By Sr Bernadette Mary Reis, fsp
Cardinal Pell’s legal team presented arguments on Wednesday in his final appeal before Australia’s High Court. All seven members of the court were present. Cardinal Pell is appealing charges that he assaulted two minors in the sacristy of the Cathedral in Melbourne in 1996.
High Court hears arguments
All seven members of Australia's High Court heard arguments both in favour of and against the reversal of Cardinal Pell's guilty verdict. On Thursday, the judges announced that they are reserving judgment. In addition, they have requested other information in writing to be submitted within two days time by the legal teams representing both parties. The High Court will take this information into consideration prior to delivering their decision regarding whether they will grant Cardinal Pell's request to appeal.
Summary of legal process.
Two justices of the High Court had announced on 13 November 2019 that they were referring Cardinal Pell’s request for appeal to all seven members of the court. Previously, in August 2019, the Supreme Court of the Australian State of Victoria had denied Cardinal Pell’s first appeal of a guilty verdict announced by Victoria’s County Court in February 2019. Since the announcement of his sentence in March 2019, Cardinal Pell has been serving a 6-year prison sentence.