[Opinion] The Pell legacy: lessons for cops, courts and all those who serve God and justice


May 11, 2020

By David Hardaker

Where does it leave the justice system if the highest court in the land says a jury isn’t capable of working out what it should believe?

There was a time in the not-so-distant past when a priest was the first person you would believe. Now? Not so much.

The royal commission into, among others, the Catholic Church and Cardinal George Pell, has killed that off. Then-prime minister Julia Gillard’s decision to bring it on in 2012 triggered an eight-year unravelling which reached its endpoint with the judges of the High Court and the royal commission now delivering their final verdicts.

In the space of four weeks, we’ve learnt there was a “significant possibility” that Pell was innocent of charges that he committed child sex abuse, but that he was most guilty of allowing predator priests to keep abusing children under the church’s care.

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