin Bonham
08-04-2020, 06:00 PM
Post deleted

Don't know how many times I have to say this - posters wishing to request moderation including thread title changes are to do so on the Help and Feedback section and not on the thread.

This matter is not open for discussion and those doing so in future may be banned from the thread where the request is made.

Desmond
08-04-2020, 06:40 PM
Dan Andrews
‏Verified account
@DanielAndrewsMP (https://twitter.com/DanielAndrewsMP)
Apr 6

I make no comment about today’s High Court decision.

But I have a message for every single victim and survivor of child sex abuse:

I see you.

I hear you.

I believe you.

idledim
08-04-2020, 07:47 PM
Dan Andrews
‏Verified account
@DanielAndrewsMP (https://twitter.com/DanielAndrewsMP)
Apr 6

I make no comment about today’s High Court decision.

But I have a message for every single victim and survivor of child sex abuse:

I see you.

I hear you.

I believe you.

By definition, it is impossible not to feel sympathy for a victim. To convict on the evidence of a complainant, without understanding that the unchallenged counter-evidence of 20 other witnesses ought to give rise to a reasonable doubt, is why the High Court unanimously acquitted the victim.

Desmond
08-04-2020, 08:12 PM
Just my 2c worth.

The Winners


Paedophiles everywhere, especially those with the backing of their institutions. Yes that’s right, with the ink barely dry on the finding of Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, and indeed with some of it still redacted, we have taken a step so far backwards this week. Now we know that a paedophile needs only to secure the backing of his institution.
The Royal Commission presumably can now reveal its findings as they pertain to Pell. I am very much looking forward to reading that.



The Losers


The Abused. That’s right, if you tell your story and are believed, the verdict can be overturned just like that. Someone who doesn’t even remember that day can provide an alibi so strong that your clear and compelling recollection of it doesn’t matter. The precedent set here is diabolical.
The Not-Yet Abused. I reckon there is NO chance that a paedophile somewhere someday won’t look at the outcome here and think, you know what I might just do something to that little boy. To that little boy and all those little boys, I can say nothing to ease the suffering your life will become.
The decent human beings within such institutions. Yes you exist. Now you are tarred with the brush.
Me. You. All of us. Our verdicts don’t matter now. They can just be overturned, if you have enough money to roll the dice enough times. Seriously a court who has not even reviewed the whole of the evidence has decided what conclusion can or cannot be reached from that evidence. Says Ben Mathews (https://theconversation.com/how-george-pell-won-in-the-high-court-on-a-legal-technicality-133156), Professor, School of Law, Queensland University of Technology: “The High Court has given claims about lack of opportunity an elevated technical legal status that outweighs the jury’s belief in the complainant’s testimony and their evident discounting of Pell’s claimed lack of opportunity. This appears perilously close to retrial by the court.”




Those who didn’t win


Pell, obviously. 400 days in jail, and now come the civil suits. Convicted by ordinary people and overturned by, well, something else. Not Guilty by Reasonable Doubt is not the same as Innocent. This can range from anything like “we think you almost certainly did it but it’s better to let a guilty man go free than an innocent man to go to prison” to “we think it’s as likely as someone being Melbourne a minute after being in New Zealand”. I suspect most of us are on that spectrum somewhere, and that somewhere probably changes little.
Witness J. You lost the battle but not the day. We know.
Pell’s Nuthuggers. Craven, Howard, et al. Can you know that you haven’t affected the outcome here? Did you want to? “I know him and he wouldn’t do that” – newsflash: many abusers are charismatic.
Some of the pundits. Your posts in the last days speak volumes. All about the money money money. What about the victims? Not just Pell’s [now alleged] one/s, but the others affected by this. Nothing in your posts shows any consideration for them. I mean, at least Pell had the introspection to acknowledge the damage his freeing is causing, and not wishing to exacerbate it. The least he can do, but still. Pell’s career was largely built on the Melbourne Response – a scheme to silence victims and save the church money. Easily the most devastating day in recent memory for abuse sufferers everywhere, and all you want to think about is money.

Capablanca-Fan
09-04-2020, 02:23 AM
Far more than a ‘legal technicality’, the High Court found:

“on the assumption that the jury had assessed the complainant’s evidence as thoroughly credible and reliable, the evidence of the opportunity witnesses nonetheless required the jury, acting rationally, to have entertained a reasonable doubt as to the applicant’s guilt in relation to the offences involved in both alleged incidents.” So there was “a significant possibility that an innocent person has been convicted because the evidence did not establish guilt to the requisite standard of proof.”

A ruling that there was a significant possibility that Pell was innocent of sexual abuse is NOT saying that sexual abuse is in any way acceptable or excusable.

antichrist
09-04-2020, 03:00 AM
The lack of humbleness and arrogance I see in Pell makes me doubt that he even believes in a supreme being so possibly many aspects of his life could be a charade. I don't think accusing someone of a lack of faith is a sueable offence.

Capablanca-Fan
09-04-2020, 05:56 AM
The case against George Pell was misguided, unreasonable, and vile (https://www.theaustralian.com.au/commentary/the-case-against-george-pell-was-misguided-unreasonable-and-vile/news-story/2cd527dc0ae6ad5c71ab1de49461d3a6)
George Craven (professor of law and vice-chancellor of the Australian Catholic University), Australian, 8 Apr 2020

The spectacular 7-0 decision of the High Court in favour of Cardinal George Pell is impossible to describe in conventional terms of winning or losing.

It can be understood only in terms of impact. The impact of wrongful imprisonment and vile insult in the case of Pell. The impact of years of legal anxiety, and the final crushing collapse for the complainant.

But the greatest impact will be on the Victorian criminal justice system. How could that proud system get something as important as this so legally wrong so consistently through so many steps over a process that lasted years?

In the final analysis, the decision of the High Court came down to the most basic proposition of the Australian criminal law. Nobody can be convicted of a criminal offence unless that offence is proved beyond reasonable doubt — no matter how much they, or the organisation they represent, may be loathed.

Facts pointing to a reasonable doubt cannot be overcome by anything, even the perception that the person making the allegations presents as highly believable.

And appeal courts are not entitled to ignore factual doubts through deference to the view of a jury that a complainant was deeply convincing.

Because facts, in criminal law, beat impressions. To justify the decision of the High Court, no one has to believe that the complainant was lying. It simply was the case that his evidence could not *legally meet the facts.

How could all this have happened?

The grim answer is that the beginning of this disaster was the same as its end: the concept of a reasonable doubt. This never was a case where charges could be proved beyond reasonable doubt.

There always were too many witnesses who were in the right place but saw nothing. Too many mathematical failures of timing. To many improbabilities of opportunity and action.

Yet it has taken the highest and final court in the land to state the flatly obvious.

From the beginning, in legal circles there was virtually no dispassionate observer who thought the charges could stick: not in terms of being prosecuted, let alone to the point of conviction.

Lonely dissenters hated Pell so much they did not care, said he certainly was guilty of other crimes anyway or that he was the right person to be punished for the general crimes of Catholic clergy. In other words, they had abandoned their legal ethics.

The inescapable conclusion is that Pell was prosecuted on an unwinnable charge for two reasons: first, that there were those within the justice system, particularly the police, who were determined to destroy him; second, that there was a large segment of the media, fuelled by the police and “victims’ lawyers”, that so clamoured for Pell’s conviction that the weaknesses of the case against him were drowned out by howls of accusation.

At the same time, a self-congratulatory media acted as a mob rather than journalists. Instead of reporting a case, they did their best to create an atmosphere conducive to a conviction.

ER
09-04-2020, 07:14 AM
I have no idea of legal proceedings, law terminology, appeal functions and strength or validity of the initial court criminal case. Far from it.
So I might be wrong as my legal eagle friend claims "justice is not what exists in your head but what's written in the book of law"!
Either way what exists in my head is that in the Pell acquittal case justice has not been done. Apart from my gut feeling however,
there are news according to which


Lawyers say the overturning of Pell’s criminal conviction for historical child sexual abuse is unlikely to stop civil lawsuits

and that


… lawyer, Lisa Flynn from Shine Lawyers, said such civil cases were not dependent on the outcome of a criminal case.
“We will continue to pursue a civil claim on behalf of our client despite the high court’s ruling,” she said .

antichrist
09-04-2020, 09:31 AM
I don't think Pell could sue for loss of income because he could only be on a stipendiary. Or priests are at least

Frank
10-04-2020, 04:14 PM
Dan Andrews
‏Verified account
@DanielAndrewsMP (https://twitter.com/DanielAndrewsMP)
Apr 6

I make no comment about today’s High Court decision.



How incredibly gracious is Witness J's statement, amplified to the nth degree by the sheer pain he has sustained over so many years. "I respect the decision of the High Court. I accept the outcome."

I am glad that our legal system has its checks and balances designed so far as is humanly possible to prevent the possibility of condemning an innocent man. Hence the "beyond all reasonable doubt" rule applied by the courts over centuries. It's a high point of the common law system as opposed to authoritarian systems used in other parts.

The main outcome of the case is that once again we are protected from arbitrariness by the rule of law. And I, therefore, applaud the High Court of Australia (indeed, with great admiration) in over-ruling 7-0 the Victorian Court of Appeal's split decision against a background of media frenzy.

Yes, I'm sure Witness J's statement was drafted/ghosted by counsel (why are all counsel so gifted in their powers of persuasion?). And yes, the latter parts of witness J's statement seem to be written in a spirit of self-justification which is somewhat contradictory to the opening declaration.

But it's not really fair for someone to ask me whether I think he did it (you can do that only at the pub). He has loyal friends like lawyer and Vice-Chancellor Professor Gary Craven who will stick by him through thick and thin and who will do that job well. As a mere member of the baying public, I am too far from the scene to be in any realistic position to know exactly what happened while a member of the jury will have a better chance.

But I note that there are other accusations by complainants over a period of years some of which may be the subject of civil suits which will be determined quite differently, namely on the balance of probabilities. And those outcomes may well be different (if Father Time allows for a man now aged 78).

Witness J will not be one of them. I applaud him too.

Capablanca-Fan
13-04-2020, 04:13 AM
‘Victorian government failed in its witch-hunt against Cardinal George Pell’ (https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/opinion/victorian-government-failed-in-its-witchhunt-against-cardinal-george-pell/news-story/b05214a4af1522c74b233da0134c2b6e)
Piers Akerman, The Sunday Telegraph, 12 Apr 2020

The Victorian state government and Premier Daniel Andrews must be held to account for the grotesque manner in which they have acted to undermine legal principles in their quest to overturn the long-established bedrocks of society.

Cardinal George Pell was their target because he supported and represented everything the Andrews government abhors — religion, traditional marriage, conservative culture, the monarchy and former prime minister John Howard.

However, the Victorian justice system and those who are unfortunately subjected to it are the victims.

The High Court’s total repudiation of the Victorian Appellate Court’s decision to keep Cardinal George Pell in prison has now stripped the socialist government of its cover.

In 2015, the Andrews government passed the Jury Directions Act which in Section 39, paragraphs 1-3, is not only contradictory but falls over backwards to give the testimony of accusers greater weight than that of their accused. The High Court Justices referred to this flaw in their 44-page unanimous 7-0 judgment.

The ABC ran execrable, biased and bigoted commentary on the Pell matter up to and after the decision routinely violating its charter.

Other Left-wing media followed, not least the New York Times.

The behaviour of the Victorian Police is beyond despicable. The police showed the same lack of integrity they displayed when they put Lawyer X on their payroll breaching the entire basis of lawyer-client confidentiality.

Victoria’s Director of Public Prosecutions, Kerri Judd, must also be asked why she chose to prosecute such a glaringly weak case.

Victoria’s Opposition leader Michael O’Brien has now stepped up, saying: “The unanimous High Court verdict in the Pell case is an embarrassment to Victoria’s legal system. How could police, prosecutors and judges have got it so wrong for so long?

“This comes on the heels of the unanimous High Court decision in the Lawyer X case which called out “reprehensible conduct” in Victorian prosecutions. Daniel Andrews wants to ignore the High Court’s clear message — Victoria’s legal system needs to be cleaned up.”

Kevin Bonham
14-04-2020, 12:47 AM
Pell being investigated again, a new accuser according to the report:

https://www.heraldsun.com.au/truecrimeaustralia/police-courts/freed-george-pell-faces-new-abuse-claims-days-after-being-acquitted/news-story/918066013d37b9ab9427aa70f34e2133

idledim
14-04-2020, 11:41 AM
Pell being investigated again, a new accuser according to the report:

https://www.heraldsun.com.au/truecrimeaustralia/police-courts/freed-george-pell-faces-new-abuse-claims-days-after-being-acquitted/news-story/918066013d37b9ab9427aa70f34e2133

My understanding is that there were no complainants before Victoria Police launched Operation Tethering - sometimes referred to as Operation Get Pell.

They have since laid 26 charges. The score so far is 26-0. Even Vitas Gerulaitas had a better score against Bjorn Borg!

Apparently police have not yet even spoken to the latest accuser, who claims the events happened almost 50 years ago, and who presumably did not respond to police calls from 2013 to 2020.

When and if they do speak with him, let's hope they have learned to properly test the claims before they lay charges.

Kevin Bonham
14-04-2020, 04:21 PM
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14-04-2020, 05:35 PM
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Desmond
15-04-2020, 07:56 AM
Very good article to read in its entirity. Couple of snippets:

Hundreds of potentially innocent people are languishing in prison. They won't get the chance George Pell did (https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/apr/14/hundreds-of-potentially-innocent-people-are-languishing-in-prison-they-wont-get-the-chance-george-pell-did)
Peter O'Brien


The George Pell decision will have a deleterious impact on victims of childhood sexual abuse in profound ways. The high-profile nature of the proceedings means the decision will impact substantially on the preparedness of many victims of historical child sexual abuse to engage in the criminal justice system.

On the other hand, it is also a reality that there are hundreds of prisoners in Australia convicted on the uncorroborated evidence of complainants, where there was an open possibility of innocence that was rejected by the jury.

The only reason they are languishing there, and Pell is no longer, is because they do not have the funds nor fame to appeal to the high court in the manner Pell did. And in those rare cases where they are able to attempt it, they are extremely unlikely to be granted special leave to appeal. ...


Since the inception of the royal commission into institutional responses into child sexual abuse, criminal jury trial courts around Australia have seen a marked increase in defendants accused of child sex offences that occurred decades earlier.

The indictments framing the allegations can span periods of months or even years. Often the complainant cannot precisely identify when the sexual assault took place. They were children when it happened. So, the time frame for the assault is often expressed by proximity to a point of reference – for example, when mum lived with my stepdad, or when we lived in a particular suburb, or during the Christmas holidays.

The accused is also forced to a position where they might have to account for their movements and whereabouts over vast stretches of time, many years ago. Unsurprisingly, evidence is often led that might offer an alibi or present an absence of opportunity to offend at the relevant times.

In those matters the jury is charged to accept or reject that “opportunity” evidence based on other evidence, the manner it is presented, or summing up the totality of the evidence.

In Pell’s matter, the jury considered the opportunity witnesses and rejected that evidence, accepting instead the complainant’s account. The high court found that the majority analysis in the Victorian court of appeal analysis was incorrect. ...


The complainant in Pell’s case, Witness J, is obviously a man of extraordinary character. In the aftermath of the decision he released a statement that said, amongst other things:


It is difficult in child sexual abuse matters to satisfy a criminal court that the offending has occurred beyond the shadow of a doubt. It is a very high standard to meet – a heavy burden. I understand why criminal cases must be proven beyond all reasonable doubt. No-one wants to live in a society where people can be imprisoned without due and proper process. This is a basic civil liberty. But the price we pay for weighting the system in favour of the accused is that many sexual offences against children go unpunished.


This is a powerful and eloquent statement of the competing considerations that our society must wrestle with. The answer is not yet clear. ...

Capablanca-Fan
15-04-2020, 08:02 AM
Very good article to read in its entirity. Couple of snippets:

Hundreds of potentially innocent people are languishing in prison. They won't get the chance George Pell did (https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/apr/14/hundreds-of-potentially-innocent-people-are-languishing-in-prison-they-wont-get-the-chance-george-pell-did)
Peter O'Brien


The George Pell decision will have a deleterious impact on victims of childhood sexual abuse in profound ways. The high-profile nature of the proceedings means the decision will impact substantially on the preparedness of many victims of historical child sexual abuse to engage in the criminal justice system.

On the other hand, it is also a reality that there are hundreds of prisoners in Australia convicted on the uncorroborated evidence of complainants, where there was an open possibility of innocence that was rejected by the jury.

The only reason they are languishing there, and Pell is no longer, is because they do not have the funds nor fame to appeal to the high court in the manner Pell did. And in those rare cases where they are able to attempt it, they are extremely unlikely to be granted special leave to appeal. ...
Then surely the answer is to free those innocent people, not add one more person that the High Court found had a reasonable probability of being innocent.

Desmond
15-04-2020, 08:16 AM
I don't think Pell could sue for loss of income because he could only be on a stipendiary. Or priests are at least

I think the maximum possible amount that Pell should be able to sue for should be the upper limit of the scheme of his own devising - i.e. the $75,000 of the Melbourne Response.

Of course, the $75,000 could be awarded to the worst of the worst of child sex violation victims in Victoria, and done to them in their childhood. Having a profound impact on life expentancy (https://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-05-25/child-sexual-abuse-can-shorten-life-expectancy-shrink-brain/6494934), lifetime earnings (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3571659/), chances of finding happiness, normal relationships (https://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/by%20Subject/4906.0~2016~Main%20Features~Characteristics%20and% 20Outcomes%20of%20Childhood%20Abuse%20(Feature%20A rticle)%20~30), having children, and so on.

How to weigh it against one who has travelled the world, enjoyed the perks of a successful career, befriended prime ministers and vice-chancellors, and at best had a let's say marginal decision go against him after retirement age?

How shall we compare; what shall we call it - a loss on the order of a thousandth? a ten thousandth? Maximum payable amount indexed to a Bic Mac & Vanilla Milkshake?

Desmond
15-04-2020, 08:22 AM
Then surely the answer is to free those innocent people, not add one more person that the High Court found had a reasonable probability of being innocent."Potentially innocent" or "open possibility of innocence" does not mean innocent.

The article talks about civil suits and the balance of probabilities, if you'd care to read it.

idledim
15-04-2020, 09:45 AM
Yes the church isn't short of a quid when it comes to defending its own against child sex charges.

This post was made when it was common knowledge that Cardinal Pell's defence was not being funded by the Catholic Church. Nor did the Church make any subsequent decision to fund it. In 2017, ABC News reported that

The Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney says it will not pay its former archbishop Cardinal George Pell's legal costs as he returns to Australia to face charges relating to historical sexual offences.
Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher described Pell — his predecessor in the Archdiocese — as a man of "integrity … high faith and high ideals, a thoroughly decent man".

"While the Archdiocese will assist with the Cardinal's accommodation and support as it would for any of its bishops or priests, it is not responsible for the Cardinal's legal bills arising from these matters."

Desmond's evidence for the statement that the Catholic Church has deep pockets when it comes to defending its own against child sex abuse charges? Zip.
Desmond's evidence for the clear implication that the Catholic Church provided financial support for Cardinal Pell's defence? Zip.

Desmond
15-04-2020, 05:31 PM
Morrison, Andrew --- "The Ellis defence: How the Catholic Church evades liability" [2014] PrecedentAULA 44; (2014) 124 Precedent 15 (http://classic.austlii.edu.au/au/journals/PrecedentAULA/2014/44.html)

THE ELLIS DEFENCE

HOW THE CATHOLIC CHURCH EVADES LIABILITY

By Dr Andrew Morrison RFD SC

The Commonwealth Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has heard harrowing and convincing evidence of misconduct by a number of institutions, including the Salvation Army, YMCA, Scouting Australia and the Roman Catholic Church. There are remedies available at common law against all the institutions except the Roman Catholic Church.

In the two weeks of testimony devoted to the John Ellis case, there was convincing evidence that the Church had added legal abuse to the sexual abuse suffered by Mr Ellis and that the inappropriate and unjust decisions, including the choice of the Church’s lawyers to run a knowingly false case that he was not abused, emanated from Cardinal Pell.

The obvious failings and inadequacy of the Towards Healing process have now been explored and Cardinal Pell has agreed to make himself available for evidence in respect of the Victorian equivalent, the Melbourne Process, in a subsequent hearing.

It is to be expected that the Royal Commission will issue interim recommendations in respect of legislative change concerning the liability of the Church for the misconduct of its clergy and others.

In this article, I address some of the issues arising and anticipate what the recommended response may be.

LIABILITY OF THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH IN AUSTRALIA

In Trustees of the Roman Catholic Church for the Archdiocese of Sydney v Ellis & Anor,[1] it was held that while all the property of the Church was held by the trustees in each diocese who were incorporated under 1936 NSW legislation,[2] those trustees were not responsible for the conduct of clergy and there was no legal entity available to be sued in respect of that misconduct apart from the clergy themselves. In this particular case, the clergyman was dead. There was evidence before the Royal Commission that it was unlikely that Catholic Church Insurance would indemnify clergy or any bishop who covered up abuse.

Subsequently, in PAO, BJH, SBM, IDF and TMA v Trustees of the Roman Catholic Church for the Archdiocese of Sydney & Ors,[3] it was affirmed, following the decision in Uttinger v The Trustees of the Hospitaller Order of St John of God Brothers,[4] that while trustees might own the property of schools there was no legal entity available to be sued, at least in respect of non-independent Catholic schools (which educate 18 per cent of all children in Australia).

In the past, the Roman Catholic Church in Australia had treated its trustees as the appropriate body to be sued, but John Ellis and those who came after him were the unfortunate victims of a change of policy consequent upon Cardinal Pell’s wish to protect Church finances. In England and Wales, the Church accepts that its trustees are its secular arm and are the appropriate body to be sued. In other jurisdictions, such as Canada, the United States and Ireland, the Church is treated as a Corporation Sole and thus is liable to be sued as a statutory corporation. That was held not to be available in the Ellis case, and the usual remedies against an unincorporated association were not available because the Church is amorphous and has a membership that cannot readily be determined.

Remarkably, the Catholic Education Office, despite receiving hundreds of millions of dollars in state and commonwealth grants, is itself not a legal entity; and the schools to which the money is paid are also not commonly legal entities capable of being sued. It seems extraordinary that organisations that receive taxpayers’ money, employ teachers, make payments to the ATO and clearly owe a duty of care to pupils do not constitute a legal entity capable of being sued for future and past abuse.

At the Royal Commission, Cardinal Pell was asked about the assets of the Church and its capacity to meet common law claims against it. The Archdiocese of Sydney, which has been the principal diocese using the Ellis argument (other bishops have taken a far more Christian view of their obligations) has, according to the evidence, enormous assets and a substantial fund, the earnings of which alone would be sufficient to meet all foreseeable claims. ...

idledim
16-04-2020, 12:00 PM
ABC’s groupthink on George Pell a sin against journalism (https://www.theaustralian.com.au/commentary/abcs-groupthink-on-george-pell-a-sin-against-journalism/news-story/ba3a43fe6ca1d4625a3857884dfaad2c)

GREG SHERIDAN
I believe Victorian Premier Dan Andrews has made one of the most irresponsible statements by a premier in modern political history. And the ABC has become a relentless behemoth of unaccountable and vindictive power that persecutes designated enemies in a grievously unfair and unprofessional way.

Pell’s sad saga of suffering (https://www.theaustralian.com.au/inquirer/lessons-learned-from-george-pells-sad-saga-of-suffering/news-story/35afead1fd8d6adadf3aa8abbb7b8e58)

FATHER FRANK BRENNAN
From the start, the problem with the case against Cardinal George Pell was the way in which it was handled by the police. For some months, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions tried to get the police to improve the brief of evidence. The police then decided to go it alone and charge Pell on summons. With a lack of due diligence, the police failed to interview possible key witnesses.

Desmond
16-04-2020, 01:27 PM
GREG CRAVEN VS MISS ABC 7TH APRIL 2020
Prof Craven, Vice-Chancellor of the Australian Catholic University, slams the vindictive prosecution of Cardinal Pell, and the baying mob of the GayBC.
6 Apr 2020


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7x29VznAZOE&feature=youtu.be

A rather unedifying rant by Professor Craven here, in response to reasonable questions asked dispassionately by the reporter. Always love a good slow-motion car crash interview when the interviewee takes over asking the questions and talking over the interviewer. All the while accusing the news organisation of reporting one side of the story while interviewing him for the other!

Desmond
30-04-2020, 11:07 AM
I presume you are referring to the accusers interviewed by Sarah Ferguson in the 3rd. installment of Revelation, aired last Thursday by the ABC.

The allegations by "A" and "PC" were not new. Both were considered by Victoria Police in 2016 and 2017. The Victorian Office of Public Prosecutions withdrew one set of charges before committal and the other charges were dismissed sometime after the commital proceedings had commenced.

The programme was originally scheduled to air this evening, but was brought forward for reasons not explained by the ABC. The ABC has now removed the programme from iview and all other platforms - which should answer most questions, including why it changed the schedule so that the programme could be aired before the High Court ruling.The episode is online:

https://www.abc.net.au/radio/programs/abc-news-specials/episode-3/12114314

Desmond
07-05-2020, 08:05 PM
Meanwhile in reality, the royal commission findings as they pertain to Pell are redacted (https://www.thecourier.com.au/story/5950347/royal-commission-redactions-to-remain-until-after-pell-appeal/), until the end of Pell's lavish appeal process.

Which from Pell's perpsective is a good thing too, since so many crimes were committed when he was in a position to stop them. But it wasn't of much interest to him. I wonder if there is anyone in Autralia with more child sexual abuse crimes lain before their feet.

The hidden findings on George Pell are now clear: he could have protected children from abuse. He didn't (https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/may/07/the-hidden-findings-on-george-pell-are-now-clear-he-could-have-protected-children-from-abuse-he-didnt)

This is the portrait of a deceitful man.

We have waited over two and a half years but now we can read the unflinching verdict reached by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse on Cardinal George Pell.

With its last findings made public, it’s clear that no senior figure in any church who gave evidence to the commission has emerged as damaged as Pell.

Tolling through those hitherto secret pages is the underlying verdict of the commission: that Pell might have, but did not, take action to protect the children of the Catholic community he served as a priest in Ballarat and bishop in Melbourne.

Pell’s excuses for doing so little are dissected forensically and rejected one by one. The commissioners condemn key claims in the cardinal’s evidence as implausible, inconceivable, untenable and unacceptable. ...

For those who have been following the Pell saga for years, the royal commission’s verdict announced so late in the day is welcome but unsurprising. The cardinal’s failures have been canvassed in the parishes and the press, in documentaries and over years in the witness box of the commission. His denials were always wretched. Now the commission has said so too, officially. ...

Garvinator
07-05-2020, 10:48 PM
With the charges against Pell pending and then being heard in court, so the case was sub judice, it would have been highly improper for the Royal Commission to release their findings in regards to Pell, whilst an investigation into Pell's own criminal conduct was being carried out and then certainly improper, if not against the law, to release the Royal Commission findings whilst Pell was on trial for sexual abuse charges.

Had the findings, as stated here (but I would like to see a couple of more sources and reports, or the direct link to the section in the Royal Commission findings), been released as is during the Criminal Trial, Pell's defence team would have been well within their rights to call for a mistrial.

Desmond
08-05-2020, 09:48 AM
With the charges against Pell pending and then being heard in court, so the case was sub judice, it would have been highly improper for the Royal Commission to release their findings in regards to Pell, whilst an investigation into Pell's own criminal conduct was being carried out and then certainly improper, if not against the law, to release the Royal Commission findings whilst Pell was on trial for sexual abuse charges.

Had the findings, as stated here (but I would like to see a couple of more sources and reports, or the direct link to the section in the Royal Commission findings), been released as is during the Criminal Trial, Pell's defence team would have been well within their rights to call for a mistrial.

Is this because his lack of truthfullness concluded by the Royal Commission might cause the jury to question the weight of his denials in that case?

Garvinator
08-05-2020, 06:51 PM
Is this because his lack of truthfullness concluded by the Royal Commission might cause the jury to question the weight of his denials in that case?

Partly.

The main reason is that when any person is charged with a crime, it is up to the Prosecution to prove beyond a reasonable doubt, that the defendant is guilty of the said charge/charges.

Therefore, cases are meant to be decided ONLY by the evidence presented during the trial and the jury, or judge if a bench trial, are to decide whether the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt based only on the evidence presented in that trial.

This is also the reason why a person's previous crimes can not be mentioned during any current case, unless the defendant is dumb enough to take the stand and say that they have never (done something in the past), when there is a record of the person having in fact done such crimes in the past. Then the defendant's credibility and truthfulness can be attacked and evidence of past crimes can come in.

So in the case of the sexual abuse charges against Pell, he is not guilty unless the Prosecution can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he did commit the crimes of which he is charged, based on the evidence presented during the trial.

Therefore, having headlines splashed across all the papers in the country, Pell lies at Royal Commission (which depending on the viewpoint of the paper, or worse, social media) would get major headlines, and then the jurors would read that verdict and it would be nigh on impossible to tell whether the jury convicted the defendant based on the weight of the evidence in the court room, or the jury convicted based on the findings of the Royal Commission and not the weight of the evidence in the trial.

The worst thing that can happen in a criminal trial is for there to be a guilty verdict, and then that verdict is overturned on appeal and either the case is dismissed by the appeals court, or a new trial is ordered. If a new trial is ordered, then the witness has to re-testify again in a new trial and go through the cross examination phase again, which is harrowing and best avoided.

This case made it all the way to the high court, and therefore, had papers and social media been screaming on their front page - Pell did nothing to combat sexual abuse at Parishes he was at, or other such headlines, would certainly have created even more avenues for appeal. How could it really be determined that the jurors convicted Pell based solely on the evidence presented in court, when they would have read headlines as previously shown?

Keeping those headlines out of the papers etc, hence why the Royal Commission was wise to delay their findings until after all the appeals were heard.

Desmond
09-05-2020, 01:40 PM
Thanks for the detailed reply Garvin.

I think that the "ogrification" aspect was certainly relied upon by Pell's militant supporters regardless. They argued that he was convicted for it, even in the absence of the damning royal commission findings. I wonder if their devotion to Pell would be so unwavering if they had read the findings. They seem to have gone to ground now. I wonder if they had that Primal Fear type moment (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0XsZpcJpPeY).

I think whether testimony is honest or not is quite relevant to the case when it comes down to, as was claimed many times on this thread, he-said v he-said style cases. You have one complainant who is clearly a witness of truth, not a fantasist or a liar. You have another who testifies under an oath on the bible about matters over 40+ years with barely a believable utterance passing his lips. I think that's pretty relevant information. And not the same as "past crimes".

Scott Colliver
09-05-2020, 02:11 PM
Thanks for the detailed reply Garvin.

I think that the "ogrification" aspect was certainly relied upon by Pell's militant supporters regardless. They argued that he was convicted for it, even in the absence of the damning royal commission findings. I wonder if their devotion to Pell would be so unwavering if they had read the findings. They seem to have gone to ground now. I wonder if they had that Primal Fear type moment (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0XsZpcJpPeY).

I think whether testimony is honest or not is quite relevant to the case when it comes down to, as was claimed many times on this thread, he-said v he-said style cases. You have one complainant who is clearly a witness of truth, not a fantasist or a liar. You have another who testifies under an oath on the bible about matters over 40+ years with barely a believable utterance passing his lips. I think that's pretty relevant information. And not the same as "past crimes".

You are biased against the piece of slime so of course you want him found guilty by whatever means, which is fair enough in one way but due process must be awarded to even [..] like Pell.

Desmond
09-05-2020, 02:26 PM
You are biased against the piece of slime so of course you want him found guilty by whatever means,
Sorry, but I disagree. My default position was that he was innocent (http://www.chesschat.org/showthread.php?16887-Sexual-abuse-and-allegations-involving-the-clergy-(renamed)&p=425962&viewfull=1#post425962). That changed when a jury found him guilty. Unlike many of his supporters who ignored the verdict because they "knew him".


which is fair enough in one way but due process must be awarded to even [..] like Pell.I am curious to see what the future holds for Pell. Are his days before the courts really over?

Garvinator
09-05-2020, 05:28 PM
Thanks for the detailed reply Garvin.

I think that the "ogrification" aspect was certainly relied upon by Pell's militant supporters regardless. They argued that he was convicted for it, even in the absence of the damning royal commission findings. I wonder if their devotion to Pell would be so unwavering if they had read the findings. They seem to have gone to ground now. I wonder if they had that Primal Fear type moment (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0XsZpcJpPeY).

I think whether testimony is honest or not is quite relevant to the case when it comes down to, as was claimed many times on this thread, he-said v he-said style cases. You have one complainant who is clearly a witness of truth, not a fantasist or a liar. You have another who testifies under an oath on the bible about matters over 40+ years with barely a believable utterance passing his lips. I think that's pretty relevant information. And not the same as "past crimes".
Now that the case that went to the High Court is over, people are free to have their opinions and to express them. During the trial, especially those working in the media, or broadcasters, are not allowed to speak publically about the case. If they do and are then brought before the court, and then continuing on talking about the case, they can be found guilty of contempt of court by the Judge and spent plenty of time in jail themselves.

Some will believe it was a miscarriage of justice. Some headlines that I have seen after the High Court verdict was delivered were describing this as the biggest miscarriage of justice since Lindy Chamberlain. Talk about taking things way over the top.

Then others believe the witness and are not concerned about any other evidence from anybody else.

I really do not have a perspective or view on this case, with the exception that I have had a complete gutful of those over-sensationalising the case in terms of comparing it to disappearance of Azaria Chamberlain.

But, one item has always been beyond me. Why did Pell talk to the police/investigators at all? When you might be a suspect in a case, you have the right to shut up, say nothing and let your lawyer say everything. If George Pell should take anything away from this case, it is that. It is not George Pell's job to prove his innocence, it is the responsibility of the DPP to prove his guilt. There is a massive difference.

In terms of the side of the prosecution, and this is not Monday night Quarterbacking. I thought a better charge was conspiracy to commit said charges.

I think that would have been much easier to prove. Former Catholic Priests that George Pell worked with and also was friends with had already been convicted of sexual crimes. Therefore, in my view, it would have been much easier to get a guilty verdict that would stand up on appeal for a conspiracy to commit sexual abuse. The key point here is that for a conspiracy charge is that it only requires two people to be acting together.

Scott Colliver
09-05-2020, 10:59 PM
Sorry, but I disagree. My default position was that he was innocent (http://www.chesschat.org/showthread.php?16887-Sexual-abuse-and-allegations-involving-the-clergy-(renamed)&p=425962&viewfull=1#post425962). That changed when a jury found him guilty. Unlike many of his supporters who ignored the verdict because they "knew him".

I am curious to see what the future holds for Pell. Are his days before the courts really over?

Okay, I got that wrong. Sorry for the mistake.

Desmond
11-05-2020, 02:57 PM
Now that the case that went to the High Court is over, people are free to have their opinions and to express them. During the trial, especially those working in the media, or broadcasters, are not allowed to speak publically about the case. If they do and are then brought before the court, and then continuing on talking about the case, they can be found guilty of contempt of court by the Judge and spent plenty of time in jail themselves.Yes after the initial guilty verdict I thought it was quite remarkable the disdain shown for the legal process by the likes of Bolt (https://www.sbs.com.au/news/the-feed/andrew-bolt-continues-to-defend-convicted-paedophile-george-pell-in-new-blog), Craven (https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/feb/27/news-corp-columnists-declare-cardinal-pell-innocent-and-a-scapegoat)and others. Just openly saying the decision was wrong and that they didn't accept it, despite the fact that they never heard the whole of the evidence. Of course in Bolt's case, he is no stranger to run-ins with the law for kicking people (https://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-09-28/bolt-found-guilty-of-breaching-discrimination-act/3025918?nw=0) while they are down.


...I have had a complete gutful of those over-sensationalising the case in terms of comparing it to disappearance of Azaria Chamberlain.I agree.


But, one item has always been beyond me. Why did Pell talk to the police/investigators at all? When you might be a suspect in a case, you have the right to shut up, say nothing and let your lawyer say everything. If George Pell should take anything away from this case, it is that. It is not George Pell's job to prove his innocence, it is the responsibility of the DPP to prove his guilt. There is a massive difference.I think it is the pure arrogance of the man, with his station, institutions and resources behind him, never believing it would get so far.


In terms of the side of the prosecution, and this is not Monday night Quarterbacking. I thought a better charge was conspiracy to commit said charges.

I think that would have been much easier to prove. Former Catholic Priests that George Pell worked with and also was friends with had already been convicted of sexual crimes. Therefore, in my view, it would have been much easier to get a guilty verdict that would stand up on appeal for a conspiracy to commit sexual abuse. The key point here is that for a conspiracy charge is that it only requires two people to be acting together.I have wondered about this myself. Not sure if there is a statute of limitations on such matters, that does not apply to the abuse itself. In the case of Ridsdale, Pell was not only friend and colleague, but also roommate.

The royal commission found (https://www.smh.com.au/national/pell-knew-in-1982-that-ridsdale-was-moved-to-save-church-from-scandal-20200507-p54qr9.html) that Pell knew back in 1982 what Ridsdale was up to. Ridsdale abused probably hundreds of children, 65 we know of. The church admitted (https://cruxnow.com/church-in-oceania/2019/09/new-admission-by-diocese-could-cost-australian-church-millions-in-claims/) it knew at the time when they were punting him from parish to parish. Pell was one of the consultors.

Desmond
11-05-2020, 03:12 PM
Reactions to the release of royal commission findings about George Pell (https://www.smh.com.au/national/reactions-to-the-release-of-royal-commission-findings-about-george-pell-20200507-p54qwp.html)
May 7, 2020

One of Gerald Ridsdale's many victims: "There was no surprise in the findings, I knew that was the way it was going to go. But it's still knocked me around a bit, reading it there in black and white. It's devastating to read that it all could have been prevented and it wasn't. It really highlights what a repugnant organisation the Catholic Church is."

Lawyer Viv Waller, whose client Timothy Green was a boy in 1974 when he reported paedophile priest Edward Dowlan to George Pell (the then Father Pell dismissed the complaint as "ridiculous"):"His report to Pell was a remarkably courageous act for a 12 or 13-year-old boy terribly worried that his own abuse would come to light. It is utterly heartbreaking that his complaint was not acted upon. His worry that he has not done enough for others is equally heartbreaking. The failure was not his but was that of the Catholic priests and brothers who knew and failed to report suspected child abuse to the police."

Chrissie Foster, advocate for sex-assault victims and whose daughters were raped by parish priest Kevin O'Donnell when in primary school: "I think it's very positive. I see it as the truth coming out. It fits in with what all the victims and family members have said all these years. We are after the truth so children can be protected. The findings speak a lot about cover-ups by bishops upwards."

Former priest Phil O'Donnell, a whistleblower who raised concerns about priests Wilfred Baker and Peter Searson, and gave evidence at the royal commission:
"I think George just does power plays. His job was to protect the church and that's what he did, he wasn't interested in victims. They [the church] were pretty confident they would get through it all without any accountability."
...

Desmond
08-06-2020, 08:59 AM
ABC’s groupthink on George Pell a sin against journalism (https://www.theaustralian.com.au/commentary/abcs-groupthink-on-george-pell-a-sin-against-journalism/news-story/ba3a43fe6ca1d4625a3857884dfaad2c)
Not sure what the legal definition of "a sin" is in Australian law, in any case the ABC was not amoungst the respondents listed for contempt charges on reporting this matter.

George Pell contempt case: charges over media that allegedly breached suppression orders will go to trial (https://www.theguardian.com/media/2020/may/26/cardinal-george-pell-contempt-case-charges-over-media-that-allegedly-breached-suppression-orders-will-go-to-trial)

More than 20 publications and 19 journalists face trial for allegedly breaching suppression orders when Cardinal Pell was initially convicted ...

The county court chief judge, Peter Kidd, imposed the suppression order on 25 June 2018 over the trial to prevent “a real and substantial risk of prejudice to the proper administration of justice” because Pell was facing a second trial on separate charges. Despite this, when Pell was convicted in December 2018, numerous publications in Victoria, throughout Australia and overseas reported the verdict before the suppression order was lifted and despite some not attending the trial. It is alleged this placed the second trial, including the alleged victims seeking justice and Pell’s ability to defend himself, at risk. ...

The respondents include the Herald and Weekly Times, Nationwide News, the Age, Fairfax Media (now owned by Nine Entertainment, also a respondent), Mamamia, Macquarie Media, individual journalists, and publication editors. Those named include Lisa Davies, Charis Chang, Michael Bachelard and Deborah Knight. ...

Desmond
13-10-2020, 08:45 PM
Conspiracy theories abide in the Pell camp

Pell returns to the Vatican for a private audience with Pope Francis (https://www.smh.com.au/world/europe/pell-returns-to-the-vatican-for-a-private-audience-with-pope-francis-20201013-p564gv.html)
SMH, October 13 2020

...Pell returned to Rome on September 30 for the first time since 2017 to find a swirling financial corruption scandal implicating half a dozen Holy See employees, including one of Pell's Vatican nemeses, Cardinal Angelo Becciu.

Pell, brought in by Francis in 2014 to bring accountability and transparency to the Vatican’s opaque finances, was convicted but ultimately absolved by Australia’s High Court of allegations he molested two choirboys in St Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne while he was archbishop in the 1990s.

He has long maintained his innocence and has suggested, without evidence, that his prosecution was linked to his efforts to clean up the Vatican’s finances. For seven years, Becciu largely controlled the Secretariat of State's multimillion-euro asset portfolio and donations from the faithful.

Francis sacked Becciu last month amid allegations he embezzled Holy See money. He has denied wrongdoing. ...

Pell's Australian lawyer, Robert Richter, called for an investigation "to track the money trail". He said it should include Italian and Australian investigators. ...