Tag Archives: The High Court of Australia

Derryn Hinch – bigots never give up

Derryn Hinch tweeted ‘keep this is mind, George Pell has not been found innocent. He has been found not guilty “beyond reasonable doubt”’. Hinch’s purpose, of course, is to incite people to reject the High Court’s emphatic 7-nil verdict and keep the lynch mob moving.

Here’s the scoop, Derryn. In all criminal cases, the accused does not have to prove his innocence. The prosecution has to prove guilt. Watch my lips: An accused is innocent until proven guilty. Innocence is assumed. That’s our system. Cardinal Pell was innocent through the course of the legal action. The High Court showed to what appalling depths the operation of the law has sunk in Daniel Andrew’s Victoria.

There is a second consideration here that Hinch’s addled mind seems to have missed. In throwing doubt on the Pell verdict, he undermines those cases where he has no doubt about the person’s innocence. Indeed, he throws all not-guilty verdicts into doubt. It is surely an unwished for outcome of his bigotry.

Hinch can comfort himself, and no doubt he does, with the collective cry across twitter that Cardinal Pell is not innocent – merely not guilty. The great Barrie Cassidy, frontline ABC warrior, like Hinch, could not help himself. He just had to blurt out in high emotion that Pell was merely ‘not guilty’. What does it say about the ABC when one of its ‘most respected’ journalists cannot help sinking to the level of an unthinking bigot?

It comes down to prayer in the end

After all I have read and written on the injustice of Cardinal Pell’s jailing, never finding any reason to change my mind, I realise that it comes down the prayer in the end, given the bitter unrelenting forces private, governmental and institutional lined up against the cardinal. One prays that the High Court judges today receive an infusion of grace so that they can see the injustice and move to correct it. Cardinal Pell’s intentions have been daily in my prayers from the beginning.

Will the High Court show Australian law has reached rock bottom?

La Trobe University law professor Patrick Keyzer believes it will, not that he said it in those words. What amounted to the same thing, he told Chip Legrand in today’s Sydney Morning Herald that the High Court will likely dismiss the appeal – and keep an innocent man in jail. The Australian system of law has failed so dramatically in Cardinal Pell’s case that I fear she could be right.

Does this academic lawyer understand that a High Court dismissal will cause an explosion of contempt around the world for Australia? Probably not. He appears so wrapped up in his academic bubble that the Cardinal’s fate is of no account. As long as the technical processes of the law are satisfied, what could he care?

A dismissal will rock and split Australia for decades to come.