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.
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.