Civil Liberties’ lawyer Terry O’Gorman today criticised the Australian Senate motion calling on Cardinal George Pell to return to Australia to assist Police with child sexual abuse investigations.

Mr O’Gorman said that the Australian Senate motion was yet another example of politicians politicising the criminal investigation and related Court processes.

“Great care has to be taken, particularly by politicians using the ‘coward’s castle’ of Parliament, to prevent the current Royal Commission into Institutional Response to Child Sexual Abuse from becoming a witch hunt”, Mr O’Gorman said.

“It is obvious to anyone who has followed the Royal Commission since its establishment that Cardinal Pell has fully cooperated with the Royal Commission both by giving evidence in Australia and in giving evidence from Rome”, Mr O’Gorman said.

“The wording of the Senate motion namely calling on Cardinal Pell to return to Australia to assist Victorian Police and the Office of Public Prosecutions was totally misguided and reflected the total lack of appreciation by those who voted for the Senate motion of the importance of observing the separation of powers doctrine which is fundamental to Australian democracy but also indicates an appalling, and one suspects, a wilful ignorance of the processes of Police investigations and decisions to prosecute by the DPP”, Mr O’Gorman said.

Mr O’Gorman said that it was imperative that politicians and other community leaders not whip up hysteria in relation to matters arising from the Royal Commission as that will negatively affect balanced and serious consideration by the community of the Royal Commission in respect of its final recommendations which are due in the next number of months.


By Terry O’Gorman

9 February 2017