VICTORY: Climate skeptic scientist Peter Ridd wins big!

UPDATED: Full legal document posted, along with some spectacular quotes from the judge. See below.

In a huge victory for climate skeptics everywhere, Judge Salvatore Vasta finds all findings made by James Cook University, including his sacking, were all unlawful.

WUWT readers helped make this possible.

The order follows: h/t to @GideonCRozner and CTM

Background on the court case

In May 2018, after an academic career of more than 30 years, Peter had his employment terminated as a professor of physics at James Cook University in Townsville, Australia. Peter had spoken against the accepted orthodoxy that climate change was ‘killing’ the Great Barrier Reef.

There’s some absolute rubbish being spoken about the reef and people’s livelihoods are being put in jeopardy. If nobody will stand up, then this is just going to go on and on and on. It has to be stopped.

Peter’s court case has enormous implications for the international debate about climate change, and for the ongoing crisis surrounding freedom of speech.


UPDATE: Peter writes via his GoFundMe page:

Dear All,

Excellent news.

My lawyers have told me that the judge handed down his decision and we seem to have won on all counts. 

It all happened very quickly and we had no warning , and because I live almost a thousand miles from the court, I was not able to be there. I have still not seen the written judgement and will update you all when I have that information.

Needless to say, I have to thank all 2500 of you, and all the bloggers, and the IPA and my legal team who donated much of their time free for this success. But mostly I want to thank my dearest Cheryl, who quite by chance has been my bestest friend for exactly 40 years today. It just shows what a team effort can achieve.

The next chapter of this saga must now be written by the JCU Council which is the governing body of JCU. What will they do about the VC and SDVC who were responsible for bringing the university into disrepute, not just in North Queensland, but also around the world. JCU crushed dissent, crushed academic freedom and tried to crush my spirit with their appalling behaviour. They only failed because I had your support. But if the JCU council does not act, they will be complicit in this disgraceful episode.

Attention must now focus on the JCU council.

I will update you shortly when I have more information, but for now I certainly have a spring in my step.

kind regards

Peter

Help spread the word!

UPDATE2: Here is the full legal document. (PDF)

ridd-v-james-cook-university-2019-fcca-997

Some excerpts:

217. Professor Ridd’s statement, that when he asked if he could mention them to his wife, he was not given permission, is the truth. It was not until 19 September 2017, that the University deigned to allow him to talk to his wife about these matters.

218. Whilst none of this makes any difference at all to my ultimate decision, the actions of the University in this respect are, quite frankly, appalling. They have had no regard for the anguish that Professor Ridd felt between 24 August 2017 and 19 September 2017. There has not even been an apology for what can only be seen as extremely callous behaviour. This is inexcusable.

219. Instead, Professor Ridd is accused of being misleading and untruthful because, even though the University eventually allowed him to talk to his wife, he did not mention this when he made statements on his WordPress website.

220. The hypocrisy is breathtaking. On one hand, the University is finding that Professor Ridd has breached the Code of Conduct in that he has made public a number of items to do with the disciplinary process. On the other hand, he is accused of breaching the Code of Conduct in that he has not referred to all of that material when he has made this particular statement.

221. The irony is even more spectacular when one considers that, in his original email to the journalist in 2016, Professor Ridd took the institutions to task for being misleading regarding the use of photographs. It seems the University found no problem with the use of those photographs because there was a footnote that led to the Wachenfeld article.

222. And yet when Professor Ridd pointed out that there was a hyperlink to all of the 2017 disciplinary process material (which would include the 19 September 2017 letter and the subsequent final censure), he is found guilty of a Code of Conduct violation for being misleading. One could be forgiven for thinking that the university was more concerned with the splinter in the eye of Professor Ridd whilst ignoring the plank in their own.

223. The University still sought to justify this finding on the basis of a breach of the Code of Conduct. I disagree.

224. Professor Ridd was expressing his opinion about the operations of JCU and expressing disagreement with decisions of JCU.

225. I find that Professor Ridd was exercising his rights pursuant to cl.14.2 and cl.14.4 of the EA when he made these comments.

235. This is an extremely peculiar finding by the University. The University has found that Professor Ridd preferred his own interests, and those of the Institute of Public Affairs (“the IPA”), above the interests of the University. The University found that this was in breach of the obligations under the Code of Conduct to “take reasonable steps to avoid, or disclose and manage, any conflict of interest (actual, potential or perceived) in the course of employment”.

236. During the course of the trial, I repeatedly asked Counsel for the University to tell me what the conflict of interest actually was. Try as he might, Counsel was unable to do so. Yet he would not concede that this finding was not justified.

296. To use the vernacular, the University has “played the man and not the ball”. Incredibly, the University has not understood the whole concept of intellectual freedom. In the search for truth, it is an unfortunate consequence that some people may feel denigrated, offended, hurt or upset. It may not always be possible to act collegiately when diametrically opposed views clash in the search for truth.

297. Many aspects of the Code of Conduct cannot sit with the concept of intellectual freedom and certainly contravene cl.14. For example, the Code speaks of the need to “value academic freedom, and enquire, examine, criticise and challenge in the collegial and academic spirit of the search for knowledge, understanding and truth”. The University has denounced Professor Ridd because his enquiry, examination, criticism and challenge was not, in their view, done in the collegial and academic spirit. But there is no need for such enquiry, examination, criticism or challenge to be done that way under the rights conferred upon Professor Ridd by cl.14.

298. The University have been at pains to say that it is not what Professor Ridd has said, but rather the manner in which he has said it, that is the underlying reason for the censure, the final censure and the termination. But the University has consistently overlooked the whole of what has been written. They have concentrated on small, almost incidental parts of what has been said and then used the Code of Conduct to pass judgement on those small parts, with the intention that the flow on effect of that judgement would impugn the whole of what Professor Ridd has written.

299. The Code of Conduct is subordinate to cl.14 of the EA. And what is said by Professor Ridd must always be looked at in its whole context. The University have continually “cherry-picked” portions of the writings of Professor Ridd and said “that is not the exercise of intellectual freedom”. But it is the whole of what is written that must be looked at rather than excerpts taken out of context.

302. That is why intellectual freedom is so important. It allows academics to express their opinions without fear of reprisals. It allows a Charles Darwin to break free of the constraints of creationism. It allows an Albert Einstein to break free of the constraints of Newtonian physics. It allows the human race to question conventional wisdom in the neverending search for knowledge and truth. And that, at its core, is what higher learning is about. To suggest otherwise is to ignore why universities were created and why critically focussed academics remain central to all that university teaching claims to offer.

FINDINGS:

303. In light of the above, I make the following rulings:

a) The first finding made by the University was unlawful because it breached the rights that Professor Ridd had pursuant to cl.14.

b) The censure given to Professor Ridd was unlawful as it contravened cl.14 of the EA.

c) The First Speech Direction was unlawful in that it sought to interfere with the rights that Professor Ridd had pursuant to cl.14.

d) The Second Finding made by the University was unlawful because it breached the rights that Professor Ridd had pursuant to cl.14.

e) The First Confidentiality Direction was unlawful because the University had no power to give that direction, and even if it did have the power, such a direction was in contravention of the rights that Professor Ridd had pursuant to cl.14.

f) The Third Finding made by the University was unlawful because it breached the rights that Professor Ridd had pursuant cl.14.

g) The Second Confidentiality Direction was unlawful because the University had no power to make such a direction, and even if it did have the power, such a direction was in contravention of the rights conferred on Professor Ridd by virtue of cl.14.

h) The Fourth Finding made by the University was unlawful because it breached the rights of Professor Ridd had pursuant to cl.14.

i) The Fifth Finding made by the University was unlawful because it breached the rights of Professor Ridd given to him by cl.14.

j) The Sixth Finding made by the University was unlawful because it breached the rights of Professor Ridd given to him by cl.14.

k) The Seven Finding made by the University was unlawful because it breached the rights that Professor Ridd had pursuant to cl.14.

l) The Eighth Finding made by the University was unlawful because it breached the rights that Professor Ridd had pursuant to cl.14.

m) The Third Confidentiality Direction was unlawful because the University had no power to make such a direction, and even if it did, such a direction contravened the rights of Professor Ridd pursuant to cl.14.

n) The Second Speech Direction was unlawful in that it sought to interfere with the rights Professor Ridd had pursuant to cl.14.

o) The Fourth Confidentiality Directions was unlawful because the University had no power to make such a direction, and even if it did, such a direction contravened the rights of Professor Ridd pursuant to cl.14.

p) The no satire direction was unlawful in that it sought to interfere with the rights Professor Ridd had pursuant to cl.14.

q) The Fifth Confidentiality Direction was unlawful because the University had no power to make such a direction, and even if it did, such a direction contravened the rights of Professor Ridd pursuant to cl.14.

r) The Second Censure was unlawful because it contravened cl.14 of the EA.

s) The Ninth Finding made by the University was unlawful because it related to the breach of a direction which was of itself unlawful.

t) The Tenth Finding made by the University was unlawful because it related to the breach of a direction which was of itself unlawful.

u) The Eleventh Finding made by the University was unlawful because it related to the breach of a direction which was of itself unlawful.

v) The Twelfth Finding made by the University was unlawful because it breached the rights that Professor Ridd had pursuant to cl.14.

w) The Thirteenth Finding made by the University was unlawful because it breached the rights the Professor Ridd had pursuant to cl.14.

x) The Fourteenth Finding made by the University was unlawful because it related to the breach of a direction which was of itself unlawful.

y) The Fifteenth Finding made by the University was unlawful because of breached the rights that Professor Ridd had pursuant to cl.14.

z) The Sixteenth Finding made by the University was unlawful because it breached the rights that Professor Ridd had pursuant to cl.14.

aa) The Seventeenth Finding made by the University was unlawful because it had no substance whatsoever, and even if there were the slightest scintilla of evidence, it was contrary to the rights that Professor Ridd had pursuant to cl.14.

bb) The termination of Professor Ridd’s employment was unlawful because it punished Professor Ridd for conduct that was protected by cl.14 of the EA.

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392 thoughts on “VICTORY: Climate skeptic scientist Peter Ridd wins big!

    • This is not just a victory for skeptics, it is a victory science in general, reason and integrity.

      Thankfully this case was well supported and got a fair judge.

      Congratulations to Peter Rudd for having the balls and determination to see this through. Kudos.

      • PUHLEASE! It’s Dr. Ridd! Don’t confuse someone with integrity with a Rudd (Who was more interested in his hair than running Australia).

        • Easy enough to miss type as U and I are adjacent on the QWERTY keyboard setup and both Ridd and Rudd pass auto spell check. Sometimes people miss type and don’t catch it, but is that worth being snide?

        • My sincere apologies to Dr Peter Ridd for my careless mistake.

          In any case, having now seen the judgement, I’m sure he will in good enough humour today to excuse me. That is one hell of a judgement, the definitive a to z and aa to bb of how pigheaded, wrong and downright despicable the zealots can get.

          My apologies also to Peter Rudd for confusing him with someone of integrity.

        • I just posted a reply to congratulate Dr. Ridd, and autocorrect tried to change “Ridd” to “Rudd”. Fortunately I caught it before completing the post.

          • the name of the offending entity is Chairman Krudd, a lesser organism that once approached sentience, coifed his hair, declared himself A Great Leader and was preparing to launch Oz into the Golden Age where we’d probably be known as The Glorious People’s Democratic People’s Republic of Australia (unless he planned to dispense with the Australia part, one never knew with that one).
            Subsequently we all try to refrain from mentioning it’s name lest it be summoned, uttering germicidal monologues and cursing furiously. if anyone’s really interested I believe there’s a video of it on YouTube eating ear wax..

      • Congratulations Dr. Ridd.

        It is not just a victory for science but a victory for free speech.

        Particularly in the week that Rugby Australia has just terminated the contract of its best player, Israel Folau, for posting his belief on Instagram that “Drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolators – Hell awaits you.”

        Folau may be mistaken in his religious belief . He was certainly mistaken in believing that in this modern era he could express it publicly. But he was only expressing what all major religions had taught for centuries.

        Following a service at the Truth Of Jesus Christ Church, he told the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper: “I share it with love. I can see the other side of the coin where people’s reactions are the total opposite to how I’m sharing it.

        “First and foremost, I live for God now. Whatever He wants me to do, I believe His plans for me are better than whatever I can think. If that’s not to continue on playing, so be it.”

        “In saying that, obviously I love playing footy and if it goes down that path I’ll definitely miss it. But my faith in Jesus Christ is what comes first.”

        Perhaps Folau should sue Rigby Australia.

      • 302. That is why intellectual freedom is so important. It allows academics to express their opinions without fear of reprisals. It allows a Charles Darwin to break free of the constraints of creationism. It allows an Albert Einstein to break free of the constraints of Newtonian physics. It allows the human race to question conventional wisdom in the neverending search for knowledge and truth. And that, at its core, is what higher learning is about. To suggest otherwise is to ignore why universities were created and why critically focussed academics remain central to all that university teaching claims to offer.

        Nothing to add here, all said !!!

      • I agree with you Greg. This is a victory for Science against some, let’s say, Inquisitional like methods that are being used against someone with even a slightest doubt about CAGW. It has everything to be a religion (a faith, books, movies, priests and now this kind of inquisition).

    • Even though it is over, I would like to make a donation to Peter, but I cannot find the route here. I am looking for a reliable means of making sure it gets to him.

    • Peter Ridd’s victory is also a posthumous victory for Bob Carter.

      JCU slandered and sacked Bob just the way they did Peter Ridd.

      JCU management is now fully revealed to the world as the anti-science, anti-free thought moralizing prigs those of us who knew Bob and his work, understood them to be.

      Rest in peace, Bob. You’ve won.

      And with huge thanks to Peter Ridd. A man with the complete courage of his convictions.

    • Just seen this – what an awesome result!

      Well chuffed – will have glass or three of Aussie Shiraz tonight to celebrate!!

    • Time for naming and shaming and a few ad hominems, which is the standard approach of climate catastrophists. I know it’s not the way of well informed folks but just occasionally it is sweet.

      • I also bet that ABC will mamange to utterly ignore this news also.
        they have a climate scam agenda and if anything its getting worse.
        think this week we will have whingeing steffen and flimflam touted and promoted

        • I am sure that the ABC is similar to our CBC in Canada, the BBC in the UK and Pravda in Russia. State broadcasters that are merely the propaganda mouthpiece for the government. After all they are bought and paid for by government using taxpayer money to mimic Orwellian speak.

          • In Canada the government is giving $$ to all the press. It is an election year and there are votes to be bought.

          • In Australia the nationally owned ABC is actually aligned with leftists, not with the present government . That’s why we will not hear about Dr Peter Ridd’s wonderful win.

          • Actually, the BBC have never been the mouthpiece of the government, they are the mouthpiece of anyone who supports their institutional marxist/socialist agenda. I’m not as familiar with the other public broadcasters

          • After no mention at all of the case until now the ABC in Oz has grudgingly reported the verdict [no doubt through gritted teeth].

            I wonder if the case will crack a mention on Robyn Williams’ Science Show on ABC Radio [https://www.abc.net.au/radionational/robyn-williams/2913842]. He’s shown little tolerance for ignorant, shameful, red-neck, in the pay of foreign polluting multinationals climate deniers to date.

      • Bet we won’t see a drive by Mosher who tried to defend the Uni.

        just to remind everyone of Mosh’s previous “words of wisdom” (do I need a sarc tag?) on the subject:

        Steven Mosher March 28, 2019 at 7:21 pm

        So lemme get this straight.
        Ridd had the better scientific argument
        Decided to slag his fellow employees,
        And the boss sacked his ass for violating
        Workplace rules..

        Who the hell thinks you can ignore workplace rules.

        Now in court he wants to argue the science.
        Dummy.

        • Looking again at the language and word cadence, I’m of the opinion that Mr. Mosher was on something at the time of that writing.

        • Defend the Uni?
          Nope. never defended the actions of the university

          In fact, I applauded your efforts here.
          https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/02/01/james-cook-university-censures-a-climate-skeptic-help-him-fight-back/#comment-2273415
          and this
          https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/02/01/james-cook-university-censures-a-climate-skeptic-help-him-fight-back/#comment-2273470

          My comments were directed toward the POST

          ‘The trial opened on Tuesday with Mr Wood QC outlining Dr Ridd’s honestly held expert opinion that the Great Barrier Reef is in good health, but that many of his colleagues, particularly Professor Hughes, suggest otherwise, that their research is “untrustworthy” and is not subject to any “quality assurance”.

          The Judge seemed genuinely interested in this issue of “quality assurance” of the research. Towards the end of Day 2 he specifically requested that Mr Murdoch QC explain to the court what quality assurance procedures were in place.

          I had assumed that Mr Murdoch QC, the Barrister acting for the University, would thus begin Day 3 with some explanation of this – but he didn’t. The University continued to refuse to engage on any matters of science, particularly the issue of quality assurance. Rather the University simply argued that because there is a code of conduct that expects professors to be collegial – they thus had a right to sack Peter Ridd because he had become disrespectful of his colleagues and also had broken confidentiality.

          At the beginning of Day 2 Peter Ridd clearly explained that he was concerned about the trustworthiness of the science, and the lack of quality assurance because it was having a significant negative economic impact on rural and regional economies – because of the bad publicity for tourism and increasing government regulation of farming. ”

          The way Jenniffer told the story of what transpired in court made it appear that Ridd was arguing the science in court.

          I wrote

          ‘o lemme get this straight.
          Ridd had the better scientific argument
          Decided to slag his fellow employees,
          And the boss sacked his ass for violating
          Workplace rules..

          Who the hell thinks you can ignore workplace rules.

          Now in court he wants to argue the science.”

          Nothing about the university being right or wrong.
          Nothing about my opinion about intellectual freedom.
          More about the advisability of arguing the science in court when the
          issue is workplace rules.
          Its a good thing he won on intellectual freedom. which is what the case was about
          Not the science.

          Work place rules that restrict intellectual freedom are not very bright.
          Violating workplace rules ( even dumb ones and uninforceable ones) when you have the better scientific arguments is still dumb.

          • ”Violating workplace rules ( even dumb ones and uninforceable ones) when you have the better scientific arguments is still dumb.”

            Obviously not ”dumb” as we have just seen.
            Sometimes you just gotta call bullshit regardless of rules.

          • Spend a few minutes of your drive by routine to think about the workplace where he was employed and the academic freedom he has to disagree with work which was neither trustworthy not subject to any quality assurance. That is his academic right as part of his employment. Read the judgement where the judge clearly enumerates on this.

            You did a drive by insulting posting as usual and have been proved wrong. Have the grace to admit that.

          • Do you just make this up as you go along or do you plan it meticulously ?

            I suspect both, meticulously make it up as you go along.

          • You did a drive by insulting posting as usual and have been proved wrong. Have the grace to admit that

            driving-by means never having to admit you are wrong. Why do you think it’s his preferred method of communication?

          • The way Jenniffer told the story of what transpired in court made it appear

            So you weren’t skeptical and just took what someone told you at face value, never looking in to it for yourself. Where have I heard that admonishment before? hmmm?

          • Not sure how you gleaned from Jennifer’s post that Ridd’s lawyer was arguing about the science or that science was at the core of their suit. In your own words, you really needed to read harder.

        • What a goose the Mosher is.

          The fact is, he didn’t argue the science in court. He argued his intellectual freedom rights under the Enterprise Agreement under which he was employed.

          These are explicitly mapped out in the Vasta judgement. Whether what he said was true of not, he had the right to say it and let the debate find the truth. JCU didn’t like what he said and tried to shut him up.

          I witnessed the 3 day trial and the judge didn’t miss JCU. In respect to their initial refusal to allow Ridd to discuss the charges against him with his wife he said that the JCU actions were heavy handed, absolutely abhorrent and reprehensible.

          His judgement is consistent with those comments. JCU lost on every count. Methinks they will now double down with an appeal. They have too much to lose.

          • So John Cook University’s interpretation of policy is essentially:
            “Shut up'”, he explained. – The Young Immigrunts – Ringgold Wilmer Lardner, Jr.

            Some claim that Ringgold Wilmer Lardner, Jr. was a pen name used by his father, Ringgold Wilmer Lardner, Sr. , as Junior was only four when The Young Immigrunts was published. However, since Junior does have two Academy Awards for writing , perhaps some will believe that he was merely precocious.

    • I suspect that Big Green will now elevate it to crisis status and their big guns and big money will be deployed.

    • If a quite deal canot be done under the counter , and given the unversity has an open book , unlike Peter , as many as it takes .

    • I’m guessing that law in Australia is basically English Common Law, which to me means the University won’t appeal until the monetary damage is set, and then only appeal if the amount seems excessive. At any rate, nothing like great news to start the day off! Or end the day is you’re in Australia? Whatever, congratulations to Professor Ridd.

      • Not at all. Australian employment law is a bitch (Stupid)! And then there is the contract you sign. So, as ridiculous as it may sound, someone, could take you to court because you said something that offended them, or even wore an item of clothing that offended them. (Case in point. Go do some research).

    • You are all incorrect please stop commenting …. you know nothing John Snow.

      This isn’t a normal court and it doesn’t act like people are dribbling on about.

      You must first seek leave to appeal a decision … please for the love of all things read the rules
      https://www.fwc.gov.au/disputes-at-work/how-the-commission-works/appeal-a-decision-or-order#field-content-7-heading

      There is no automatic right to appeal. Parties must seek permission to appeal. It is important to note that in the case of appeals against unfair dismissal and general protection arbitration decisions there are additional requirements in relation to permission to appeal.

      Given the strength of the finding there is almost way the University will be given the right to appeal.

      • Pardon my confusion – but was this not an action in Judicial Court, not the earlier stage of an appeal to the Fair Work Commission?

        (In any case, you are likely correct, if the Courts in Oz work similarly to the US system. A judicial Appeals Court here will only hear your case if you can convince them that there is a matter of law, not fact, involved.)

        • This was a decision of the Federal Court of Australia. It was not a tribunal decision. Be that. As it may, unfortunately, Judge Vasta does not have a great record of his judgements surviving appeals. Dr Ridd’s advocate, Stuart Wood was brilliant in carrying hit he case and was very persuasive compared to the JCU advocate who didn’t seem to have his heart in it.

          Now that this case is concluded, Stuart Wood SC may have time to take on Rugby Australia for Israel Folau. This is another important freedom of speech case.

    • I am mildly surprised the university didn’t settle this quietly rather than letting it spin out in court. That said, going to court is a crap shoot and they could have got lucky. On the other hand, a good lawyer keeps her client out of court. My former employer would do ridiculous things to keep out of court.

      A large organization can punish the weak by burying them under legal bills. Thank goodness for all those who funded Peter’s fight.

      This kind of thing can go on forever. The sad example is Edwin Armstrong arguably the inventor of the FM as well as the circuit which is used by almost all radio receivers (super het.). The fight to enforce his patents probably drove him to his death.

      • You are right Commie I think you would remember I said that at the beginning of this, they should have settled. It was a stupid risk and it is going to cost them.

      • hi Bob oh that unis(depts of) been doing similar to other fields using their threats and bluffing quite a few professionals in other fields either into submission or retirement. this is what I hinted at in other comments but really cant say more as other cases are underway to bring them to reality and stop this misuse and abuse of power.
        I am grinning ear to ear at the excellent news for Peter and also because a precedent is shown now.
        they are NOT above the law OR a law unto themselves;-)

        • The very good example is Jordan Peterson. The guns were turned on him. There was a petition to get him fired. link Then, all of a sudden, he’s not fired and he’s a bit of a rock star. link I don’t understand how that happened and it doesn’t happen for most professors.

          The best thing A very good thing about Peterson is that he seems to terrify the loony left. Given that universities are predominantly left leaning, it’s no surprise that there was a petition against him. I think one of the things that protects him is that he’s very careful with his words. link It makes it very hard to trip him up. Just ask Cathy Newman. link

      • They believed the law (System) was on their side (The alarmist side). This is good news and should be posted far and wide.

      • Normally this is a crap shoot but with loaded dice. I am still stunned at this decision as normally the judiciary are already in on the action.

        • I attended the case. The judge described the actions of JCU as heavy handed, absolutely abhorrent and reprehensible.

          He criticised JCU for its reaction to Ridd’s criticism of the lack of quality assurance in its research. He said that JCU did not make any attempt to show where it had procedures and protocols in place which would contradict Dr Ridd’s statements.

          Overall, he was damning in his comments on JCU. He had substantive criticism of the actions of Dr Ridd. That said, you don’t know the result until the judgement comes down. What a fantastic result!!

          • “He said that JCU did not make any attempt to show where it had procedures and protocols in place which would contradict Dr Ridd’s statements.”

            Procedures and protocols…quality assurance… These are not words or attitudes you find in academia. In fact, the PhD, prior to being doled out in degree mill numbers, was itself considered the ‘quality control’. ‘Peer Review’ will likely be argued as the ‘quality control procedure’ should this ever go back to court. Now either there was no peer review or peer review itself comes in flavours and is not a set of documented standards that can be used for as a quality control procedure.

          • Peer review means whatever you want it to mean. It cannot ever be considered as a replacement of documented quality control.

      • It’s called ‘Doubling Down’. They made a fool of themselves and their university by taking action against Peter Ridd, and by then most of the damage was done – they had little to lose continuing – and who knows what external pressure was being put on them NOT to give in

      • “I am mildly surprised the university didn’t settle this quietly “…

        I’m surprised parents send their kids there…pay huge sums of money..to get their kids educated…

        ..and the university just showed the world how stupid they are

      • The new generation of university elite get all emotional about their decisions. They are incapable of actually understanding the framework of laws actually mean, only what they believe they ought to mean.

        • Since the universities are no longer fulfilling their proper purpose, the logical course of action is to defund the universities. link

          An alternate course of action is to change how institutions of higher education are accredited. link Accreditation sets the standards necessary for a university to grant degrees. Sadly, if you drill down into the accreditating agencies you find that they are basically puppets of the universities. That protects the interests of the universities and not the public.

          If states and the feds take control of the accreditation of the universities and colleges within their jurisdiction, there is a much greater chance that the public’s interests will come before the entrenched interests of special interest groups.

        • The trouble is that the running of universities is by bureaucrats who lack the ethical training that scientists are supposed to get, and are focused on marketing and money, not truth, objectivity etc.

    • Will JCU appeal? Good question. The judgement was so comprehensive that I would hope they wouldn’t, but there is still I think a strong possibility that they will. Why? Apart from the importance of the case to them, there is a strong possibility that an appeal presided over by a green judge would succeed. One possible weakness of the decisions in favour of Peter Ridd is that the foundation for every single one them is the same clause 14 – knock it over once at it’s knocked over for all.

      But something which I think JCU knows that they are up against is that the pockets of honest citizens, via GoFundMe, are way way deeper than theirs.

      Many congratulations, Peter Ridd, I hope the decision holds and the JCU swamp can be totally drained – oh yes, and that the SMH report it properly.

    • This ruling being the crack in the dike, I’m betting the uni needs to appeal until the ruling is overturned or they run out of appeals processes.

      I’m not a lawyer, and I don’t know Oz law, but in the US, a District court is given huge defference on findings of fact; US appeals courts focus on legal principles, generally not facts.

    • You do not get to relitigate the case. You have to show that the judge made a serious error in judgment or reached a conclusion not based on the case. If the judge in the court type of case is given wide discretion, like they are in divorce court, then appeal is astronomically impossible. The judge can shut that down by demanding defendant post a large bond they forfeit if they do not prevail on appeal.

      • JCU has resources that may make a relitigation possible. They also got the manpower. Never underestimate the enemy.

        • Peter managed to raise A$260k in a matter of days…before closing the funding himself. I doubt that JCU would be stupid enough to bet more money on winning an appeal.
          I’d put in more cash for Peter if they tried and I’d bet he could easily raise a mill given just a month or so. This case has travelled world wide now.
          Don’t forget his court costs are likely to be paid back too.

          • The university is already looking down the barrel of a huge payout plus there legal fees they have spent and they may still be ruled to have to re-employee Peter Ridd.

          • Hard to accept JCU will be influenced by money.

            Remember, all JCU bureaucrats are spending Other People’s Money. JCU doesn’t really “make money” in the corporate sense; they simply ask the legislature for more.

        • @Non Nomen
          It is not a normal court you can’t just appeal and it doesn’t matter how much money or how many lawyers you employee you can’t do what you can’t do .. read the relevant law.

          Donald Kasper above stated the position correctly you would need exceptional circumstances to hear an appeal and it goes back to the same court.

  1. Excellent result!

    I will be surprised if the university don’t appeal and try to whittle away Peter’s funds. We might need another round of crowd funding to support him.

      • This is the bit of the legal document that meant most to me:
        Sorry about the formatting C&P issues.

        The Concept of Intellectual Freedom

        6.Intellectual freedom is also known as academic freedom. It is a concept that underpins universities and institutions devoted to higher learning. Obviously such institutions must have administrators that care for the governance and proper direction of the institution. However, the mission of these institutions must undoubtedly be the search for knowledge which leads to a quest for truth. In reality, intellectual freedom is the cornerstone of this core mission of all institutions of higher learning.

        7.This is so because it allows ideas to conflict with each other; to battle and test each other. It is within this “battle” that the strengths and weaknesses of ideas are found out. In this process, there comes “learning”. And with learning comes discovery.

        8.At its core, intellectual freedom mandates that academics should express their opinions openly and honestly, while inviting scrutiny and debate about those ideas. Unless opinions are expressed in this way, the growth and expression of ideas will be stifled and new realms of thinking will cease to be explored. That will lead to intellectual and social stagnation and a uniformity of thought which is an anathema to the concept of higher learning and social progress.

        9.Intellectual freedom allows academics to challenge the status quo and encourage critical analysis. History tells of many people who did so.

        10.During the last 160 years, arguably the two most prominent scientists/academics to challenge the status quo have been Charles Darwin and Albert Einstein. The ideas brought forth by both of these men were extremely controversial and offended several of their academic peers as well as many others in the greater society.

        • ‘Peter had spoken against the accepted orthodoxy…’

          “The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those who speak it.”
          “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” —
          – George Orwell

  2. The university should be required to publish a full account of the whole business so everyone can see their manoeuvres. With the full judgement attached.

  3. Bravo Peter … a big win today for science … and the scientific method.

    Hopefully a shot heard ’round the world …

    • A.Scott is correct,it is as big a result for the integrity of science as it is for Peter.Congratulations Peter,i hope you are recompensed appropriately and you can do your best to put this whole sorry episode behind you and enjoy life going forward.

      • It could be that this will push Dr. Ridd into the position of an anti-‘Reefer’ activist. [Am I wrong in believing that the word ‘Reefer’ in reference to the rent-seekers is my creation?]

        • If we are called Climate Deniers, it seems appropriate that Peter would now be called a Reef Denier. And a successful one at that.

  4. Thank You So Much Peter for making the stand against corruption in our Universities, Sadly they where once a place of great learning ,they seem to have become a place of of corrupt conformity.

  5. Peter,

    congratulations and what a win!

    Will this get reported on the ABC or the Fairfax/Nine ( F&$kfacts” media in Oz)? I doubt it. Cannot imagine Peter Hannam or Nicole Hasham being able to go anywhere near this result. We will certainly see who the real ‘deniers’ are.

    Can’t wait for any damages decision. Given the overwhelming nature of the basic judgement ( all 17 actions were unlawful !), the damages should be substantial and I just hope there is a punitive dimension to them.

    Those gutless wonders at JCU deserve the biggest kick in the professional nuts possible.

  6. Halle..Bloody..Luiah !! How sweet it is.

    From all at The Climate Realists of Five Dock in Sydney, Australia – SINCERE CONGRATULATIONS!!!!

    One small step for Peter Ridd, One Giant Leap for Science!!

  7. Hallelujah !! How sweet it is!!

    One Small Step for Peter Ridd, One Giant Leap for Science & common sense!

    Sincere congratulations Peter from The Climate Realists of Five Dock in Sydney – Australia, contributors toward the legal campaign!

    Next step – finding CO2 NOT guilty of the claims that it’s a pollutant & primary driver of so called Global Warming!

  8. Great result Peter,
    I like many here who donated with little expectation of a win against the establishment are ecstatic with this news! Now the backlash from the Greens, paid protestors, left wing media (ie most of them), twitter madness, emotional cripples and the rest of the ‘only believe the what you are told’ group.

    • The parties’ credibility was what was being tested here – JCU’s “settled science” vs Peter Ridd’s “systematic science”.
      I guess Judge Vasta found Ridd had credibility in spades. JCU – nah!

    • Dr. Ridd asserted the ‘Reefers’ were hiding facts, misrepresenting data/photos and reaching erroneous conclusions. Any publicity around those assertions should gain traction in ‘reef mania’ Australia.

  9. We need more court fights because the alarmists won’t debate. Not with firings though. Somehow we have to sue Al Gore’s Church of Climatology.

    • Alan, I guess the question is, is it illegal for the United Nations to create a bogus crisis (CAGW) in order to advance political agendas (worldwide supra-national socialism). This seems to be happening regularly now.

      Regards,
      Bob

  10. Wow!
    I just got in and read an email from Jennifer M.
    It might just be the crack in the wall that brings to book outrageous behaviour from Universities world wide that have stage managed people that should have the most open of minds and turned them into mind slaves.
    Let us hope the MSM picks up on this!!

  11. Excellent Peter & supporters many & varied.
    The left hate Vasta. Au ABC in particular has targeted him in the past.
    JCU will be in crisis meetings with green-mafia discussing funding for appeal.
    Richard Di Natale, Bill Shorten and Mr X (Turnbull) will be cheering JCU on with offers of support.
    The left won’t take this one lying down . . .

  12. Let’s see what the students at JCU do, assuming they are moral and decent humans..

    I know what I’d do if I found I was studying at such a contemptible institute, I’d withdraw immediately and make it clear why I was doing so.

    • Actually I would not be surprised given the general left leaning politics of uni students that they organise sit ins or protests to stop him returning.

      Then outside the Uni expect left wing green extremists to threaten him or intimidate his return.

      • I can’t see Peter returning. The personal cost to him and those close to him in non-financial terms must be immense. The months/years of suffering total stress syndrome and emotional fatigue must have sapped his health, strength and will. Hopefully the compensatory payments will ensure that he can fully recuperate in his own time and go on to greater things than suffering in the failing world of academia. With his in-depth knowledge of the GBR I’m certain he will find a new and more rewarding calling.

        • I agree. It will be a hell for him. Sad to say it, he may have to move inter-state, may even leave Australia. He won’t be able to find work here.

  13. Not yet mentioned is the matter of the Great Barrier Reef.

    After all it was the reason for Peters dismissal. So this judgement will put a big dent in the JCU’s fundraising.

    If indeed this judgement is confirmed, no appeals or denied then they can no longer say the GBR is in great danger and thus it requires lots and lots of Government money. I can see many of the top brass heads will role.

    MJE VK5ELL

  14. Under Australia’s IR regime, it now becomes a matter for the JCU & Peter Ridd as to of how much money will make him just go away.

    No winners!

  15. It’s a sweet victory for wrongful dismissal — not for science. I don’t believe that Mr Ridd’s science is vindicated, nor that the court attempted to do so, but his academic right to hold and expound on a view at odds with his colleagues has been vindicated. This is vitally important to any concept of academic freedom.

    The question is: can J.C.U. afford to let this rest here? Can they make a case that at least part of the judgement is unsound?

    Sorry to sound like a wet blanket, but I can’t bring myself to pop the champagne just yet.

    • ‘not for science.’
      It will be interesting to see the actual judgement and the discretion the Judge takes.

    • I must disagree. At the very least, Australian university reserchers now know they can disagree with the ‘consensus’, and not be immediately sacked. Open debate is always a win for science.

  16. Excellent news!

    new.google.com search from the UK on ‘Peter Ridd’ has 1 lonely piece from couriermail.com.au, and that’s paywalled.

    • That’s strange – I’m also in the UK and googling for Peter Ridd produced lots of hits, including reports of this wonderful news. There’s an excellent article by Peter Ridd, well worth reading:
      http://blackjay.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Ridd-P-Chapter-1-from-Climate-Change-The-Facts-2017-IPA.pdf

      This is absolutely fantastic news. I hope Peter Ridd and his team will be able to win further legal battles, such as being awarded full costs. Of course, as well as a marvellous personal win it is also a win for the freedom of speech and thought. Sadly, the places where these things seem to be most under threat are the universities themselves.

      I’m quite sure that global warming (with a little help from humanity) is primarily natural and also massively beneficial. History repeatedly shows that when the climate warms mankind prospers and when the climate cools mankind suffers.

      This is a victory for decency and for science, but we have to be realistic. It will require many, many more victories before this evil Goliath can be destroyed. But there is cause for hope. In the long run, the truth always prevails. And the most powerful man on the planet is on our side! I can’t stand Twitter, but for once I hope President Trump will write a tweet about this!
      Chris

      • Not just a general google search, a google news search to see who was covering this announcment. There’s 7 results now, all pretty bland sticking to the ‘unlawful’ nature of his sacking, rather than what he had to say about the GBR.

  17. Well done to Peter and his legal team.
    It has cheered me up to see that my (very) modest contribution was not in vain.
    I checked the Australia section of the BBC News website: nothing.
    Lots of blather about sport, and the Cardinal Pell case, but nothing on this case which
    has major implications for academic freedom and scientific integrity.
    Let’s hope JCU see the error of their ways.

  18. Congratulations Peter! And now for compensation and, more importantly, vindication of your true science about the Great Barrier Reef.

    But now, no doubt we will see see the outrage from the usual suspects, including Media stalwarts like “Their ABC”, “The Pravda-by-the-Yarra”, “The Socialist Moaning Herald”, et al.. And I doubt that “The Climate Council”, the ACF, and “experts” of that ilk will now put extra effort into proving that black equals white – in their usual manner!

    Once again: congratulations Peter! Perhaps now you might have a little peace ….

  19. Well done Peter Ridd, his supporters and his legal team! The huge stress on an individual taking on a corporate monster in the High Court should not be underestimated.

  20. Justice delayed is justice denied. Think about that when you compare how quickly Peter’s case was heard with the pace of a crippled snail that we see in Steyn vs. Mann here.

  21. What struck me about the JCU decision to sack Peter Ridd was the lack of ordinary human decency.
    As an undergraduate I recall that the tutor demonstrators that were the most officious had not obtained their PhD’s.
    Once they reached their goal they were polite and answered any ‘stupid’ student question with care and confidence.
    The JCU administration must have a bedrock of people who lack confidence in their own administration and staff.
    Otherwise why ‘protect’ the university with such nuclear censure, particularly using concepts of collegiality best left in fourth grade?
    Just paying Ridd damages will not be enough.
    The JCU council needs to immediatly set up an audit of work done on the Reef and publish it.
    This site could assist by discussing data and reanalyzing it.
    There is too much money and interest in the reef to let this slip in to the hands of those wanting to
    destroy the science and snuff out debate.
    As recently as Sunday a front pager in the Sun Herald declared the reef at an end.
    The barbarians are at the gate.

  22. Wonderful to see honesty and decency being rewarded for a change. JCU’s reputation has been tarnished by the disgraceful episode.

  23. At last.
    Now I can change my energy course to include free energy from magnetic monopoles, cold fusion reactors.

    An the university can do nothing about it!

    And my wife can start up her course on anti-vaccination.

    And my son can lecture on the truth about flat earth and how NASA lied about the moon landings!

    Brilliant

    Freedom of speech rules.

    • The ruling had nothing to do with Free Speech and we don’t even have any Free Speech rights in Australia although it usually surprises the average Australian layman.

      • yeah but everyone thinks the usa constitution and ours are the same;-( and people have died cos some idiot dialled 911 instead of 000
        our constitution gives us little and demands all its pommy-overloard material

    • So far as I know, a University could, and can still, let you lecture on anything you want, from Ancient Astronauts to Climate Catastrophe.

      What they won’t be able to do (hopefully, after this case) is suppress those who call you out for your fakery.

    • At last.
      Now I can change my energy course to include free energy from magnetic monopoles, cold fusion reactors.

      An the university can do nothing about it!

      And my wife can start up her course on anti-vaccination.

      And my son can lecture on the truth about flat earth and how NASA lied about the moon landings!

      Brilliant

      The university always could hire you to promote such nonsense, after all that’s what they were doing with the GBR. But now those who point out your nonsense won’t have to worry about losing their jobs for it. It truly is brilliant!

    • Rubbish. This judgement says nothing about what kind of courses the university can decide are going to be (or not be) taught. What this says is that if a professor publicly objects to a course titled “Feminist Astronomy”, in which only women are allowed, they don’t have to worry about being censored or sacked.

  24. Congratulations to Dr. Ridd, his team and anyone else who helped especially to WUWT for bringing the case to attention of the world of the true science.

  25. Wonderful news!

    As well as getting rid of the University VC and SDVC and Peter getting his job and expenses back, perhaps we might now also hope that this will lead to equal opportunities for funding research into all aspects of a scientific hypothesis – at least in countries that subscribe to Common Law.

  26. As we have federal elections in OZ I propose Peter Ridd for PM as he is the only one I can see with any integrity and who will end all of the wasted millions on climate change clap trap.

    Well done Peter

  27. This is really good news both for free speech and academic independence and integrity. It will be interesting to see how JCU reacts. Will this decision get much publicity in the MSM? I hope Peter Ridd gets a huge compensation package.

    It’s a good job we have gofundme to make this possible.

  28. Well done Peter, and well done the Australian Judiciary. It should not be underestimated how much pressure would have been on the judge to fudge, rather than to be emphatic.
    Let’s hope the Mann versus Steyn case is as clear and emphatic, when that eventually gets into court.

  29. Now this is not the end.
    It is not even the beginning of the end.
    But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.

  30. Can almost guarantee absolutely no one from JCU management will be fired. The mentality is shared by all management. In their eyes they are the champions of goodness and light and this is a minor setback.

    They might be forced to reinstate him, then they’ll make him redundant.

    • They need to be very very careful he will have halo protection from the action. They are already facing one set of damages they won’t be in a hurry to try for a second.

      • Indeed. But you can be sure, it they’re forced to reinstate him, that they will be watching him like a hawk for the slightest infraction with which to build a termination case and will be careful to make the case as airtight as possible.

    • Surprisingly their coverage is accurate, if a little one-sided, but immediately beneath the article is the usual Grauniad claptrap nonsense: “We’re with you…
      … in the fight to protect the environment. By keeping the Guardian’s environmental coverage open and accessible, we can report on the changes needed to avoid climate and natural catastrophe.”
      I won’t be donating.

      • It is not accurate about one bit “James Cook University is considering its legal options” … it has almost no legal options left.

        All they could do is seek leave to appeal based on some miscarriage of justice, they don’t get to argue the case itself again. Given the strength of the finding it would need to be a technical legal problem for them to be given an appeal.

        • Yes, but I’m certain the first reaction of the academic administrators would have been to seek advice on their “legal options”. Oh to have been a fly on the wall when their situation was fully explained to them. I somehow doubt their advisors would have anticipated a judgement as totally damning as this and their client would have been unprepared for this outcome.

        • It is not accurate about one bit “James Cook University is considering its legal options” … it has almost no legal options left.

          Yeah, but that’s pretty much a standard boilerplate response. Even when the only legal option left is to wait to see how much damages they’ll have to pay.

    • From the Guardian article:

      The Townsville-based university’s provost professor, Chris Cocklin, noted the judgment does not refer to any case law.

      “We disagree with the judgment and we maintain we have not taken issue with Dr Ridd’s nor any other employee’s rights to academic freedom,” Cocklin said in a statement.

      “Dr Ridd was not sacked because of his scientific views. Dr Ridd was never gagged or silenced about his scientific views, a matter which was admitted during the court hearing.”

      Rather difficult to square that interpretation with the court’s decision that every finding by the University was illegal.

    • The Guardian doesn’t hesitate to report the university’s claim that this was not about his views on the reef and climate change, but about his conduct. So what would the Guardian have said to a professor who skipped his contractural lecturing obligations to go an a climate change march?

  31. This is splendid news. If more funds are needed, bring it on. The Spectator is perhaps the only rag in the UK that can be relied upon to report loudly on this. Let’s see what the Daily Telegraph does. From the BBC, expect sullen silence.

  32. There seems to be some paradix on the judge’s comments. According to The Guadrian, Judge Vasta said:
    “Some have thought that this trial was about freedom of speech and intellectual freedom. Media reports have considered that this trial was about silencing persons with controversial or unpopular views,” Vasta said in his judgement.

    “Rather, this trial was purely and simply about the proper construction of a clause in an enterprise agreement.”
    But he also “Judge Vasta said the university has not understood the whole concept of intellectual freedom.”

    “[The] university has ‘played the man and not the ball’,” he said. “Intellectual freedom is so important. It allows academics to express their opinions without fear of reprisals. It allows a Charles Darwin to break free of the constraints of creationism. It allows an Albert Einstein to break free of the constraints of Newtonian physics. It allows the human race to question conventional wisdom in the never-ending search for knowledge and truth.”

  33. From memory, some of this case was about ‘lack of quality control’ in great barrier reef research, and the ability to flag it up publically.

    Does this ruling go towards the retraction of papers produced by the errant department, and potentially, the review of Phds awarded by this department?

  34. This is good news to a point but for all those readers who are outside Australia it’s not all that good IMO. My personal opinion, and based on my experience in Australian employment law, he may have “won” in the court but he will find it difficult in the greater working environment. It why some people actually change their names after big “events”. One would be better off going to court and being convicted of an actual crime.

      • All the more reason for his legal team to argue for punitive damages from the Uni then. If he is unlikely to secure future work in the closed shop system that is academia these days, then he should go for a $50 million settlement.

      • Like I said, Dr. Ridd should demand reinstatement an use his position as a platform to screw with his abusers. I know, I know; a wilting flower couldn’t stand the strain.

  35. Sweet victory to Prof. Ridd and all donors, Jennifer Marohasy, Anthony Watts. Our donations paid off big time. Feels better than winning in the slot machine! :-0

  36. Congratulations Dr. Ridd. It is still astonishing to me that the scientific community has been so corrupted.

  37. A huge victory for freedom and science.

    The process IS the punishment. The big government statist types know this. The University probably figures that it could bankrupt the poor man before justice could be served. Sadly, this is often what happens in such cases.

    Thanks to all who provided the funding to stand up to this fascist nonsense.

  38. Excellent result. Please ensure you read the decision in full before making any detailed judgements or comments. You can find a pdf of the decision here (hopefully…I could directly access):
    https://platogbr.files.wordpress.com/2019/04/ridd-v-james-cook-university-2019-fcca-997-.pdf

    A taste of what you will find: (just a single page of the 79 page Decision)

    REASONS FOR JUDGMENT
    Introduction
    1. Some have thought that this trial was about freedom of speech and intellectual freedom. Others have thought that this trial was about the manner in which academics should conduct themselves. Some observers may have thought that this trial was about the use of non-offensive words when promulgating scientific ideas. Media reports have considered that this trial was about silencing persons with controversial or unpopular views.
    2. Though many of those issues were canvased and discussed throughout the hearing of this matter, this trial was about none of the above. Rather, this trial was purely and simply about the proper construction of a clause in an Enterprise Agreement. Whilst the Court acknowledges that there may be consequences that touch upon these other issues because of the Court’s construction of that clause, none of those consequences can play any part in the determination of the proper construction of that clause.
    3. The clause in question is cl.14 of the James Cook University Enterprise Agreement. It is headed “Intellectual Freedom”. It, and it alone, is the focus of this judgement.

    • At JC University, at least, there is now some academic protection from the official CliSci and Reefer mobs. Remember, though, they can still whip up the student mobs to personally attack freethinkers. The universities are then ‘forced’ to do what they wanted to do all along.

      The case also underscores the power of cloud-funding. The individual normally hasn’t the resources to fight the deep pockets of government institutions and NGOs. Cloud-funding evens the playing field.

    • <bPlease ensure you read the decision in full before making any detailed judgements or comments.

      Excellent advice for this post and many others. I think the decision speaks for itself and my only comment is to congratulate Dr. Ridd and hope other court cases can build on this.

  39. Denigrating JCU seems too impersonal to me. This is really about the @sswipe academics who are willing to destroy another man’s reputation and career for the sake of their own little safe space to protect their corruption and incompetence. So if I may, let me say to all of those frauds and posers, “Eff you, and may you swiftly reap what you have sown”

  40. New ABC story is up
    James Cook University marine scientist Peter Ridd’s sacking ‘unlawful’, court rules
    They choose to give the uni the last word
    \\ In a statement, JCU Provost Professor Chris Cocklin disagreed with the judge and said the university was “considering its options”.

    “[We] are also troubled by the fact that he fails to refer to any legal precedent or case law in Australia to support his interpretation of our enterprise agreement, or academic freedom in Australian employment law,” the statement said.

    Provost Professor Cocklin maintained in the statement that Dr Ridd was not sacked because of his “scientific views”.

    “Peter Ridd was never gagged or silenced,” the statement said.

    “We maintain we have not taken issue with Dr Ridd’s, nor any other employee’s, rights to academic freedom.

    “What was in issue was how to he communicated about others, how he denigrated others, and how he breached confidentiality, which impacted not only on him, but on others.”//

    ==========

    original Dec 2018 ABC radio story
    Features a guy from Coral Reef dept saying
    “He is basically what I think of as a climate change *denier* and a denier of the fact that the Great Barrier Reef is badly affected by poor water quality.
    … He’s kept us on our toes to some extent over the years a little bit.”

    Item ends with IAIN GORDON, DEPUTY VICE-CHANCELLOR, JCU:
    ABC presenter : “Have you created a martyr for the cause of climate change *denialism* ?
    IAIN GORDON: Ah, the, the way in which the media is presenting at the moment is, in our view, untrue and misrepresenting the situation.
    Peter always has been allowed to conduct himself in relation to what expectations of academic freedom are.
    It is the fact that *he’s broken the Code of Conduct* .//

    • Color me a non lawyer, but seems to me publicly disagreeing with his colleagues’ findings was a breach of the code of conduct. How is that academic freedom?

    • Given the rebuke delivered with the judge’s ruling, shouldn’t JCU be a little more… ‘collegial’… when discussing Dr. Ridd?

      • Given that they think their lying, censoring, libeling and firing are collegial, while Dr. Ridd’s polite telling of the truth is not, the applicability of your advice depends on the definition you would like them to use.

  41. You REALLY need to read the Decision….WUWT: Could you post the decision in full at the end of the original post?: I think this would be extremely helpful, and encourage more commenters to actually read the full decision. The would greatly add to the value of comments.

    Another tidbit: (These are directly from the Judges Decision)

    “76. What Professor Ridd did was point out anomalies in the methodology and conclusions made by Professor Hughes and others. He invited the journalist to ask questions of Professor Hughes and others so that debate could ensue and the public be able to discern the truth for themselves.
    77. It would seem to me that this is exactly what a university should be encouraging and, relevantly, why cl.14.3 actually exists.”

  42. The Judge’s findings are damning of JCU and should be read by everyone who values intellectual freedom.

    And what was the response of JCU:

    “In a statement, JCU Provost Professor Chris Cocklin disagreed with the judge and said the university was “considering its options”.

    “[We] are also troubled by the fact that he fails to refer to any legal precedent or case law in Australia to support his interpretation of our enterprise agreement, or academic freedom in Australian employment law,” the statement said.

    Provost Professor Cocklin maintained in the statement that Dr Ridd was not sacked because of his “scientific views”.

    “Peter Ridd was never gagged or silenced,” the statement said.

    “We maintain we have not taken issue with Dr Ridd’s, nor any other employee’s, rights to academic freedom.”

    Sadly, these guys will never learn.

  43. Congratulations for your win Peter! I am proud to have helped in a small way. Thanks to WUWT for making the world aware of your case and the crowd funding possibility. Steve R in Canada

  44. The Decision contains some of the most succinct criticisms related to the endemic problems with the AGW “tribe” that I have read….The observation that the “tribe” (and yes, I am being a bit hypocritical here…:)) for the most part has degenerated into ad hominem attacks against both individuals as well as AGW skeptics in general (ie Deniers) is, to me, the only real proof needed that much of what they are asserting is either pretty weak, or perhaps just nonsense.

    “125. Again, whilst it is not part of the matters that I have to decide, it would seem that, rather than disciplining Professor Ridd, the better option would have been to provide evidence that would illustrate the errors in what he has said. If it had been shown that what Professor Ridd had been saying was demonstrably wrong, that would have been the greatest rebuke of all.”

  45. Technology will eventually break the back of Academia. The social sciences and the humanities with a 30 year leftist stranglehold are most vulnerable. Obscene fee inflation enabled by “automatic” tuition loans has reached criminal proportions. This corruption is making students actual indentured servants to the system, often times for decades…with no bankruptcy protections when real personal crises occur.

    Remote learning programs are being explored where a student can view multiple lectures. from various real experts (e.g. an actual scientist or inventor or laureate), for a given classroom lecture hour. Remote Q and A is provided. G5 internet will provide for remote virtual reality based learning. Rebuild a transmission alongside a virtual master mechanic for instance.

    There is talk about making the classroom work virtually free…charging only for midterm, final, and certification testing.

    What I had for humanities and social science lectures back in the day were mostly fumbling poorly prepared short presentations by immature ego-bloated leftist professor-boot-licking grad students. And I had to walk a long way to and from the lecture room. I never had the need for nor did I ever see any personal tutor for help…It was not one bit less personal than watching a video lecture… and you can rewind a video. These “social propaganda” courses were great for my grade point average…else, mostly a waste of time and money.

    Bring on technology and kill the beast that Academia has become…and save the economy a ton of wasted resources…AND PROVIDE BETTER EDUCATIONS TO BOOT.

  46. I hope that Professor Ridd receives a smashing award of damages. In Canada due to a case call Wallace v. United Grain Growers, the Supreme Court of Canada upheld an award of equivalent to an extended period of compensation due to the bad faith conduct of the employer in the manner of the firing and actions subsequent to the firing which conduct breached the employer’s obligations of good faith and respect towards the employee.

    This looks like such a case. Judge Vasta comments that counsel for JCU could not identify a ‘conflict of interest’ yet refused to concede that JCU’s finding in that regard was wrong. This is bad faith conduct.

    From the headnote of Wallace v United Grain Growers: Wallace v. United Grain Growers Ltd., [1997] 3 S.C.R. 701

    “Bad faith conduct in the manner of dismissal is another factor that is properly compensated for by an addition to the notice period. The contract of employment has many characteristics that set it apart from the ordinary commercial contract. Individual employees on the whole lack both the bargaining power and the information necessary to achieve more favourable contract provisions than those offered by the employer, particularly with regard to tenure. This power imbalance is not limited to the employment contract itself, but informs virtually all facets of the employment relationship. The point at which the employment relationship ruptures is the time when the employee is most vulnerable and hence most in need of protection. In recognition of this need, the law ought to encourage conduct that minimizes the damage and dislocation (both economic and personal) that result from dismissal. To ensure that employees receive adequate protection, employers ought to be held to an obligation of good faith and fair dealing in the manner of dismissal, breach of which will be compensated for by adding to the length of the notice period. While the obligation of good faith and fair dealing is incapable of precise definition, at a minimum in the course of dismissal employers ought to be candid, reasonable, honest and forthright with their employees and should refrain from engaging in conduct that is unfair or is in bad faith by being, for example, untruthful, misleading or unduly insensitive.”

    “While a dismissed employee is not entitled to compensation for injuries flowing from the fact of the dismissal itself, where an employee can establish that an employer engaged in bad faith conduct or unfair dealing in the course of dismissal, injuries such as humiliation, embarrassment and damage to one’s sense of self‑worth and self‑esteem might all be worthy of compensation depending upon the circumstances of the case. Often the intangible injuries caused by bad faith conduct or unfair dealing on dismissal will lead to difficulties in finding alternative employment, a tangible loss which the Court of Appeal rightly recognized as warranting an addition to the notice period. However, the intangible injuries are sufficient to merit compensation in and of themselves. Bad faith conduct which affects employment prospects may be worthy of considerably more compensation than that which does not, but in both cases damage has resulted that should be compensable. The trial judge documented several examples of bad faith conduct on the part of the respondent. While the award of the equivalent of 24 months’ salary in lieu of notice is at the high end of the scale, it is not unreasonable when all the relevant factors are taken into account and there is accordingly no reason to interfere.”

    Whether Professor Ridd *wants* to take up re-employment with such a bunch of idiots, is yet to be known. Whether he is entitled to damages in lieu of being re-employed is another legal question. But given the circumstance that the employer acted throughout in bad faith, is ample ground for a request that his costs, his legal fees, be paid by JCU at a full solicitor and his own client basis (with a premium for overwhelming success). Unfortunately, JCU has lots of cash, and may attempt to spin this out. However, obtaining leave to appeal under this set of facts will be extremely hard, as JCU must show that the Judge committed an error in law (as distinct to an unwarranted ‘impossible’ misapprehension of fact). His conclusions throughout show that JCU was intentionally misconstruing the terms of the EA so as to cause damage (i.e. not being able to discuss things with his wife).
    This still has to play out. The go-fund-me may be needed again.

    In the meantime, congratulations to Peters’ legal team: Mr S. J Wood QC assisted by B. Jellis and
    B. Kidston and Mahoneys, solicitors.

  47. “236. During the course of the trial, I repeatedly asked Counsel for the University to tell me what the conflict of interest actually was. Try as he might, Counsel was unable to do so. Yet he would not concede that this finding was not justified.”

    Because it was made up!

  48. Here is JCU’s press release on the matter. They fall back on a hearing that upheld JCU’s dismissal of Ridd.

    The University determined that Dr Ridd engaged in serious misconduct, including denigrating the University and its employees and breaching confidentiality directions regarding the disciplinary processes. That conduct was a serious breach of the Code of Conduct and that is why the University dismissed him as an employee.

    It received little press last year when Dr Ridd was unsuccessful in his interim reinstatement application. Justice Jarrett of the Federal Circuit Court on 18 June 2018 found that Dr Ridd had a very weak case and made clear that he understood it was not what Dr Ridd was saying, but the manner of how he said it.

    https://www.jcu.edu.au/news/releases/2019/april/response-to-federal-circuit-court-judgement

    The other side to the reinstatement hearing is at https://jennifermarohasy.com/2018/06/can-universities-lawfully-bully-academics-silence/

  49. Dr. Ridd, I didn’t contribute to your fund however, I am very glad others did and the result is very encouraging.

  50. Whatever the final settlement in his favor, he probably will never get his career back as it was before. University admins have plenty of other ways of making life unpleasant for recalcitrant staff, and what other University will offer him employment?

  51. Very glad to hear of this substantial win (slam dunk) for Dr. Peter Ridd and academic freedom. Hopefully this will send a shiver down the spine of all academia everywhere around the world that academic freedom in science is paramount without the fear of being fired.

  52. Just yesterday on the news in Seattle, they said the Great Barrier Reef was being destroyed by climate change. I doubt this ruling will have any affect on the alarmists’ “climate change is bad” scenarios.

    Jim

    • We get that news almost every day here in Aus. And when I ask for some evidence that “90% of the reef is dead” because the water is warm I hear nothing.

  53. We cannot find it in ourselves to congratulate someone on being treated justly. It is a sad comment on our times that we should be relieved to find that perfectly correct and legal behaviour is permitted in a free society.

    We do sympathise with Peter Ridd in the stress to which he has been wilfully subjected and wish him and his family well – and some sort of happy holiday – and future professional success.

    We do congratulate all those who contributed to Peter Ridd’s legal expenses.

    In general we should all congratulate ourselves that it appears not to be possible to lose all the tricks, at least not all the time.

  54. I wish WE had some REAL judges who would work on these liberal universities in the U.S.

    No freedom of expression, no diversity of ideas, professional hostility towards those who do not fall in line, etc. These places should be called what they are – institutions of indoctrination – and lose their tax free status.

    Their degrees should be deemed worthless and not recognized as professional degrees for any government job. No more federal money sent to these institutions of any kind, including research grants.

    I bet they would start reforming their behaviors real quickly.

  55. Congratulations Professor Ridd. A well earned victory for truth.
    My suggestion (which I will act on myself), is that readers/commenters in academic positions may want to craft a case study on this story and use it at any opportunity where they can expose it to an academic audience, including academic administrators and leadership. This will have far more impact the more people know about it – especially if it is relevant to their own behaviour and decision-making. Exact quotes form the verdict would be very powerful. It is easy to feel invincible till you see blood on the ground and imagine it is your own.

  56. Congratulations Prof Ridd. I can only imagine the stress he has been put through by the events that led to this day.

    The wheels of justice may turn slowly at times, but thankfully they delivered the right result. We can but hope that the judicial systems in other countries retain their integrity.

  57. Just wanted to add my congratulations to Mr. Peter Ridd! This ruling brings a bit of hope and sanity to world with too little of both.

    Now…will those responsible for all of these unlawful acts against Mr. Ridd suffer any consequences?

  58. A note of caution.

    Dr Ridd was lucky in that he had an employment contract. Cl 14 is referenced in the decision repeatedly.

    Otherwise the code of conduct might have prevailed on purely legal grounds.

    Morally and in common law dr ridd was clearly in the right. But the law can be an ass.

  59. I have read the entire judgement ruling and it is quite scathing of JCU. However, more so if the press or social media latch on to the emails section it will show up how poor Professor Hughes behaviour and his science has been. Frankly Prof Hughes should be sacked for poor scientific conduct.

    Nice to see students backing up Professor Ridd and even they see a veil of control of academic freedom at JCU.

  60. Without an employment contract I suspect Dr Ridd would have had a much more difficult time in court.

    This case highlights the problem with a Code of Conduct and the ability/dangers of such a document being applied for political purposes to silence academic freedom and freedom of speech.

    This case is an important victory for academic freedom. However I expect we will see politics rear its ugly head to try and regain control of what academics may say. The obvious place will be to modify the protection afforded by the employment contract.

  61. Meanwhile the ebb and flow of life at the reefs continues with or without human understanding of short, medium, and long run evolutionary adaptation abilities.

  62. The Decision discussed here is the legal finding..ie what the University did was unlawful. It is unclear what the next step is. Could someone familiar with Australian Legal processes in cases like this summarize what happens next? How are damages and or remedial actions constructed? Who presents them, who decides, etc. Could this lead to an order from the court to rewrite the EA for example? Could the remedial actions entail a forced public apology?

    Thanks in advance for much needed information about the next step.

    Ethan Brand

  63. So what now? A penalty will soon be awarded and will Peter go back to the University? Would be nice to have him there to keep everyone in line. lol.

    • No , there is little chance of him getting his job back , far to much face to lose by those that made this decision. And if he did they would make his life hell , there is always ‘something’ you can find they do wrong , ‘miss use of e-mail ‘ is a good one , even if that means you doing what everyone else is also doing.
      The nature of any victory may be a long way from what people think, and JCU will be ‘putting the word out ‘so he may find it hard to get a job anywhere else.
      Meanwhile chips have to be wrapped and so the news moves on.

  64. At JC University, at least, there is now some academic protection from the official CliSci and Reefer mobs. Remember, though, they can still whip up the student mobs to personally attack freethinkers. The universities are then ‘forced’ to do what they wanted to do all along.

    The case also underscores the power of cloud-funding. The individual normally hasn’t the resources to fight the deep pockets of government institutions and NGOs. Cloud-funding evens the playing field.

  65. Surely Professor Hughes is in direct contradiction of cl 14.3:

    “All staff have the right to express unpopular or controversial views. However, this comes with a responsibility to respect the rights of others and they do not have the right to harass, vilify, bully or intimidate those who disagree with their views. These rights are linked to the responsibilities of staff to support JCU as a place of independent learning and thought where ideas may be put forward and opinion expressed freely.”

  66. This was a right outcome. Science wins a single battle for the right to speak the truth.

    The cult of CAGW still win. What has happened would not be imagined 25 years ago.

    There is no academic freedom/opportunity to do science if a person has to go to court to defend the right to speak scientifically about scientific subjects based on research data.

    There was and is no scientific dialog. There are dozens of independent observations and analysis results that disprove CAGW.

    There is almost no chance any other academics will stick their necks out.

    When hiring, I would suspect there will now be questions concerning active support of CAGW.

    What this shows, is universities, fake news, and journals will attack any individual who scientifically challenges CAGW.

  67. JCU’s cabal of priests preaching environmental doctrinal infallibility seem to have been dealt a heavy blow. Their attempt to take us back to a new dark age, has failed. When the law works well, it works really well. Good on that free speech judge. Enjoy your lives sirs.

    And down through the ages will JCU be known as an institution of tyranny and for rejection of the spirit of inquiry.

  68. “It allows academics to express their opinions without fear of reprisals. It allows a Charles Darwin to break free of the constraints of creationism. It allows an Albert Einstein to break free of the constraints of Newtonian physics. It allows the human race to question conventional wisdom in the neverending search for knowledge and truth. And that, at its core, is what higher learning is about. To suggest otherwise is to ignore why universities were created and why critically focussed academics remain central to all that university teaching claims to offer.”

    An absolutely beautiful statement!

  69. OK …

    legal costs next ?

    The directors of the obviously malicious campaign should get their collars felt for misconduct in public office, malfeasance or whatever the Australian *criminal* code has on offer.

    The gits at JCU very obviously believed the could act with impunity and at little personal risk ganging up on one of their colleagues – at a minimum they should be looking at similar consequences for their actions as they sought to impose on Dr. Ridd.

    That said – it looks like said gits are dim enough to double down – with other people’s money…..

    • In support of your comment, tomo, the JC Reefer slinging around the denier appellation concerning climate and GBR in a radio interview about the Dr. Ridd judgement is an example of their hubris. They know they are secure in their government sinecures. And they will be secure until a majority of Australian citizens realize the con job of those rent-seeking Reefers.

      • The goons will wriggle over costs and try their damnedest to get out from under – are Aussie universities actually independent entities or is the administration a part of state / federal bureaucracy – or some weird arms-length subsidiarity at play letting them do as they please?

        It seems only fair that they get a spit roasting by somebody…

        Under UK law I see a clear criminal case of Conspiracy to Defraud – I wonder what down-under has on the statute books?

        • Fully independent entities from the Federal or State bureaucracy
          Forget the Conspiracy to Defraud. Its Employment law, civil case.

          The prelim headings in the Judgement cover the legal basis
          INDUSTRIAL LAW –Enterprise Agreement – Code of Conduct – where
          Intellectual Freedom enshrined in Enterprise Agreement – where Code of
          Conduct inconsistent with Enterprise Agreement – primacy of Enterprise
          Agreement
          Legislation:
          Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth): s.50- [Commonwealth legislation]
          James Cook University Act 1997 (Qld): s.5 [Queensland legislation]

          • @Duker

            ah … but that’s my point – Conspiracy to Defraud – I am not talking about the immediate detail of the case – but the fact that Chris Cochlin and chums acted together seeking to deprive somebody they disagreed with – of their income and reputation. The income aspect is clearly within the definition of the UK crime – and state funding is mandated if there is a case to answer… – wholly separate from the employment aspect.

    • Wow – The JCU response made by Chris Cocklin as now forever captured in the way back machine shows they accept no responsibility, think they are still in the right, that the judge is in the wrong. This will be interesting to see the squirming as that type of response and it’s continued attacks on Prof. Ridd could and should increase the ultimate costs of the judgement as it’s clear JCU is trying to destroy the reputation and future employment opportunities of Peter Ridd by painting him as a bad employee rather then accepting the judgement and describing how they’ll make changes in the future.

      I wonder how they’ll back-pedal on this when it’s used as proof the university and perhaps key staff need sanctioned or punished themselves. I think this is going to hurt in $$$$. 🙂

  70. Hopefully the Regents and Alumni of JCU will use this opportunity to embrace this judgement and in doing so improve the reputation of their institution.

    This judgment points to a serious problem in the JCU administration. Those that took this action against Dr Rudd should be held to account at the highest levels.

    The Regents have a clear duty to deliver a clear message to students, faculty and administration to make sure this never happens again.

    The alumni of JCU should be contacting the board of Regents to restore the good name of JCU and remove the corrupting influence of politics from higher education.

  71. Any philanthropist (plus cloud funders) out there want to fund a new startup

    the P Ridd university of Australia . . . . “where real science really lives”

    sounds good to me

    congrats

  72. But where will JCU go from here? Short of an appeal, they are obliged to follow the court’s judgement on the matter of Peter Ridd.

    What they need, however, is a robust recommitment to academic freedom, and to fair and honest dealings with their faculty and students. That requires serious structural changes.

    • If JCU double down after being “clean bowled” via the contract of employment (with added prejudice) then further action has to be proactive – it seems obvious to say – but the provosts and others intent was to clearly to unlawfully deprive Dr. Ridd of his accrued benefits and salary as a long serving senior academic and also to besmirch his reputation, likely precluding his finding further employment.

      In UK law the HR dept. and the Provost working on this together would be a pretty clear *criminal* case of Conspiracy to Defraud – the JCU goons seem to have come out swinging = hit ’em again only harder.

  73. The Guardian has this story on its Australian edition.

    They have an interesting ending that indicates a lack of rigour in their research.

    The Townsville-based university’s provost professor, Chris Cocklin, noted the judgment does not refer to any case law.
    “We disagree with the judgment and we maintain we have not taken issue with Dr Ridd’s nor any other employee’s rights to academic freedom,” Cocklin said in a statement.
    “Dr Ridd was not sacked because of his scientific views. Dr Ridd was never gagged or silenced about his scientific views, a matter which was admitted during the court hearing.”
    The case has been adjourned for a further hearing to award a penalty.
    Comment was sought from Ridd.

    They didn’t think of looking on his GoFundMe page or on the world’s most read climate science website.

    • It appears JCU has learned nothing. Not only do they still believe Dr Ridd is wrong and JCU is right, they now believe the judge is also wrong and JCU is right.

      Was it Henry II that said: Who will Ridd me of this meddlesome provost?

    • I suggest that the reason “the judgment does not refer to any case law” is that no Australian university has ever acted is such an evil manner before.

      The reason that “Dr Ridd was never gagged or silenced about his scientific views” was that the university’s threats failed to stop him, not because the university did not try.

      I understand that the legal ruling is based on the university violating the employment contract; however, the most interesting thing I see is:

      “Again, whilst it is not part of the matters that I have to decide, it would seem that, rather than disciplining Professor Ridd, the better option would have been to provide evidence that would illustrate the errors in what he has said. If it had been shown that what Professor Ridd had been saying was demonstrably wrong, that would have been the greatest rebuke of all.”

      Clearly the university knew Ridd was telling the truth and so had to silence him to preserve funding for their centre of excellent lies on coral reefs.

  74. “They only failed because I had your support.”

    I respectfully disagree. They failed because he first had the backbone to stand up to an over-sized bully. Everything else followed from that primary act.

  75. Statement by James Cook University Provost Professor Chris Cocklin:

    …….He was given the opportunity, in a reasonable way in my view, to have the relevant matters adjudicated upon and, in the meantime, the status quo preserved.//

    Which is the very reason this lawsuit happened – so that the the status quo would not be preserved.

  76. Standard Employment Contract versus Code of Conduct. It was an epic albeit almost comical booboo of the University lawyers to fail to recognise the subordination of the CoC.

    • Actually – no. What the Uni VC and the lawyers failed to recognise was Peter Ridd’s courageous determination and the blindingly fast crowd funding response to support him.

      That crowd funding response will happen again when the Uni decides to appeal. All Vice-Chancellors, take note ! We will help *every* time.

      • Let us assume that not all of the money donated to pay for his legal costs and expenses is being needed and there are some “leftovers”.
        Wouldn’t it be a good idea if Dr Ridd puts these leftovers into a new fund designated to help scientists in a similar situation that he was in to cover their legal fees and costs?
        Just sayin’

  77. Wonderful news for all the right reasons.

    Maybe, if there are a few hundred more authentic wins like this(ok, it could take a thousand) and authentic climate science is finally returned to the world……. ripped from the grips of the hijackers…….. Anthony Watts will be recognized with the Nobel Peace Prize!

    I suggested that to Anthony something like 6 years ago and he said “When pigs fly”.

    So, in 2007, what was flying to cause this to happen(-:

    https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/peace/2007/summary/

  78. Wonderful news for all the right reasons.

    Maybe, if there are a few hundred more authentic wins like this(ok, it could take a thousand) and authentic climate science is finally returned to the world……. ripped from the grips of the hijackers…….. Anthony Watts will be recognized with the Nobel Peace Prize!

    I suggested that to Anthony something like 6 years ago and he said “When pigs fly”.

    So, in 2007, what was flying to cause this to happen(-:

    https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/peace/2007/summary/

    https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/peace/2007/summary/

  79. Fore-shadowing for man made CO2 theory? Looks like the US 2020 election has opposing sides ready to explode as a political issue for climate change.

  80. Wonder how Professor Ridd would have fared if he had been at Berkeley here in Cali and appeared before a Berkeley graduate? Never mind.

  81. Good news, indeed.

    I envy Professor Ridd’s patience and resilience. In his place I would break some piece of furniture in that University, slam the door behind me, and spend the rest of my days ourback reciting sesquipedalian poetry to kangaroos.

  82. HooRah! Professor Rid. Thank you for your guts and determination. Let’s hope for academics can point out the folly of misconduct in education

  83. Brilliant result, great facts and good lawyers.
    As a lawyer in a neighboring jurisdiction I comment:
    1 It was an employment court. That court has powers to award damages for loss of income, humiliation and costs.
    2 Costs in legal cases go to the winner but are not
    ‘actual’ costs but costs per scale, usually lower.
    3 The law relating to the court, as posts have already pointed out, give limited appeal rights.
    4 In any event the decision is VERY carefully written, what we lawyers call ‘appeal proof’.
    5 The ratio dicedeni (Latin for the reason for the decision) is that the university did not follow the employment contract.
    6 The obiter dictum (Latin for other comments in the judgement) makes the very helpful comments on academic freedom. As the husband of a university professor I see the real value of this freedom for academics.
    7 And finally, following the great erudite tradition of WUWT, I comment that the university call of “who will Ridd me of this turbulent priest” will do in the long term as much good as it did for Henry II.
    Will we see the Vice Chancellor on her knees on a pilgrimage of atonement?? It may be forced on her.

  84. “Scepticism – not cleanliness – is next to godliness. Scepticism is the father of freedom. It is like the pry that holds open the door for truth to slip in.”

    — Gerry Spence, ‘Seven Simple Steps to Personal Freedom: An Owner’s Manual for Life’

  85. I think that paragraphs 125 and 296 of the Judgment are the most significant.

    125; Again, whilst it is not part of the matters that I have to decide, it would seem that, rather than disciplining Professor Ridd, the better option would have been to provide evidence that would illustrate the errors in what he has said. If it had been shown that what Professor Ridd had been saying was demonstrably wrong, that would have been the greatest rebuke of all.

    So it begs the question, “was no one at JCU able to prove him wrong?”

    296 is extracted in the main story (intellectual freedom and how JCU doesn’t understand what it means)

  86. This case was not about science

    This case was not about the Reefer madness

    This case was not about global warming alarmism

    This case was about Enterprise Agreement which is a weapon to control faculty and intimidate.

    He was indeed telling true science and this abuse and bullying backfired.

    The motives to bully, “just follow the money” Donations drought may happen if their lack of quality control on environmental research is subprime.

    It took just one faculty bully to take the University of Missouri down several notches in state funding, donations and enrollment.

  87. Great news ,Peter Ridd has won against bullies .
    There is nothing on our national news sites here in New Zealand at this time .
    And we are just across the water . We would expect a load of drivel will appear like that what has appeared on Australian news .
    The loony left leaning media has completely lost the plot here in New Zealand .
    Today’s cartoon shows the world in a frying pan.

  88. I am deeply humbled to have been a supporter of both Dr. Ridd and WUWT. It is a joyous occasion even though Dr. Ridd has gone through a completely unjustified experience and the court rightly found that it was completely unjustified. Congrats to Dr. Ridd, WUWT and the WUWT community for some well deserved justice.

  89. In response to several requests, here’s a copy of the Paywalled editorial in The Australian, 16th April 2019…

    • THE AUSTRALIAN
    https://www.theaustralian.com.au/higher-education/james-cook-professors-sacking-ruled-unlawful/news-story/bd3c0e40c9e8d7f8b7bcf06461bccfa6

    • James Cook professor’s sacking ruled ‘unlawful’

    Former JCU climate scientist Peter Ridd with his legal team.
    • By CHARLIE PEEL, JOURNALIST
    • APRIL 16, 2019

    A Federal Court judge has ruled that James Cook University acted unlawfully when it sacked professor Peter Ridd after he publicly criticised the institution and one of its star scientists over claims about the impact global warming had on the Great Barrier Reef.

    Professor Ridd, who worked at the university for 40 years, challenged the dismissal in the Federal Circuit Court, saying the university breached its own enterprise agreement which allowed all staff to express controversial or unpopular views.

    The physics professor argued that the Townsville-based university, which is renowned for its marine science expertise, dismissed him for breaching the university’s code of conduct.

    Handing down his decision today, judge Salvatore Vasta said that the 17 findings used by the university to justify the sacking were unlawful.

    “The Court rules that the 17 findings made by the University, the two speech directions, the five confidentiality directions, the no satire direction, the censure and the final censure given by the University and the termination of employment of Professor Ridd by the University were all unlawful,” Judge Vasta said.
    A penalty hearing will be set for a later date.

    At a hearing last month, Professor Ridd’s barrister Stuart Wood argued his client was entitled to criticise his colleagues and the university’s perceived lack of quality assurance processes.

    In 2016, Professor Ridd emailed a journalist to allege that images given to the media by the Australian Institute of Marine Science and Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority were misleading because they showed poorly affected corals, which were selected over nearby healthy coral and used to show “broad scale decline” of reef health.

    Professor Ridd claimed the use of the images was “a dramatic example of how scientific organisations are happy to spin a story for their own purposes”.

    He also said his colleague Professor Terry Hughes, the head of JCU’s Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, would “wriggle and squirm” when asked to explain the discrepancies in the images.

    Professor Ridd was censured again when he repeated the claims on Sky News.

    After a third alleged violation of the code of conduct, Professor Ridd was sacked in April 2018.

    End..

  90. Congratulations Peter, this is an inspirational stand. They didn’t get to hide the truth of things, nor to get away with an attempted tar-‘n-feather of someone who was simply performing in their job correctly, and taking the necessary responsibility to expose misleading hyperbolic fraudulent claims that were pretending to be modern marine science knowledge.

    Thank you.

  91. Dr. Peter Ridd,
    Congratulations and Wowza! That was a ‘beat down’ of epic legal proportions, authored by Judge Salvatore Vasta! Thank you for your unyielding courage in the face of the JCU’s criminal ‘academic’ actions.

  92. Wow that’s the best real news I’ve heard since I don’t remember. Go the Judge – what a champion for seeing through the JCU bullies. Hallelujah we’re not going back to the dark ages of Galileo after all – Justice prevails and such a well spoken defence of indictment that the Judge (JSV) used to exonerate persecuted Peter, JSV absolutely justifies his position to be a judge. Yee ha

  93. Dr Ridd seems to prepare for trench warfare against JCU. He writes in his latest statement:
    Dear All,
    There has been a flurry of media activity on the case but the main news is that it looks as though the Vice Chancellor (VC) is digging in. She and the Provost Prof Chris Cocklin released an extraordinary statement saying the Judge was wrong on all 17 findings against JCU…
    An appeal will cost the best part of a million dollars – much more if it goes to the high court. But I reckon that if we are forced, we can raise the funds. I am very confident that we can win any appeal, although we would want to look closely at whatever mischief they come up with. …

    Full text of Dr ridd here:
    https://www.gofundme.com/peter-ridd-legal-action-fund?viewupdates=1&rcid=r01-1555556882-e8dd891041ae4311&utm_medium=email&utm_source=customer&utm_campaign=p_email%2B1137-update-supporters-v5b

  94. Universities have been infiltrated with thought police bullies and this proves
    what everyone knows .
    The judge got it right . 100% .

    The scary global warming con-game gets destroyed every time a piece of it goes to court .
    The sheer arrogance of these assholes thinking they can sue settle their way through
    or destroy peoples lives .

    It takes courage for scientists to come forward because they know it can be a battle .
    A battle the climate con industry will lose every time .

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