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"If the decision is upheld every Australian should shudder."

I have never been a huge fan of George Pell, sharing neither his religious convictions nor his conservative world view.

However, I was relieved by the decision of the High Court this week to hear his final appeal.

This follows the decision in August by a majority of the Victorian Court of Appeal to uphold the jury verdict convicting Pell of criminal sexual abuse.

I was surprised and disconcerted, astonished actually, by this outcome, so much so I ploughed through all 325 pages of the majority judgment by justices Anne Ferguson and Chris Maxwell and the longer dissenting judgment by Justice Mark Weinberg in an effort to understand where their reasonings diverged.

There were aspects of the matter that surprised me at the outset.

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Most left-leaning governments now work on these principles. Legal innocence is determined by religious affiliation or political ideology.
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