Pell appeal highlights 'opportunity' doubt

The 21-page appeal document lodged with the High Court on Friday will be the basis for Pell's final bid to overturn his child sexual abuse convictions.

His legal team argue Victoria's Court of Appeal overlooked vital elements when two out of three judges upheld the guilty verdicts, leading the 78-year-old to a maximum six-year prison term.

"The majority erred as, in light of findings made by them, there did remain a reasonable doubt as to the existence of any opportunity for the offending to have occurred," the document read.

Barristers Bret Walker SC and Ruth Shann, representing Pell, estimate they will need no more than four hours to make verbal submissions to the High Court.

A full bench of the court is due to consider the grounds of appeal during a hearing in March.

Pell is Australia's most senior Catholic and was jailed for sexually assaulting two choirboys at Melbourne's St Patrick's Cathedral while he was Archbishop of Melbourne in 1996.

The High Court agreed to grant Pell special leave to present his case. After hearing legal arguments, the High Court could refuse or approve Pell's application. It could also allow or dismiss the appeal.



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