A date has been set for the final appeal of disgraced cardinal George Pell, who remains behind bars for historical child sex abuse offences committed in the 1990s.
The High Court has listed a two-day hearing before the full bench on March 11 and 12.
In the video above, George Pell’s request for special leave to the High Court explained
Lawyers for Pell, 78, sought special leave to the High Court late last year, after Australia’s most senior Catholic was convicted on five charges relating to the sexual assault of two choirboys in St Patrick’s Cathedral while he was Archbishop of Melbourne in 1996.
He is serving a six-year jail term with a non-parole period of three years and eight months.
Pell’s defence team is expected to argue that two of the three judges who rejected the cardinal’s appeal in the Victorian courts last August erred in their judgement, because the crown case had relied on the evidence of just one complainant.
The other victim – whom a County Court of Victoria jury had earlier found Pell guilty of sexually assaulting – died in 2014.
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Pell’s lawyers are also expected to argue that the majority decision made the Supreme Court erred.
They are expected to say that is because the onus was placed on the defendant to prove beyond reasonable doubt that it would have been impossible for the offending to have taken place, given the high level of activity and lack of privacy afforded by the cathedral sacristy where the offending allegedly took place.