Court’s surprise result from Pell appeal
PAEDOPHILE cardinal George Pell's Court of Appeal online footage was downloaded by 42,000 viewers and watched 139,000 times.
In what is deemed one of the biggest news stories of our time, the decision by the Victorian courts to run verdicts online appears to be a ratings hit.
According to the Supreme Court of Victoria annual report, tens of thousands of people watched online in the 24 hour period following the hearing on June 5.
Pell's defence team was outlining the cardinal's grounds for appeal, but online viewers never got a glimpse of Pell wearing his clerical collar in court, with the cameras focused solely on the judges.
The livestreaming was part of a pilot program being run by the Victorian courts to raise awareness about how the justice system works.
Last financial year, 23 criminal sentences were livestreamed with audio only, with five sentences livestreamed with video.
Another notable case put online was the Rebel Wilson defamation appeal, but the report did not detail how many viewers the movie star's appeal scored.
The success of the video and audio recordings may lead to more high-profile trials being streamed from Victorian courts.
The news of the downloads comes as George Pell prepares to fight his conviction in the High Court after his last chance appeal was allowed this week.