An update from Peter Ridd on his legal case against @JCU

Dear All,

Just a little news on what has been happening. The legal matters are slowly grinding through the system. We were successful this week in a legal hearing to combine the two legal matters (first censure and the termination) so that it will now all be done in one court thus saving funds. At the same time we made an unsuccessful attempt to get an injunction to force JCU to reinstate me pending the decision of the final court case. We did not hold out too many hopes for this as the bar is set quite high . It was however illuminating to see the lawyers slug it out.

I have mentioned previously that the case will not be fought primarily on the science but on legal technicalities. Jennifer Marohasy, who was at the court hearing has written this interesting piece about proceedings on her Blog.

In any case, my legal team that includes a Queens Council have now put together a powerful case and we are hopeful of success. I doubt there will be much more news for a month or two due to the glacial pace of proceedings.
Thanks again.


45 thoughts on “An update from Peter Ridd on his legal case against @JCU

  1. Professor Ridd I’m unsure as to why you would even want to be in the same state as that nest of virulent totalitarian extreme left wing lunatics at JCU let alone be reinstated but I certainly hope you win your case – not only for yourself but for all of us. With the best of luck from the UK. I would have said ‘best of British luck’ but unfortunately we’re all out of that.

    • He could be unemployable in academia. If your university does something rotten to you, and you stand up for your rights, your university is likely to treat you even more horribly and you won’t get into another university. Just ask Lindsay Shepherd.

      A plaintiff has the duty to mitigate damages and, I fear that means going back to his job if he can.

      • A most excellent opinion piece from Sargon of Akkad, regarding Shepherd, seen first at Small Dead Animals. Warning much appropriate swearing. Sargon is pissed, I don’t think I have ever heard him swear. First half is about Lindsay and second half is British politics and well worth watching if only for the ending at 24:30.

        “These crazies have a grip on the higher education institutions”

        “Oi mate, you got a licence for that mix tape?”

  2. “Glacial pace of proceedings” just add more CO2 into the room, it speeds everything up.

  3. Dear Peter,

    You have right on your side, so while the mills of justice may be grinding slowly, they will be doing so thoroughly. Fret not.

    Cheers, Andy

  4. Typical employment T&C.

    You do what the boss wants done & say what the boss wants said or work someplace else.

  5. Okay, but Jennifer did not even both to mention the possibility of a quid pro quo in the reef research center grants at stake at that institution. The readers need to see that part of the story.

  6. Keep the upper lip stiff Peter! Remember you have right on your side, you have the moral majority. Don’t let them beat you down!

  7. Peter may have accurate, supportable science on his side – but this trial is not going to be about the science. The other side will be trying very hard to claim that this is nothing whatsoever to do with any scientific disagreement – it’s purely about a lecturer breaking University rules.

    I don’t know how this will turn out. But I suspect that it’s quite easy for an organisation that wants to suppress a particular opinion to make it impossible to hold that opinion without breaking some rule – and then sack the person for rule-breaking….

  8. Okay, so JCU rules allow you to apply expertise to criticize the work of peers, but JCU rules disallow discussing that JCU has censured you for applying such expertise.

    In other words, you are NOT allowed to discuss how JCU’s censuring violates its FIRST rule.

    Thus, it is absurd to make one rule that disallows someone from talking about how the rule makers violated another rule.

    When “confidentiality” is invoked to silence somebody from talking about how the rule makers misapplied another rule, then the “confidentiality” claim is bogus — clearly a sneaky attempt to shut somebody up to preserve favoritism towards established, scientifically questionable dogma.

    • I believe that the universities position is closer to: “It’s firing offense to criticize a colleague who is earning lots of money for the university”.

      • Yeah, the actions surely suggest this, even though the words do not state it outright. That’s the beauty (or ugliness, in this case) of words — they can appear to represent one thing, when, if fact they are a disguise to hide another thing.

  9. I don’t think the news that the two legal matters (first censure and the termination) have been combined is good news. The first censure is about academic freedom, but the termination is about Dr. Ridd breaking confidentiality about the private censure details. I am afraid that be combining the two issues the focus on academic freedom will be totally lost.

    • Conflation is a bitch. this way.

      The censure itself was inappropriate, because it violated rights stated in the rules. The censure, thus, was NOT valid. It was wrong. THIS is what breaking the silence was all about.

      When a second rule forbids you from speaking about how the first rule was violated, then the second rule AIDS in the further breaking of the first rule. The second rule AMPLIFIES the breaking of the first rule, and so the second rule is also rendered WRONGFULLY APPLIED.

      … seems pretty clear to me. Conflating the two rules serves to AMPLIFY the offense by JCU.

      • I just don’t see how it is reasonable to expect to stay employed by an organization that you are publicly accusing of wrong doing.
        It would be similar to a person who makes a sexual harassment claim against an officer of a company. An internal investigation occurs and the person does not feel the internal investigation is hard enough on the officer. The person then makes public the sexual harassment claim and says the internal investigation was not fair. It is perfectly reasonable that the person would be fired for publicly accusing the company of wrong doing.

  10. Professor Ridd – best of luck from Houston – and don’t forget, all that global warming is speeding up the glaciers!

    • As at 18 May 2018
      Mr Bill Tweddell, Chancellor
      As Chancellor of the University, Bill Tweddell is the Chair of the University governing body, Council and presides over all Council meetings.
      As Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Sandra Harding is the equivalent of the Chief Executive Officer of a substantial company.
      CHAIR Mr. C. Charlton DEPUTY CHAIR Mr B. Martin.

      Imagine they are having weekly meetings at the moment. I did send a letter of complaint to one of them.
      More letters, from Australians in particular [overseas feel welcome] would be good.
      Some of them must be unhappy at the treatment dished out to a person they have worked with and got on well with over the years.

  11. It is a pity that journalists cannot also take their employers to court for either forcing them to blatantly lie or for not allowing them to say the truth. These are the two ways that the public is being misled on so many different things not just CO2.

  12. You don’t suppose there are Peter Strzok and mistress back room email dealings in all this? Been in the Ivory Tower. It could happen.

    Request all emails.

  13. And in all of this, JCU has never said that Dr Ridd was wrong. Just that he shouldn’t say that his peers were wrong.

    • And not even that. They said that it is uncollegial to use ‘wiggle and squirm’ or say that they ‘may no longer be trusted’ – as colleagues are needed to be trusted on. The trust can do wonders. Ask Alan Sokal for details.

      All this boils down to the idea of a scientific misconduct. Are you guilty of misconduct if you expose something that could be a sign on misconduct going on? Isn’t that weird.

      I think it is beyond suspicion that there were multiple attempts to spin, but doing email searches in order to locate emails where Ridd was telling others what is going on, is, let’s say, interesting.

  14. I hope his legal team includes a Queen’s Counsel.

    The only Queen’s Council I’ve heard of is HM’s Privy Council in London (the active members being the current British Cabinet). Seriously now, you really don’t want any of them on your case.

  15. hmm yeah they sure wont want to hear “science” especially if its likely to upset the govvy believers handing out the dosh. 500mil would go a long way to new coalfired powerplants we need desperately.
    all the best and a QC oughta put a crimp in their tutus;-)

  16. Good stuff. Keep confronting them. They used bully tactics and expected you to roll over. Now the arguments will be heard in a court of law and they will be held to standard of behavior appropriate to the institution that they are, namely a University….. and their case will fail right there.

  17. It is telling that in the Ivory Tower, scientific knowledge, and its vagaries as well as its good, change, grow, or stagnate one death at a time. Maybe that is as it should be, I don’t know. But given that reality, be forewarned any scientist who dares try to buck the current herd. Nowhere is mob mentality so ensconced as it is in scientific circles. Why? Money. It takes money to study a gnat’s ass. Lots of it. And nearly all money comes in the form of grants, from same minded parties who wish to push there pet beliefs.

    But not to paint every belief with the same brush, some money sources can hit the nail on the head. It is just irksome that some hits a thumb, causing damage. It hit Peter. Maybe, just maybe, this case can turn things around and allow unfettered research where the investigator is simply awarded topic money with no strings attached as to the results.

    Silly me. That will never happen. Every decade, or more often, the hammer will hit the thumb and we will have to argue this thing all over again.

  18. It’s all pretty simple really. Professor Ridd blew the whistle on some very dodgy “science” and the university didn’t like him doing so because
    (a) it called into question the integrity of some university staff members who pull in big money for research funding,
    (b) it questioned the integrity of the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) of which the university vice chancellor is a director
    The V-C is fighting for her professional life over this because she’ll lose badly on both the university front and the AIMS front if Ridd wins.
    JCU have been crafty and claimed that Ridd wasn’t “collegiate”, i.e. wouldn’t publicly support other people at the university, or to put it another way, wouldn’t turn a blind eye to some dodgy claims.
    Given that Ridd’s area of expertise is marine physics the situation is akin to a Professor of Medicine running around saying that a building is about to fall down and a Professor of Engineering not being allowed to correct him because such action would not be “collegiate”.

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