Hubris on steroids @jcu – Uni “digging in” on Peter Ridd decision

Peter Ridd writes of this unbelievable example of arrogance and hubris from James Cook University on his GoFundMe page:

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 (see link below). In my opinion, she had not read Judge Vasta’s judgement and clearly does not comprehend what has just happened. 

But this means that unless the JCU council (the governing body) deals with the VC, an appeal is likely. In my media statements I have repeatedly stated that the JCU council will be complicit in this mess if they do not deal with the VC and Provost. Due to the huge media response in Australia, the council will have heard this loud and clear.

JCU has near infinite resources from the taxpayer and the VC will not pay a cent when she ultimately loses. It matters not to JCU if they appeal on weak grounds, and the VC may well have retired from the university in the time it could take, perhaps 5 years, if it goes all the way to the high court.

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.

The fact is that we have the upper hand – we won the first round 17-nil. The university is bleeding reputation due to its own mistakes, and there is growing anger especially in North Queensland. If they think they can intimidate us with an appeal, they should think again.

Kind regards

Peter

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

Advertisements

158 thoughts on “Hubris on steroids @jcu – Uni “digging in” on Peter Ridd decision

      • How about downright ‘vicious’?

        I guess the VC et al have no choice as if they let the 17-zip decision stand this matter becomes a ‘test case’ representig a massive win to the right to be a climate skeptic and even a ‘denier’ without fear of retribution and persecution. There is no way the great green blob will stand by and not challenge that.

        Peter, I am standing by with my next contribution.

        • It also brings with it the need equally to fund research which appears to some to be contrary to any sort of ‘supposed consensus’ science. That has to be good but it may well trigger a fight-back. I too am ready to fund (in a small way) an appeal that might affect that.

          The JCU should consider changing its name to the Ridd University….

    • The Judge in this case seems to agree with you. Here is his ruling. Unlike US courts and legaleeze, it is easy and a pleasure to read. I highly recommend it. It is also, at time, quite humorous. JCU got spanked and good.
      FEDERAL CIRCUIT COURT OF AUSTRALIA
      RIDD v JAMES COOK UNIVERSITY [2019] FCCA 997
      http://bit.ly/2DlFLYi

      A sample:

      295. It is easy to understand why this fundamental error has been made. If one truly believes that the Code of Conduct is the lens through which all behaviour must be viewed, then cl.14 is simply superfluous and can be ignored. But this is not the reality of the situation. It is actually cl.14 that is the lens through which the behaviour of Professor Ridd must be viewed.
      296. To use the vernacular, the University has “played the man and not the ball”. Incredibly, the University has not understood the whole concept
      Ridd v James Cook University [2019] FCCA 997 Reasons for Judgment: Page 71
      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.

    • The VC has effectively unlimited University funds to fight this for as long as she wants to. Its not her money so she has no financial skin in the game.

      She intends to win because the university has deeper pockets. The optics is terrible.

      She should resign.

      • Yes, as Mark Steyn (who is going through his own tortuous trial) has said: the process IS the punishment…

      • To resign you have to have integrity and able to make a moral judgement. She has shown what she is. Take that maggot Corbyn in the UK, a sorry excuse for a human being and proven premeditated liar, a marxist who has stolen the leadership of what used to be called the Labour Party. By my counting he has had already 9 occasions on which a better man, a honourable man would resign. This kind of low life which has a strangle hold on higher education does not know the meaning of the word honour.

      • More of students hard earned HECS or HELP money that they students have to pay back in the fullness of time. I think this might make students think about studying somewhere else!

  1. I am behind Ridd all the way on this, but fear that JCU will just swamp him with their bottomless supply of Lion Fish photos.

  2. This is an attack on the Scientific Method and on open debate of public policy in general. Dr. Ridd will have my continued support in the event that he needs it. Hopefully, saner minds will prevail.

  3. I’d love to see the faces of the VC and the JCU council when they realize that this time the crowd funding will be more successful than before. I’ll be in again.

    • Indeed. I’m late to this, only recently having discovered that I was not the only person in the world who thought CAGW was politically inspired alarmism. I was mightily relieved when I found WUWT, GWPF etc. I was too late to donate the first time, but have followed the case and judgement and will be ready and willing should there be a second. I’m sure there are many others in the same position as me. It would be a great shame for Peter if there is an appeal as he has been through so much, but even more publicity would be a good thing in the long run. Surely eventually reason must prevail.

      • Aye, I’m in if there is an appeal. I tried to donate late the first time and did not realize there had been a deadline. I’ll be there is needed next time. Cheers, all.

      • Well said, PeterGB. All the world is watching. Peter Ridd’s victory was the highlight of the week. Freedom of speech is for everyone.
        I may not agree with everything/anything you say, but I’ll defend to the end, your right to say it. (E.B. Hall, paraphrased)

        Eamon.

  4. Imagine how much time they are wasting on this instead of running a University. Sort of shows how demanding their core roles are. The show off support for Peter has been impressive and I am pretty sure it will be even bigger for any appeal. A bit peeved to be $ supporting both sides of the argument though, even if JCUs side is involuntary.

    • For that, perhaps a letter or two to your member of parliament might help to apply pressure from the other side. As an American all I can do is fling funds and cheer him on. Political pressure on JCU from the government of Australia might wake a few people up though.

      • Of course the problem is politicians don’t particularly understand the concept of intellectual freedom either. They tend to take the view that “you are free to agree with me on all points!”

    • Given today’s curriculum and progressive brainwashing, perhaps the less they’re minding the shop, the better.

  5. You cannot appeal to relitigate the facts or the judge’s decision. You have to show the judge was not within his jurisdiction to rule, or made a procedural error of law.

    • If you read the link the University seems to be “disagreeing” on the basis that the judge did not cite any case law to back up his judgement.

      They clearly have the means to get good lawyers, so even if the case is weak of questionable, I guess they know more about what is possible under Aussie law than you do about how to take this further. For the moment it’s all huff and puff.

      • There are mega-bucks of taxpayer’s money being inappropriately squandered from the gushing hydrant of wasteful dishonest lazy gutless stupidity that emanates from the Canberra political bog-of-eternal-stench, directed at any ‘squeaky-wheel’ dishonest climate alarmist scammer who’s uses the Great Barrier Reef as their dippy prop and false-claims powered venal hand-wringing, “Stand n’ deliver!”, hold-up routine, or the now familiar catastrophic spiral-virtue-signaling guilt-trip projecting schmooze, with bonus Kabuki Theatre.

        Of course JCU will be keen to burn through mere millions of taxpayer’s misallocated money to obtain parts of billions through extraordinary corruption, deception and institutional dishonesty – that’s a given.

        The blatant corruption of academia, institutions, science (and data itself) will not stop until these lazy public-money-hydrants in Canberra (and all other western Capitals) are permanently TURNED-OFF.

        Frankly if Australian politicians were all banned from participating in Australian elections the waste of public money on all such doom and catastrophe scams would come to an abrupt end seconds later.

      • This has global implications. Suggest Peter gird his loins and go fund ASAP for the next round. These people do not give up. Whatever the time frame – whatever the cost.

    • If Australian law is anything like UK Law, one cannot appeal errors of fact; one can only appeal errors of law.

      There are rare examples when a finding of fact, as made by the Judge, may be considered an error of law, such as when the finding of fact, is contrary to the factual evidence produced.

      I have not read the decision so I cannot form a view on whether there are good grounds on which to appeal, I merely point out that appeal is not easy.

      I do not know what the Court has done with damages, but it may be possible to obtain an Award on Damages, and enforce this before the appeal is heard, or even to make leave to appeal conditional on damages being paid up front, given the inequality between a private individual and a state funded organisation.

        • I took the time to read all 79 pages of the court document. I must give Judge Vasta compliments for that order, not just because I agree with the decision, but more so because of the incredible clarity of writing in plain English, and logical thought illustrate in that paper. I don’t know if the quality of this document is typical of Australian courts or particularly of Judge Vasta, but reading it was very refreshing compared to the dense writing I am used to reading in other court documents and decisions, which often seem to be purposely difficult to read. Kudos! And congratulations to Professor Ridd!

  6. Plaintiff demands that the defendant is combatitively litigant, clearly lost, and ask the judge to make the university post a $10 million dollar bond against appeal. The judge can shut the shit down.

    • Agree totally Donald the VC clearly has not talked to legal advice. They can only ask for an appeal and it may well not be granted depending what there argument is.

      • Judging by the feeble arguments they made in the first place it’s difficult to understand what further grounds they might have

        • JCU has a School of Law. That means they can send more or less qualified staff almost in abundance into all archives and databases. I bet JCU will make a contest out of it “Who has the best ideas to put Ridd in his place”
          It isn’t over until it is over.

        • Aye, HotScot!
          I agree with you, Donald Kasper, LDB and others who are pointing out JCU’s bluster and buffoonery.
          JCU activists assuming that they can loudly wail and rend garments to force the courts to question the Judge’s decisions.

          JCU buggered their defense of proving their claims had any merit of fact or process against Ridd.

          Now,JCU is claiming that they can prove the Judge made errors of law or legal process against the Judge?

          It appears that JCU and their falsely inventive legal counsel spoke to compliant news media and issued a press release before talking to court experts.

    • Yes, if I were JCU’s legal team, I’d find a clever way to slide out from under a potential abuse of process suit ASAP.

  7. What’s the use of having umpires if the losers won’t accept the judgement. These people are delusional and are exactly the same type as the losers in the US election and the loser remainers in Britain. I think that if the university chooses to appeal then the council and the Vice Chanceller should be held personally financially responsible.

    • They whole statement assumes they will be given the right to appeal. They have a big bridge to cross before they get a hearing because they are seeking to overturn not 1 but 17 individual findings. I suspect they will be told the likely of success so low they are refused.

      • They won’t be told that by the lawyers they engage. The only thing lawyers love more than litigation, is more litigation.

      • In the US, you have the guaranteed right to appear at the state level. Now, once you’ve lost that appeal, you can file an appeal to the state supreme court … but they are too busy to pay attention to the great majority of cases. Then you can appeal to the US Supreme Court, where your odds are much lower yet. And if the issue is not specifically a Constitutional question.

        I don’t know how this translates to Australia, but I would be surprised if JCU was denied the right to appeal. There is a danger here, despite the overwhelming win: It’s not to the same court, and the higher court may be big-time Greens.

        A personal aside: This process (the US version) personally cost me my life savings plus $64 million dollars — I had won big in the lower court in a large business court, but the appellate court found out that my politics were on the other side of theirs. They prevented the collection of the award.

        I wish Peter the best of luck — and certainly better luck than I had.

        ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle (@DeHavelle)

        • It doesn’t translate at all you have no right of appeal in the fair work commision you have to seek leave to appeal and you may be denied.

    • David Segal, you have correctly cited an alarming trend. Elections now are starting points and the entitled feel they should get what they believe and are therefore free to overturn it by any means, legal or not. Meanwhile they skip doing the work they should be doing to bash at a windmill. I hope none of the three events end in an overturn. Go Prof Ridd!

    • To the old legal saw: If you have the facts, pound the facts. If you have the Law, pound the law. If you have neither the facts nor the Law, pound the table. So when does the JCU table pounding begin? Perhaps the modern version should read-pound the American or Australian MSM.

      Am willing to donate again, this time to Peter’s appeal if necessary to help him win.

  8. The Vice Chancellor and the Provost have brought JCU into disrepute and damaged its standing consequence this matter with Professor Ridd. They have demonstrated that they are not fit to hold the esteemed office of VC and Provo respectively and they should resign without delay.

    It matters not whether they agree or disagree with the judgement, they confirm their bias and prejudice with such contrite piffle.

    • There may be a clause in their contracts that they could be made personally liable if the and Provost can be shown to have brought the university into disrepute, which, prima facie, they have. But nthat will be up to the JCU Council.

  9. Keep up the good work Peter and it sounds like we might need to make a financial contribution to assist

  10. True Progressives never admit they were wrong. They always blame someone else. They blame others for not being smart enough to see how right they are. Or they blame others for not being of good character to see their moral failings.
    For the Progressive who are running an institution (JCU in this case), the institution is part of the State in their view. And in a Progressive’s socialism-communism worldview, the State is never wrong. If the State seems wrong, it is only because WE didn’t understand the correctness of the State’s moral position to defend a “greater good”, for the means (denying someone a right, academic freedom in this case) is always justified by the end.

    What I am saying is the VC will never relent. The only option for the University to ever recover its integrity is for the Council to tell the VC to resign or be fired. (In the military this is called accountability. Such accountability is a foreign concept to Progressives.)

    • Well said and I would only add that this posturing by the VC is for public consumption. She knows that as this drags on the public will eventually lose interest and only remember that the judge’s ruling was disputed.

    • The way to force JCU to back down is for sufficient alumni and donors and perhaps taxpayers to make a fuss big enough to get media attention. Bad behavior hates the light to shine on it.

    • If the State seems wrong, it is only because WE didn’t understand the correctness of the State’s moral position to defend a “greater good”, for the means (denying someone a right, academic freedom in this case) is always justified by the end.

      The regressives are like Humpty Dumpty — when they hear the phrase “academic freedom”, it means just what they choose it to mean — neither more nor less.

  11. Chris Murdoch QC is whispering in JCU’s ear “you can win this on appeal”.’
    What the heck, taxpayers are paying for everything.
    JCU’s legal team will milk it for everything and it’s worth millions to them.
    Green-mafia will be talking judge shopping now.
    Bill Shorten will be the boss soon . . .
    And that’ll make judge shopping easy for the green mafia.
    An appeal of a judgment of a Judge of the Federal Circuit Court can be heard by a single judge unless that judge considers it appropriate for the appeal to be heard by a Full Court (three or more Judges sitting together).
    That’s where Shorten will make it happen for the green-mafia by ensuring the ‘right’ single judge hears the appeal.
    For an appeal to succeed the Court must be convinced the Judge that heard the original case made an error of law and that the error was of such significance that the decision must be overturned.
    Vasta (a brilliant judge) recently had one of his decisions overturned on appeal by three lefty appeals judges.

    • I think the brunt of Vasta’s decision can be summarized thusly,

      Premise A: JCU terminated Prof. Ridd’s employment by reason of CoC violations.
      Premise B: The JCU faculty CoC is subordinate to Prof. Ridd’s EA contract.
      Premise C: The CoC violations alleged by JCU are in breach of cl. 14 of the EA.
      Conclusion: Prof. Ridd’s employment was unlawfully terminated.

      A is confirmed by JCU counsel’s original arguments, so to be overturned on appeal, JCU would have to prove that Vasta was in error in regards to B or C: that the JCU faculty CoC is –not– subordinate to Prof. Ridd’s EA contract or that the CoC violations alleged by JCU are –not– in breach of cl. 14 of the EA.

      Would depend on how both documents are worded, I suppose. Hopefully cl. 14 in Ridd’s EA contract is rigid enough to not have its meaning twisted to inversion by an activist appeals judge.

  12. Universities harbor idiots of all stripes. That’s appropriate if you want students to truly explore all kinds of ideas, which I suppose, is the purpose of higher education. What I’ve noticed over the years is that some folks who wouldn’t make it in the greater world seem to find a safe cocoon in the university and may even rise in the ranks of administrators. I’ve also noticed some pretty odd people in student unions and other student groups. We’re talking about pretty far out on the tails of the distribution.

    We have the specter of a student at U of Ottawa suing a student at Carleton U (also in Ottawa) for allegedly defamatory comments suggesting he is connected to the alt-right. link It’s not too hard to guess the affiliation of the writer of the linked article.

    The loony left paints anyone who supports free speech as being part of the alt-right and draws the conclusion that free speech is therefore evil.

    • “Those who can, do. Those who can’t do, teach. Those who can’t teach, teach gym.”
      –Dewey Finn (School of Rock)

    • It seems that in the process of learning the standard academic chapter and verse on any given subject, these fine minds close off to the possibility that their new knowledge might be flawed or less than complete. In this way, they are able to construct a new level of stubborn stupidity out of their learning.
      I don’t know how else to explain it but it is pretty damn pervasive.

      • They’ve been moving that way for several years now. I had a mortgage with them when the original holder sold it to them. I refinanced to get away from them as soon as it was fiscally feasible to do so.
        During a team run into California last week I managed to travel over 900 miles in the state and the only thing I bought there was coffee to fill one thermos. Fueled at the last Love’s Truck stop on I-10 before entering the state and ran up to Hayward, CA then down to San Diego and then back out of the state on I-8 without fueling again. Ate out of my larder in the truck.

        Haven’t been in a Dicks Sporting goods since they turned into gun control nuts.
        I refuse to buy Kellogg’s products.

        It is not always possible to avoid purchases from manufacturers, vendors, or states or localities that have values that run counter to my own in the extreme, but I do my best not only with my own money but also with the purchases I make with the funds from the company I work for.

  13. Agreed. Judge Vasta has not allowed much wriggle room in his written judgement for a progressive judge to overturn. Cl.14 in the FWC endorsed employment contract is surely superior to the ‘Code of Conduct’ policy. Whomever wrote JCU’s verbage should be barred from writing employment contracts and policy.

    • From the article I don’t think the uni and VC have spoken to there council because like you I can’t see how they are going to get an appeal on all 17 findings that would be unheard of.

    • Indeed.
      And the best way to stop this silencing of free speech at universities, is to remove that university’s accreditation to award degrees. This costs nothing to implement but effectively closes the university. A good example of ‘pour encourager les autres’ as free speech would magically reappear on campuses.

  14. `walk towards the fire` as someone once said,
    I`d chip in to sponsor an in-depth scientific, peer reviewed, review by Peter Ridd of the `90% of the reef is dead` report along the lines of Anthony`s review of the `thermometers in the jar` global warming video and get it published in the newspapers.

  15. The journalist involved seems to have been remiss in forwarding the whole original email instead of just asking the questions Peter Ridd suggested.
    The recipient seems to have reacted along the lines of ‘mummy, mummy, the nasty boy has called me rude names’ , when as an adult he should have responded with a reasoned argument to show he was in the right.
    JCU seem to object to the judgement on the basis that the judge didn’t refer to previous case law.
    Would case law have been relevant, and shouldn’t each case be judged on its own merits?

    • StephenP that’s how I see it too. Somebody got their feelings hurt = denigration. No reference to case law = contradicts case law. Both illogical.

    • As I said on the earlier thread: there is no relevant case law because no Australian university has been this evil in the past.

    • In my experience of reading judgements (this is the US, though) – case law, or precedent, is normally cited only when the Court is voiding legal writing – a statute or contract. On rare occasions, of course, they are creating new precedent when deciding to void that legal writing.

      However, when they find no reason to do this, and are merely interpreting the statute or the contract, they cite whatever is written in the relevant document. (The “case law” can be assumed to be every last decision that did the same, accepted the legal writing instead of voiding it.) This is what the judge did here – citing the relevant clause of the employment contract.

  16. I too will chip in even if it goes all the way to the high court. The issues are too important and far reaching to allow the culprits to get away with anything.

  17. I have noticed a trend world wide of organisations making some incredibly stupid and damaging decisions.
    I also notice that in each case, the offending organisations are headed by women.
    Coincidence? Or is there something deeper here?

    • I read Brexit polls a lot here in the UK. One finding was remarkable. Of all the pollsters asked if they supported leaving without deal, 90% who said yes were men…

        • Exactly! And no reason that a new deal can’t be negotiated after the fact. The UK leaving is probably worse for the EU than for Britain. The EU will be lucky to hold any of it’s members other than France and Germany going forward. It is purblind Socialist bureaucracy that repeatedly demonstrates that it is indifferent to the lives and struggles of regular people.

    • They make the incredibly stupid and damaging decisions – and get worse – because, till recently, they haven’t been challenged, either in class, committee, or court. The ignorant, uncurious, and corrupt press doesn’t challenge them, so we have to.

      • Brian Lamb founder of CSPAN is retiring. His intent to shine the bright light of public video on Congressional Proceedings to curtail rampant Federal spending and mountains of US National Debt admittedly a failure. He said “Lying is the word I would use to describe this town.” WWSJ. 4/20.

        Seems to be a 3 Way mutual admiration and support society between the (Washington) Elite Political class, Media, and Academia all vying for celebrity status premised on sloth, willful blindness to valid argument and contradictory evidence, deceit, and incompetence in their chosen fields to support the latest Leftist Cause, whatever it happens to be: the absurd GND, ACC, PC, Economic Equality, Environmental Sustainability, Social Justice, #Me Too, Occupy WS, BLM, over population, resource shortages, ocean acidification, the bleaching of the GBR etc. Perhaps the Law and the Bench and Social Media make it a five sided structure.

        Eisenhower in his farewell address warned of The Iron Triangle of Dept of Defense, Government Bureaucracy, and Defense Contractors. At least those guys won the Cold War in defense of freedom and Constitutional Government by leveraging the ingenuity and the Financial Power of Anglo-American Free Market Capitalism.

        The current “Iron Pentagon” goes way beyond monetary corruption and self-interest to use state agencies to undermine the US Constitution by lying on FISA Court applications, spying on the political opposition during a presidential campaign, subversion of a duly elected President with illegal, fallacious, and malicious leaks to the press, to drive down his approval ratings to induce confusion, poor morale, and either resignation or impeachment all in attempted soft coup, of someone they just disdain and despise for crashing their elite club, coming from the wrong class and having orange hair, a big mouth, a New York accent, and an itchy Twitter finger.

        Peter R’s case is just as important for it involves the values of Academic Freedom, Freedom of Speech, and the Integrity of the Scientific Method in the face of gross politicization of a scientific discipline.

  18. As a retired senior Australian Lawyer, I was appalled by the actions of JCU throughout and I contributed to the fund to support Peter Ridd’s legal costs.
    I will do so again in the event of any Appeal.
    The Press Release by JCU appears to be written by someone unfamiliar with the text of Judge Vasta’s decision.
    It tries to elevate the Code of Conduct above the EA in contradiction to the express findings of the Judge.
    There are no questions of law at issue to found any Appeal.

    • Further were there case law on this case that supported JCU, surely the defending QC would have raised
      the material in his rebuttal of the prosecution case.

      • Overconfidence might be another reason: who is that Ridd to sue a (formerly) well-reputed university?

    • @Herbert

      IANAL 🙂 but – I’ve some 9 years of UK High Court scrapping under my belt.

      Is there Australian law that is equivalent to the UK’s Conspiracy to Defraud?

      just askin’

    • Hello Herbert,

      I am aware of this case but have not followed it in detail.

      As a retired Aussie lawyer, what in your opinion are the answers to the following questions:

      Is there a Charter or Rights or similar under Aussie law? Does it cover Freedom of Speech?

      In winning the case, what if any damages were awarded to Peter Ridd?

      Was he awarded court costs and if so how much?

      What should he do to discourage this sort of misconduct by the university administrators?

      Any other points you would like to make…

      • You can read the full decision by the judge. there was a link from WUTW a couple of days ago. It is basically a decision based on contract law, the contract in this case being the Enterprise Agreement-the employment contract governing Dr Ridd’s employment. the University tried to subvert the freedom of thought and expression guaranteed in the EA with its derived Code of Conduct and claimed that the CoC takes precedence, not the EA. The sole judge jury and executioner of violations of the CoC is of course JCU. hence their insistence that the REAL judge blew it. If your read the scathing judgment, the university’s continued intransigent is not slikely to sit well with someone who actually DOES know common law and contract law.

        • Thank you Paul.

          “The issue of the making of declarations and penalty are adjourned to a date to be fixed.”

    • “The Press Release by JCU appears to be written by someone unfamiliar with the text of Judge Vasta’s decision.”

      It’s a press release, so they only need the general public to be unfamiliar with the text of his decision.

      At this point, it sounds like JCU will be acting in the realm of public relations rather than the courts. If they do ask for an appeal it will be for the public relations value rather than because of any legal merit. That way, at least for the time being, any news reports on the case can include some blurb that the university believes it acted appropriately, is horrified by the decision, and is appealing the case.

  19. Public and private are very different aspects and the VC may be making lots of nose to save face while off the record they known they are on to a loser. And of course they can pull out ‘we would have if it has not been for the ‘evil fossil fuel conspiracy’ and ‘right wing media’ , the stand-byes of the progressives.
    The chances of them admitting they got it wrong where always very small .

  20. With this case representing a repudiation of the Australian state religion, it seems fairly obvious to me that any and all norms will be dispensed with, and the necessary miscarriage of justice will be brought about in due course. May I be proved wrong.

  21. There is definitely growing anger in North Queensland.

    I wish you the very best of luck with these (I can’t think of a family-friendly word).

    Regards,

    Angry of North Queensland

  22. It will be interesting to see how this pans out.

    Any action against the Vice Chancellor will need to be driven by theUniverrsity Council and, in particular, the Chancellor, Bill Tweddell who, prior to the appointment at JCU, was a career bureaucrat with a number of overseas postings. It is noteworthy that both he and his wife are alumni of JCU and it will depend upon whether he values the reputation of the university as a world class research institution more than simply supporting the VC, Sandra Harding, and winning at all costs in a misguided attempt to protect her reputation and also funding sources.

    It is also worth noting that in January 2019, Professor Harding was appointed an Officer in the General Division of the Order of Australia in the Australia Day 2019 honours list for her distinguished service to education at the national and international level, and to the community of Queensland.

    She is an Honorary Fellow of the Australian College of Educators, Fellow of the Queensland Academy of Arts and Sciences, Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management. She is also deeply embedded in many aspects of the Australian educational and research establishment.

    I may be wrong but I don’t think that she is the type of person who will just admit a mistake or even stand down, given the history of this case and episodes before it where JCU staff have been intimidated if they dare to question the orthodoxy and so threaten the funding trough.

    Sadly, integrity now seems to be a very scarce commodity within the Australian University system and people like Peter Ridd are the only remaining bastions in a system that I once held dear to my heart.

    I will certainly be contributing to support the next round of litigation.

  23. i did read a very small bit in the online news that Peter had won…and the uni were considering further action..
    from the above info that sheilas very firmly entrenched and removing her before death will be nigh on impossible unfortunately, and she sure didnt get where she is by being nice and playing fair in that environment.
    the data that says most successes in Biz n politics etc are psychopaths or tendency hold true for the ladies also

  24. As I have said before, in Australia there is no justice. There is a legal system, and the biggest pockets win. Sorrt Dr. Ridd. You know how it is here in Aus.

    • I’m all for people/corporations using their own money to buy the best legal team they can buy. The only problem here is that the biggest pockets here is that of the taxpayers, who have nothing to gain. How great would it be to make bad/illegal decisions in life and have someone else always pay for the inevitable failures?

    • ‘in Australia there is no justice’

      Something Cardinal George Pell is contemplating every day as he is incarcerated in solitary confinement in a maximum security prison on the basis of a single witness evidence that was shown by multiple witnesses to be, practically speaking, impossible. It is Australian justice that stands in the dock in June at his repeal – not Pell.

  25. fwiw

    I do feel that “I told you so” applies here.

    The pot of other people’s money will be endlessly peculated unless a firm punch on the nose is applied here.

    Previous antics of Aussie politicised climate inquisitors in institutional sinecures leads one to believe that they feel invulnerable. Wasn’t there a NSW government hydrographic surveyor (iirc) that got sacked for pointing out that the data didn’t support the politician’s claims?

    It is abundantly clear these people are seeking to damage Dr. Ridd’s career and wellbeing in an organised fashion – who is correct about GBR is a sideshow – this is about vindictive doing down of a challenge by any means to hand and I’d argue that that is criminal.

  26. Just wondering, but my comments don’t seem to be coming up. They used to appear immediately.
    Maybe an issue my end . Don’t think I said anything controversial.

    Thanks. Eamon

    • I think the lag is due to processing time of automated WordPress moderation filters. There is almost always a lag time with mine. Now when a comment of mine goes into manual moderation (requiring human intervention, I presume) it appears immediately and the word “unapproved’ appears in the URL.

  27. Are all Australian Universities line JCU?

    I note that in the last few years in the UK, universities have spent 85 million on gagging orders (money for silence) to cover up bullying etc.

  28. To downgrade the facts about the GBR is a error. In my opinion for what it is worth the GBR is the main factor.
    Yes its true that the top brass of JCU is out to get Peter Reed, but why ? this whole matter could have been settled by a generous “Golden Handshake”, but that would not have stopped the then retired Dr.. Reed for bringing up the GBR issue.

    Its far more than the Federal Governments taxpayers funds to the Uni. Its all about Climate Change, which right now in the midst of a Federal Election is a red button issue between the Liberal (Conservative e) and the Labour (Democrats) parties.

    Bill shorten wants to bring in a sort of Carbon Credit tax, more for the likesof Al Gore,. The Liberals say that going on the original Kyoto agreement , Australia is doing all that was required of it.

    So while both parties are talking about the same thing, climate change, the Labour seem intent on crippling the Australians economy. So again saying that there is nothing wrong with their favourite warming icon, the GBR , could be considered a problem, especially for the Labour Party.

    So if JCU does not appeal, or make some loud face saving effort to say that Peter Reed got his statements about the GBR is doing fine all wrong, then the whole nonsense of Climate Change could also be considered to be wrong.

    And the ABC did mention it.

    MJE VK5ELL

    • Who is Peter Reed, why is JCU out to get him, and what relevance does it have to the Peter Ridd case? 😉

  29. I’m a Yank who knows nothing essentially nothing about Aus law.

    IIRC, there is a FOIA-like law, is it or something else powerful enough to obtain information from JCU about how many dollars have been spent on this case. It would be nice to know how many people spent more than some number of hours on the case. I assume asking for names is more than can be expected, and I’d oppose that anyway. There are too many jerks out there who will quickly pounce on them with everything from faux outrage to credible death threats against family members.

    Can someone in Aus create a website that collects all the papers, briefs, press releases, FOIA dialog, etc on the case to get everything in one place?

  30. Wow.

    JCU Quadrupling down.

    The in-print dramatic soliloquy by the Provost dated 16 April confirms all of the worst intentions that could mostly only be inferred but the university’s administration up to this point.

    They despise free speech and freedom of expression. It is most telling from he judgement given that the JCU councilopened their argument in court by pointing out that there is no constitutional free speech amendment to which Dr Ridd could appeal–as if he should need one. Frankly, JCU “should” guarantee it to him anyway. Instead they insist on their authority to issue gag order to hush things up. Unfortunately for their authoritarian plans, contract law and precedent gave Dr Ridd a free speech guarantee in the employment agreement that the university made with him when they employed him.

    The fact that is is extremely Orwellian to attempt to turn a confidentiality clause in the Code of conduct designed to protect employees like Dr Ridd (or others under investigation) and that Dr Ridd was at liberty anytime to waive that confidentiality into a means to shut him up about this whole process has completely evaded their understanding.

    I probably should have let this at just…..

    Wow.

  31. I am not a lawyer but I would have thought that, if Australian law follows English law, Dr. Ridd should have all, or at least a large part, of his costs to date reimbursed by JCU. That should form a good base for the costs attaching to defending any appeal. The rest will come easily from those of us who will readily fork out to see justice done.

    But, assuming that JCU pay Dr. Ridd’s costs to date, this case in total must already have cost the university more than ½ million dollars (AUD 500,000). Whatever the external auditors, if any, examine and report on, this matter it will also test the flaunted independence of the Internal Audit who are responsible for:

    “…Compliance auditing which has traditionally been a focus area for Internal Audit activities and enables the Manager, Internal Audit to express an opinion on whether the University or an organisational area has complied in all material aspects, with requirements as measured by the suitable criteria which include:….
    University policies, procedures and the Code of Conduct;
    Contracts to which the University is a party; …”

    The Internal Audit report should make interesting reading.

  32. My apologies a spelling mistake, but its still all about the GBR.

    Her in Australia the GBR is a icon, so to have a employee of a University
    say that there is nothing wrong with it, that its doing just fine , is a very
    big No, No.

    MJE VK5ELL

    • Even if that conclusion is the truth? Bleaching is a natural part of the reef ecosystem. Aerial photographs and more comprehensive diving expeditions did not back up the catastrophic findings of the center’s report. That is not to say there isn’t a need to be careful about runoff and fishing practices, only that there was not a crisis on the reef. When scientists go beyond the data in a quest for outlandish funding, they are no longer scientist, but politicians.

  33. BTW, during the past week across North QLD there’s been a barrage of Southern Uni advertising, apparently to try to poach JCU students, that is being countered by a blizzard of annoying repetitive JCU TV-ads to try and stop other Uni’s cutting its grass.

    • @WXcycles

      and they just keep getting handed piles of mostly tax payer sourced funds – what’s not to like?

  34. A succinct summary of the entire Ridd versus JCU case. (Monty Python stoning scene from Life of Brian).

  35. In the UK, more people know about it this time around & most are angry (we’ve just heard UK, universities have spent £85 million on gagging orders) so the cash will flow in to Peter to help carry the fight on.

  36. Reading VC Sandra Harding’s bio and scanning through JCU’s website I’m not surprised she’s digging in since JCU appears to be on the front lines of social justice and saving the planet, and given VC Harding’s credentials. For example, Harding’s experience and credentials are all in educational public policy in government and academia; no indication of rigorous science. The website displays the slogan “Stay Social,” and they tout an award of “5 Stars for Social Equity.” I also noted that one rarely sees a photo that includes a Western white male.

    Hang in the Peter. We’ll continue to support you.

  37. At some point this now public issue ought to impact enrollment.
    Why spend money and time getting a degree from a place tainted
    by such unsavory things?
    Choosing to go elsewhere is an easy decision.
    Such has occurred in the USA when nasty happens.

  38. Remember, the decision by the University to go forward or not will be an emotional one, not a logical one. If they believe strongly enough that social justice demands they appeal, there will be an appeal – not matter what the odds, facts, or damage done.

    Now supporters of the University (those donating large amounts of money) might have a thing or two to say about it…I doubt they want all their money wasted. The potential of crowd-sourcing to defend Prof. Peter Ridd means deep pockets, and donators who actually EARNED the money they donated might be smart enough to let this go. Money talks.

    • No – there will be no concern from the University supporters. They have access to untold billions in taxpayer allocations and activist group funding. They won’t want to lose this…

  39. This is going to be a bit like Brexit, or Trump’s election.

    It starts with the Establishment supremely confident that they can have their way regardless, and that everyone will do what they say.

    Then there is the growing realisation that they have no valid argument to make, and that people no longer believe them. They go into overdrive on ‘Project Fear’ and start making wild accusations, building up insignificant issues into show-stoppers.

    Then they lose.

    AFTER THAT, they double down on the wild accusations, run an interminable delay or semi-impeachment process, and shout that the decision must be reversed – though they have no valid reason why.

    Eventually they will get some kind of retrial. At this point they will pull all the dirty tricks in the book, including bribery and criminal activity in an attempt to get their way once again…

  40. I am not one for donating, but if it goes that route, you can count on my tiny contribution this go around. Keep up the good fight.

  41. I too, as a rule, do not donate, but an appeal could change that posture of mine too.

    Peter Ridd denigrated no one — he pointed out how colleagues were denigrating themselves, as they themselves failed to uphold the very principles upon which JCU supposedly stands.

    • When JCU’s faculty assembles for graduation ceremonies instead of wearing robes with various color schemes to indicate levels of academic achievement, I recommend the JCU faculty attend in the buff. After all, doesn’t nudity (1) represent the absence of all social inequality/injustice, and (2) characterize a state of total lack of honor?

  42. I am not a lawyer and certainly not familiar with Australian law but is seems from a logical standpoint the University would have a hard time appealing these decisions. It takes two to tango, and both Prof. Ridd and the Univ. agreed to the terms of the contract when it was signed. Unless the Code of Conduct was referenced in the contract as superseding any contract terms, it seems to me at least, that the Univ. automatically waived that option. Consequently I would think the contract would be the controlling document and the terms should be decided solely on contract law.

  43. Not very surprising, really.
    The Judge effectively said that the VC and Provost are simply not fit to run a University. So they either resign now, or go down swinging. They appear to be opting for the latter.

  44. This is a standard legal tactic of FUD, which has obviously worked as the debate on this thread shows. Simply by saying “We disagree with the judgement and will appeal”, JCU has unleashed the Fear that there might be an appeal which the University’s deep pockets can prolong and repeat. There will now be a long period of Uncertainty while the reported appeal is awaited and therefore Doubt that the judgement will finally stand. JCU can get reported in the mainstream media that they disagree with the judgement and will appeal, and that is the message that will get remembered, not Peter Ridd’s 17-0 result and the judge’s damning comments.

    The idea of getting an unsubstantiated headline into the MSM is so deeply ingrained in Climate “Science” that this is a standard tactic. It is a classic case of “a lie can travel halfway around the world while truth is getting its shoes on”.

    This is therefore a brilliant PR move that has cost them nothing. It is one reason that I get cynical about lawyers and big organisations.

  45. The more they dig in their heels, the more it alerts potential students, potential post graduate students and most critically anyone with talent that this is NOT the place to be. Without students, without post graduate students and with people with talent bypassing JCU, the whole institution will collapse within a few years. All the staff-the lot will lose their jobs complete with the stain of being associated with a disgraced organisation. All of this because a pompous VC will not admit she was wrong and do the right thing.

    • Bingo.

      If JCU decides to appeal (which isn’t really certain yet) they will have to deal with a flood of bad publicity and a flood of hostile letters.

      But the letters that will really make their hair stand on end will be the ones that begin with, “I am declining your offer of admission.”

  46. Is there anybody who is not deeply troubled by the utter lack of ultimate justice in the justice systems of (at least) all the English speaking counties of the world?

    It is especially unjust when one of the parties is being financed by the taxpayers. Who can’t see the injustice in that?

    Pretrial discovery is slow and costly to everyone…even to those deposed. I spent over half a day answering banal irrelevant questions costing me a day of work with no compensation…and the case…after over a year of delays…never went to trial (thankfully).

    The whole system smells like it was devised by lawyers (wink wink) purely for the cause of justice (wink wink) that just happens to take hundreds of hours (wink wink) to adjudicate even the simplest of disputes.

    There has to be a better solution…that will never happen from the “inside”.

    As protection from legal system abuses, future individuals might decide to do a high res 3D virtual reality multi camera video (with high fidelity audio) recording of their entire public lives.

  47. it is interesting to read the Wikipedia entries on Bob Carter, Bjorn Lomberg, Murry Salby, Jennifer Maharosi (and probably others) who have become victims of the intolerance of Australia’s Universities/Research Institutes to anyone who dares question the AGW mantra. According to Wikipedia, none of them have any scientific credibility at all. Presumably Peter Ridd will be treated in the same way, regardless of any court outcomes.

  48. What has become common with these anti-intellectual free speech quelling efforts in the US, if for prospective students and parents to vote by not attending these schools. For example, Evergreen State has seen a very large drop in attendance since they allowed their activist students to call for the removal of a professor. I hope many Australians do the same.

  49. JCU are deceptive in their response
    But it seems pretty clear that nearly all climate extremists are deceptive when they are seeking to impose the consensus.
    How to fight this?
    Resisting the climate consensus is not that far removed from resisting Sharia, or the old Catholic church or early protestantism.

  50. Only individual responsibility can solve this problem. So long as JCU has access to the “public purse*’ they will prevail, not by right but by attrition. Alexis de Tocqville understood this in his seminal work: ‘Democracy in America (1840 ..yes 1840).’
    Without consequence there will be no correction. The individual MUST be accoutable for his actions, else he will continue to pursue the delusion.
    Cheers
    Mike

  51. It is often the case that when people in power get reprimanded for questionable practices, they start experiencing a decrease in brain cells. They feel the loss so begin relying on their power alone. Ergo the stupidity of comments made by those in power post-reprimand.

  52. It is often the case that when people in power get reprimanded for questionable practices, they start experiencing a decrease in brain cells. They feel the loss so begin relying on their power alone. Ergo the stupidity of comments made by those in power post-reprimand.

Comments are closed.