Australia Archives - Ethics & Public Policy Center

The Biases of a Royal Commission

As Cardinal George Pell has said, the Australian Church behaved shamefully for decades in dealing with clerical abusers. Yet Pell, the first Australian bishop to address that scandalous situation forcefully, was scapegoated by the Royal Commission for the gross failures of other bishops.

The Anatomy of a Pathology

Those who imagined that the sliming of Cardinal George Pell would stop as of April 7, when a unanimous decision of the High Court of Australia acquitted him of “historical sexual abuse,” did not reckon with the climate of venomous hatred that has surrounded Pell for decades, fouling Australia’s public life, legal system, and politics in the process.

After Cardinal Pell’s Rightful Acquittal

The unanimous decision by Australia’s High Court to quash Cardinal George Pell’s convictions on charges of “historic sexual abuse” and acquit him of those crimes was entirely welcome. Yet there remains a lot to be reckoned with in the aftermath of this case, which bore all the tawdry hallmarks of a witch hunt.

Justice, Finally.

It is imperative for the future of the Australian criminal justice system, and indeed for the future of Australian democracy, that a serious examination of conscience followed by a serious public reckoning take place.

A Last Chance for Australian Justice

For Cardinal Pell’s sake, and for Australia’s, it must be hoped that, for once, and on its last chance, the Australian justice system will get it right.

A Last Chance for Australian Justice

The highest judicial authority in Australia will review the Cardinal George Pell case in 2020.

Australian Justice in the Dock

Those who cannot bring themselves to say that Cardinal George Pell deserves to be vindicated share in the ignominy that Australian criminal justice has, thus far, brought upon itself. 

Falsely, Matilda

The case of Cardinal George Pell has reversed the presumption of innocence that is the foundation of criminal law in the Anglosphere and obviated the requirement that the burden of proof rests on the prosecution to persuade jurors beyond a reasonable doubt.

The Australian Disgrace

The rejection of Cardinal George Pell’s appeal of his conviction for sexual abuse calls into the gravest doubt the quality of justice in Australia—and the possibility of any Catholic cleric charged with sexual abuse to receive a fair trial or a fair consideration of the probity of his trial.

Australia’s Shocking Election Offers a Warning to Democrats

The Australian Labor Party’s unexpected defeat in last weekend’s election should be a warning for Democrats. The lesson: Don’t scare swing voters with a platform that’s too left-wing.