A few comments:
1. Appeal Courts are good, when they choose, at reconfiguring questions of fact into questions of law.
2. Sometimes the High Court will cut through all the arguments and simply say that a conviction is "unsafe".
3. Here the Victorian Court of Appeal took on a somewhat inquisitorial role in the course of the appeal. For example, I understand that it visited the church and looked at the robes. Is that correct? If so, then a right of appeal should be automatic.
4. Following on the preceding point, I heard one or more of the judges say several times "The Court finds...." Isn't a "finding" unusual for an appeal court, especially if it is in respect of a question of fact?
5. Appeals to the High Court are not automatic and require the leave of the Court. Leave applications are determined in a very brief hearing before one or two judges. The Chief Justice chooses those persons at the time of the leave application. The Chief Justice is Susan Kiefel.
6. There is a widely held view that Leftist thinking is so embedded in Victoria that it has captured many minds with leadership roles in the police, the DPP and the judiciary. However Susan Kiefel is not from Victoria.
This is The Age's August 2017 report on the Andrews Labor Government appointment of former commercial solicitor Anne Ferguson as Victoria's Chief Justice.
When Anne Ferguson began practising law, not one woman was serving on the bench of the Supreme Court.
Now, the former commercial solicitor and Appeal Court Justice will be the state's next chief justice.
Victoria made history when it became the first state to appoint a female chief justice, Marilyn Warren, in 2003.
It is leading the way again with the announcement that Justice Ferguson will be the second.
Chief Justice Warren announced earlier this year that she would step down in September.
When Justice Ferguson began practising law in 1984, the appointment of the first female Supreme Court justice was still 12 years away.
As a solicitor, Justice Ferguson worked on many high-profile cases and was appointed to the Supreme Court in 2010, making her the first female solicitor to be appointed directly as a Supreme Court judge.
Since 2014 she has sat on the bench of the Court of Appeal.
Justice Ferguson will be Victoria's 12th chief justice and the first solicitor to hold the position.
She will start work in early October.
"Justice Ferguson is widely respected in the Victorian legal profession and by her judicial colleagues for her intellect, leadership and extensive knowledge of the law," Attorney-General Martin Pakula said.
"[She] has a legal career spanning more than three decades and has a wealth of experience working as a judge of the Court of Appeal and as a leading solicitor. I congratulate her on this appointment.
"I'd also like to thank Marilyn Warren for her service and commitment to the Victorian justice system."