No Judge Available to Hear Peter Ridd in Federal Court

James Cook University professor Peter Ridd. Picture: Cameron Laird

Dr. Jennifer Marohasy writes:

Peter Ridd’s trial was set-down to be heard over three days next week, beginning on Monday 12th November.  Many of us have made plans to travel to Brisbane – booked and paid for accommodation – to simply be there, to support Peter as he takes on the institutions in his fight for truth, and some quality assurance of Great Barrier Reef science.

I’d been told that the case would be heard by Judge Jarrett, who presided over the proceedings earlier in the year.   Now I’m told it’s all been cancelled, at least for the moment – and that Peter can wait until next year, that his case against unfair dismissal by James Cook University might be heard next year.

Over the last week I’ve posted four articles at my blog.

1.  ‘Peter Ridd and the Clowns of Reef Science’ is an introduction to some of the issues, taking a bigger picture view.
2.    ‘No Mud on my Barnacles’ is for those who like natural history and would like to understand more about me, and the mud at north Queensland beaches.
3.     ‘The Prince and His Dump Truck’ is about some of the personalities behind the WWF Save the Reef campaign that was launched in June 2001 – including Willem-Alexander, now the King of Holland.
4.    ‘Denying Comment from Experts, from the Marine Geophysical Laboratory’ is about Peter, and also Ken Woolfe who died tragically on 1 December 1999.

I’m hopeful these articles provide some background information – and also encouragement to Peter, who now must suffer through Christmas and the New Year with his life-on-hold.

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71 thoughts on “No Judge Available to Hear Peter Ridd in Federal Court

      • the start of conspiracy based thinking

        And there goes Mosher, picking a single comment out that most readers would otherwise skip over and pointedly smearing the entire skeptic community with it.

      • Mr Mosher I understand that you are a scientist of some repute.
        If so, your uncalled for non scientific comment does not do real science any favours.

        What may I ask is your scientific opinion on the many years Mark Stein has been kept hanging on to force hockey stick Mr Mann into a US court to prove he (Mr Mann) is a fraud?
        One does not need to be a so-called conspiracy theorist to see that the lethargy of the legal system is not accidental.

        • As I understand it, Stephen Mosher has a BA in English and spent most of his career in Marketing in the Aerospace and Software industries. He is not a scientist by training nor through his professional career, although he does seem to be credited as a “Scientist” at the Berkeley Earth project (BEST).

          My information is from:
          http://www.populartechnology.net/2014/06/who-is-steven-mosher.html

          I am sure he is a very bright bloke, but his poorly written comments are surprising given he has a BA (and possibly a PhD, although its unclear) in English!

          • According to Northwestern University he has BA’s in English Literature and Philosophy and an incomplete Phd. For all that he is so elegant in his comments. Another who fits right in with “Climate Science” as a climate refugee from other fields of study :-).

          • I am sure he is a very bright bloke, but his poorly written comments are surprising given he has a BA (and possibly a PhD, although its unclear) in English!

            A Doctor in Religious Studies?

        • Sorry guys, but Steve isn’t wrong. We shouldn’t jump to conspiracies when we already have an extremely well known phenomenon: the incompetence and lethargy of the legal system. Without more information, we should be extremely hesitant to go directly to this.

          • I agree with Ben. Courts delay things all the time for all sorts of reasons. We shouldn’t jump to conclusions.

            Although the delays in Mark Steyn’s lawsuit do seem to be unusually long. I would love to hear an explantion for that.

          • we didn’t go directly to this (the leach did).

            someone had posted, with a previously unused moniker, and stated that they presume pressure on the judge.

            there was then what could reasonably be perceived as (based on who it came from) an insult to others; which interrupted the discussion.

        • But if the “lethargy of the legal system is not accidental,” then it really is a conspiracy. And since when does describing something as a “theory” automatically make it false or unworthy of serious consideration?

      • Climate Scientology has a firm foothold . It’s going to take some serious deprogramming to talk down all the fearful zombies and NPCs, and some serious cuts in public funding to winnow down the number of pimps and high priests of this wasteful global brainwashing exercise.

      • Mosher,
        I see it as the start of well-deserved sarcasm! However, in the light of justice being denied by delay, one should be free to offer a hypothesis to explain an unexplained delay. Or are you an advocate of the belief that everything happens by coincidence and never by design?

        • It all he seems capable of, you can’t get him to even discuss Berkley stuff in any meaningful way he just likes adding background noise.

      • … suddenly there was a giant sucking sound … momentarily followed by the quiet tinkling of a miniature hailstorm as the desiccated black husks fell off, and onto the doctors’ green and white checkered floor.

        “I hate to admit it doc, but I really do feel a lot better now.”

  1. In the circumstances of unfair dismissal, justice delayed is justice absolutely denied.

    Clearly the Courts cannot now reinstate Ridd & this just becomes about the shutup and go away money.

  2. Thanks Jennifer,

    I could have attended in November and I might have attended.

    Not sure about later dates. Please advise on the updated trial dates.

  3. I think there is a government compensation fund Peter can apply to for the additional costs incurred due to the cancellation. No doubt his lawyers will be across that.

    • You generally can not get compensation for delays in unfair dismissal case nor can either party recover costs from the other except in extreme circumstance (something like fraud).

      • I do not know the position with respect to the recovery of costs in Australia, but it may well be similar to that in the UK; that costs ordinarily follow the event, namely the usual position is that the successful litigant is awarded their costs. Until Judgment is delivered, one does not know who will be regarded as the successful litigant, and offers of settlement may also have a bearing.

        I note that https://www.probonocentre.org.au/information-on-pro-bono/case-law/recovery-of-costs/ states:

        RECOVERY OF COSTS
        The current law in Australia: the indemnity principle
        The purpose of a costs order is to compensate the successful party in litigation for those costs necessarily incurred to obtain justice (known as the indemnity principle).1 However, the indemnity principle can only operate where a successful litigant is under an obligation to pay his or her lawyer.2 This is a key concern in the context of pro bono representation since the successful party does not need to be compensated where no loss has been incurred.3

        Of course, there may be no or little costs involved where a hearing has simply been adjourned, and in circumstances where neither party is to blame for the adjournment, it does not automatically follow that the successful litigant would be awarded any costs arising out of the adjournment.

  4. One of the oldest tricks in delivering “justice”. Set a date and cancel it only a few days before. Do this two or even three times and no supporter or spectator will show up when the process finally starts.

    It works with shareholders as well: set a date for a stockholder’s meeting (with a built-in mistake in legal procedures which would void all decisions) and cancel it for that reason some days before the show. If you do it more often, all shareholdes who will have to travel will stay at home, and it’s hayday for you. “Sorry folks, but sh*t happens…”)

  5. I wonder what would happen, if you tell the taxman that your accountant is on sick leave and he can make an appointment for next year.

  6. Morrison Gov corruption.
    Never were they going to allow judge Vasta to hear the case.
    Ridd would have won and Vasta would have facilitated exposure of the vile corrupt GBR funding industry.

    • dunno, its trunbulls baby inc the 440mil handout no controls etc
      thats being investigated so maybe that has a bearing on the delay?
      as well as they know theyre going to look utter idiots and have to fess and pay up
      quts got some links to the fuding i think

  7. Reefs aren’t legal in Canada but reefer is.

    You should see the Great Canadian Barrier Reefer! Believer me when I say that there is a lot of funding going into supporting our Great Barrier Reefer study programme. Most of the money is from private supporters too. Very impressive.

    This interest obviously carries over to Cook U where they are obviously smoking something powerful and don’t want to be disturbed until after New Year.

    Or maybe they are living up to their namesake and cooking up a few batches of brownies for the Board. That looks to be the main focus for some part of ‘the industry’ here. Maybe we should pass them around. I’m feeling hungry.

    What was the question again?

  8. Malcolm & Josh were the worst offenders of late.
    But both sides are into it for political gain and money for mates and donors.
    Just wait until Labor get their hands on it.
    Malcolm’s 444 mill GBR play will look modest!
    All are hoping Ridd will go away and every effort is being made in the background to frustrate Ridd so that he’ll be ready to settle out of court no confidential terms.

  9. Question: Is this (a trial being canceled at the last minute due to lack of a judge) a common occurrence in Australia courts?

    • The law and guidelines are so clear on unfair dismissal over 90% don’t ever go to trial. Most know what the result will likely be as part of the pre-trial commission workings. I am surprised the University didn’t settle and so it will be an interesting case. Once you enter that area of the court system the average delay is usually around 2 years

      You can follow it on the court system via its filing
      https://www.comcourts.gov.au/file/Federal/P/BRG1148/2017/actions

      If you click on the fair work link you can see all the pre-trial documentation etc and orders.

      The last orders that were made are
      https://www.comcourts.gov.au/file/Federal/P/BRG1148/2017/3806068/event/29463681/document/1225572

    • Reading all the judgements it basically says there is a prima facie case against the University. The judge did not order reinstatement prior to trial because Peter Ridd was not in financial difficulty, was not willing to remain silent until the conclusion of case, and will receive a sizeable compensation should he win the case as the university has breached section 350 of the act.

    • Not lack of a judge.
      Lack of a court room.
      They don’t kill judges in Australia to get their way, they make ‘administrative errors’.
      Read Vasta’s current schedule to know this is being run from Morrison’s office under pressure from a who’s who of climate, academic, industry (some) and political interests.
      Take this to the bank . . . Vasta will never get to hear this case.
      Morrison, Shorten and Di Natale all have their fears of this going to trial.
      None of their vested interests are served by airing the dirty laundry that surrounds Peter Ridd.

  10. I don’t know anything about the Australian system but delaying a mans fight for his livelihood is certainly justice denied and reflects badly on the system.

    Who/What provides oversight for this process, is there an appeals procedure?

  11. I remember, even ten years ago, I had no idea how slow the USA court system worked. I was called for jury duty, only to discover that the auto accident case being tried had occurred two years prior. When I was allowed to speak to the judge, I expressed amazement that someone could wait two years to try an accident whose life-changing outcome had long taken its hold, and I asked why would anybody wait two years to go to trial, thinking that it was the victim’s doing. Little did I know that it was the court’s doing.

    It was not until years later, that I fully came to the realization that it was the court’s doing. Justice can be very, very, … very slow, which is a great deterrent from seeking it, and lawyers know this, I assume.

    I guess it’s the same with court systems throughout the world.

    • In 1948, coal miners in northern France, Pas-de-Calais, went on strike. Several people were killed during riots. The last defendants were acquitted in 2011, 63 years after the trial began,

  12. Sadly the best he can hope for is a pay off , and limited degree of ‘lesson learned ‘ talk from the university and a media that does not give it any coverage at all .

    The real question will be who will be brave enough to support him in his own field and who will keep they heads down and their mouth shut to keep the grant money flowing in even if in private they will admit he has right and the university wrong .

    A lot of vested interest in keeping that scare going , a log of politicians who nailed their flag to that mast and a lot of university positions and the ‘research’ that goes with it depend on the money the whole thing brings in . On the other hand what is the benefit of admitting there is no doom to these people ?

  13. To the strange Mosher, when you can predict something accurately, very often you are correct in your assumptions. Apply this to your above bizarre statement re conspiracy theories and climate science in general and you might begin to see where you are going wrong.
    Did you not think he would get the runaround by the courts? I did. We all did actually. And do you believe the predictions made by “climate scientists” even though they are always proven wrong? I don’t and didn’t and no one here other than you, does…and…you are wrong, every time. Yet hear you are making a completely predictable statement copied straight from the big book of Liberal lies…as used by the MSM to deride anyone who has an idea outside their own drone like group think narrative.
    Its sad really, but predictable.

  14. This is “The Process” all over again. It has all the hallmarks:
    “Someone must have been telling lies about Josef K., he knew he had done nothing wrong but, one morning, he was arrested.” From its gripping first sentence onward, this novel exemplifies the term “”Kafkaesque.” Its darkly humorous narrative recounts a bank clerk’s entrapment — based on an undisclosed charge — in a maze of nonsensical rules and bureaucratic roadblocks. (From Wikipedia)

  15. Simmer down. Peter R told me yesterday that he was told that no judge was available for the originally scheduled time. That could have lots of causes – another case might have over-run its time, maybe a judge wanted to take leave or had leave forced on him or her, or maybe a judge needed reasonably urgent medical treatment.
    Yes, it’s an inconvenience in some ways, but it also means more time to prepare for the case.

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