dinsdag, april 07, 2020

It was never going to be a regular criminal court case by virtue of the man accused: Cardinal George Pell, who was a top advisor to the Pope when the allegations first surfaced that he had sexually abused two choirboys.

Key points:

  • Chief Justice Susan Kiefel will hand down the decision in a nearly empty room
  • George Pell will learn of the outcome in Barwon Prison
  • Social-distancing measures will prevent Pell's supporters and critics from gathering
Yet the finale of the five-year legal saga this morning — which could see George Pell released from jail — will be as unusual as it will be monumental.
While at previous stages of the case, victims' advocates and supporters of the Cardinal have come together outside courthouses, social-distancing measures have effectively outlawed such gatherings.
Instead, the High Court will deliver its decision on one of the most-watched cases in Australia's history in a virtual vacuum, with Chief Justice Susan Kiefel to hand down the full bench's ruling in an almost empty High Court registry in Brisbane.
The judges are in their home states and are not travelling because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The hearing will be over in minutes, with the court tweeting its decision, before publishing its decision online.

It is a modern touch for a decision that is likely to have a lasting impact on one of the world's oldest institutions.

George Pell will remain in Barwon Prison, where he will receive the news via his lawyers.

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