The Secret Barrister (blog)
April 23, 2020
I am pleased to host this guest post by Edward Henry QC, of QEB Hollis Whiteman, reflecting on the case of Pell v The Queen  HCA 12, and what the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) in England and Wales can learn from the High Court of Australia.
On 7th April Cardinal Pell was cleared by the High Court of Australia of wrongful allegations of historic sexual assault on a chorister. In its judgment, the HCA found that for all five charges, there were many improbabilities that had not been fully considered by the jury, amounting to “a significant possibility,” the judges wrote, “that an innocent person has been convicted.” Edward Henry QC considers that cases involving historic allegations of sexual abuse can present a real danger of injustice, which the CACD too often seems to ignore. The approach of the HCA is one the CACD should adopt in making an assessment of whether a conviction is ‘unsafe.’
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