Peter Ridd case Appealed by James Cook University.

Peter Ridd Action Fund is here.

From the action fund page.

JCU Appeals.

We must fight again,  and will need about $1.5M AUD to take this as far as the High Court if necessary.

Last year I was fired by James Cook University after saying that Great Barrier Reef science institutions were untrustworthy due to their systemic lack of quality assurance processes. This was after a distinguished career of over 30 years working on the Great Barrier Reef and at the university.

With remarkable public support in this GoFundMe campaign, we raised legal funds to challenge the university and the Judge ruled that JCU had acted unlawfully on 28 counts and ruled that JCU should pay compensation of $1.2 million.

But now JCU has filed papers in court to appeal.

There are many important points of principle that we must fight for.
·        An academic should be able to make challenging statements about controversial subjects such as the Great Barrier Reef or climate change.
·        A university should never stifle debate
·        The university should not silence a local scientist whose work shows that the farmers of North Queensland Australia are not destroying the Great Barrier Reef. JCU has let down its local region.
·        Universities must start to reflect a greater diversity of views.

On hearing that JCU was appealing, Cheryl and I seriously considered just walking away. After all, why should I ask donors for $1.5M to fight a pointless battle that the State or Federal education ministers could settle with a phone call to JCU. $1.5M is a crazy amount that could be used for much better things.
JCU will use its infinite financial resources – effectively government money – to appeal. They have hired three or four senior barristers, one of which we are told charges over $20K per day and between them must be over $40K per day.

Last week JCU also stayed the judgement and capped my access to the compensation  for legal fees.

So I must very regretfully ask again for help. We need the best legal assistance to ensure a win. My fabulous legal team led by Stuart Wood AM QC has greatly discounted their costs so far. But appeals are horribly expensive and we need to be prepared to ultimately go to the High Court.
Your donation, great or small, will not just help me fund this essential battle, it will also send a powerful message to governments about what the public expect of our universities. It might well take a couple of months to reach the target.

It is a crazy world that we have to spend this much for legal costs, but this is a fight that we have to win because of the principles it represents.
I have little doubt that we will win.

Note: because the public already donated $260K to this fund for the original court case, the target is set to $1.760M ($260K plus $1.5M). Note this does not include the funds that Cheryl and I have contributed so far (about $200K). Any funds that might be left over will be donated for Science Quality Assurance purposes or to promote academic freedom.

Notice to Appeal

HT/scarface and Roy M

121 thoughts on “Peter Ridd case Appealed by James Cook University.

  1. Best of luck Peter . If this case had been the other way around and you were fighting to prove damage to the reef, it would be all over the news and the University would be vilified.

  2. This is as important as the Mann/Ball, Mann/Steyn matters.
    You would think that JCU would hang it’s head in shame.
    I would hope the Minister would get on the Phone and tell them that this comes out of their funding.
    I also note that the wonderful Dr Jennifer Marohasy has been filming the GBR and has found the opposite to what this JCU crowd and others have supposedly found.
    Could be compelling evidence?

  3. Doesn’t this show guilt on the university? To have lost, yet now they are willing to spend 20 thousand dollars per day on just one barrister…. The money the university is willing to spend is incredible, considering they have already lost one before…

    • Although the article suggests JCU is wasting “government money”, as British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher stated:

      “There is no such thing as public money. There is only taxpayers’ money.”

    • This reminds me of Oberlin’s actions against the Gibsons.

      The university is so sure they are right that they will throw more and more money into the legal proceedings, all to preserve their social/environmental justice creds, facts be damned. It’s easier to spend someone else’s money than admit to themselves that they might have been wrong the entire time.

  4. Mr Ridd: I wish I were in the position to help fund your case. I have rarely been as impressed with a persons quiet and dignified courage and integrity. In the court of what is real, true and worthy, you have and always will be a winner, and you have my complete respect.

  5. Last week JCU also stayed the judgement and capped my access to the compensation for legal fees.

    ??? I’m pretty sure only a court can stay a judgment. JCU shouldn’t be able to do that.

  6. Donation made…Good luck…it’s so sad this has to tie up so much of your life but it’s a just-cause.

  7. It is time for the realists to support real science, and the freedom of scientific views to be expressed.
    Peter, we wish you success and pledge our support.
    Please post a link to the go fund me site you have set up.

  8. As in most countries, justice is for the rich.

    Sad state of affairs inherited from London, which set the bad example.

    Let Cook university cook their conscience and possibly their books, less Indian students will go to this kind of despicable CO2 madrassas.

  9. I’m there on this round for a C note.
    Best of luck mate.

    PS… the climate scam has got to start hurting the scammers hard in the pocket book, or we’re all doomed. Money from their wallet is all they respond to. Their Shame and reputation… they tossed under the bus years ago.

  10. So I must very regretfully ask again for help.

    I suspect you’d regret not fighting it even more, and when you add in the regrets of all your supporters its no contest. My donation is already in.

    whose work shows that the farmers of North Queensland Australia are not destroying the Great Barrier Reef.

    Hope those farmers have their wallets out… Shame on them if they don’t.

    Not since doctors decided that you could cure all manner of ailments by letting the blood out of people has science gone this far off the rails. The people on the front lines trying to right the ship pay a terrible personal toll in this fight. The rest of us are only out a few shekels. So no regrets Dr. Ridd….

  11. I just made my donation. I wish I could have made the donation in USD; it wasn’t much but it will not be my last; I will be returning to work soon so I will have more financial freedom in a couple of months. I have bookmarked the page.

    JCU is misappropriating taxpayer dollars. Not my taxpayer dollars but not the point. I hope they get all the pain the pain they deserve.

    This whole idea that Coral Reefs were part of the original oceans and their existence has been stable through the planet’s life cycle; an active, “alive” and, changing planet seems ridiculous to me. Hasn’t the existence of the coral reefs waxed and waned over the eons and epochs? I thought the coral reefs were built from the carcasses of marine plants and animals. I thought the oceans came first and the biology came second. Perhaps I am wrong. For that matter, was it not the interaction of biology with the geology that gave us fossil fuels. Somehow the cart and horse; the chicken and egg; step 1 and step 2 have gotten mottled up and misaligned in the public consciousness and discourse.

    To make the supposition that the biological lifeforms of any planet should not or cannot adjust or facilitate an adjustment through either their willful, unintended, or unknowable action is completely illogical. The climate is a continuum. It may or may not have continuity with its current biology from time to time; external factors have been know to break it for awhile; super-volcanoes have caused it to run amuck; biology scrubbed the atmosphere of some gases and added other gases. If the human species or its replacement becomes a Tech 1 or Tech 2 civilization what the hell will these morons do then? It is not also funny but, not in the fun way, that the ideological side claiming to be progressive is in fact the complete antithesis of progress. They are the ones championing for static conditions while the entire universe, around them, is changing; it is the universe’s status quo; change of everything all the time: again illogical.

    How can they cap your access to legal fee compensation when they have no such cap?

  12. More than happy to play my small part in getting not just justice but truth out to those that need to hear it.
    “Thinks” I wonder what Greta would make of this if she knew about it?

    James Bull

  13. Does the money for the appeal come from University budgets? Surely they can not expect the Govt to fund this appeal?

    If the money IS coming from Uni budgets, what impact will that have on students there? Do these students know the principles involved-they should be concerned at the threats to research independence- and if not they should be concerned at the cuts coming their way when the uni loses.

    In short, are the students fired up enough to fight for Peter Ridd so bringing down the system from inside?


    • I am almost 100% sure the students would be very keen to see Prof Ridd burn at the stake as a denier. Sign of the times.

  14. Considering that the taxpayer is being made to fund freedom of speech being crushed, this is no surprise whatsoever. Hopefully this is the end of the line and those that have wasted large amounts of JCU s credibility , reputation and money get the public ridicule and sacking they richly deserve.

    • Ironic perhaps that some Australian taxypayers are ending up funding both sides of this – one side through their taxes and the other side via donations.

      Gov’t have a duty to spend taxes wisely. If memory serves, JCU lost comprehensively last time. It seems rash of them to try again, unless their plan is to use their financial muscle to crush the opposition. They probably doubt that there are enough people out there willing to stump up the funds this time. I hope they are proved wrong on this.

  15. Given as much as I can. This is a vital world-wide fight against those, like JCU, that have set themselves to destroy the integrity of science and the right of free speech. Good luck, Peter.

  16. The appeal alleges so many errings, errors of construction, and failures on behalf of the primary judge that one could be forgiven for wondering if the primary Judge held any legal qualifications to begin with. The University and their Counsel appear to be immersed in an orgy of self affirming sanctimony considering themselves to be not only the final arbiters of all things scientific but also of all things jurisprudential as well. Their bluff needs to be called.

    • Reminds me of the sanctimony and arrogance of Oberlin College in their appeal.

      “Only you’re going to need more than one lesson, Mr Kane. And you’re going to get more than one lesson.”

  17. Happy to donate, but I would love to receive a bit more explanation of why an appeal costs are expected to be $1.5M when the original case cost was less than $500K. My uninformed assumption would be that an appeal would cost less than the original case. What makes it more expensive?


    • Australian law, there is no justice here, just a legal system. And in that system the outcome is determined by the depth of your pockets.

        • Lets not go there at WUWT as I have personal experience of the “Catholic Church” and people like Pell, Cardinal or not.

          • It is a logical fallacy to extend your personal experience in this way. Surely you don’t mean ‘people like Pell’, who you clearly don’t know, but rather people like the one(s) who you ‘experienced’. Let’s leave the guilt by association to the alarmists, who we can discredit using unemotional analysis.

        • Reading now about the Salby horror story. I am astonished. But I cannot call it unbelievable. Nowadays I can believe anything about corruption in universities, especially the Australian ones.

        • Just read this story. Shocking that people behave like this. And these people are running the departments…unbelievable.


  18. My wife and I will donate to Peter’s Go Fund Me account.
    We have previously donated to his case prior to the Trial before Vasta J.
    This is not just a case about the views of Dr. Ridd on the Great Barrier Reef or coral bleaching or even about Climate Change although they arise here.
    It is about the very nature of academic freedom and what Universities should stand for.
    No academic should be dismissed for expressing his views on his area of expertise even were his views incorrect.
    I recommend readers contribute even if only a small amount.

  19. For the sake of scientists to be able to talk freely and to stop the bullying by JCU, I have made a small donation.
    Good luck Peter

    • Chaamjamal

      Those two papers look intriguing but are way above my pay grade. I don’t know if they have ever been discussed in full, either here or at Climate etc?

      Can I suggest you post it in this sites ‘submit a story’ at the top of the page as its on the wrong thread at present

      Alternatively Judith Curry and Nick Lewis have submitted several papers on climate sensitivity and might be interested. Her address can be found at the Climate etc site


  20. Peter,

    Is there a distinction between seeking leave to appeal and somewhat automatically appealing, knowing that permission is or will be granted?
    Years ago I spent half a day listening to the Judges of the High Court stepping one by one through a hundred or more applications for leave to appeal to them A small handful succeeded. Does this matter face that process? (I am not a lawyer). Geoff S

    • In the US getting a case before the Supreme Court is very difficult, most are denied. I expect the first round of appeals is much easier in Australia like it is here.

  21. JCU is what happens when people have been paid way too much to promote and believe their own propaganda for far too long. Eventually they lose touch with common sense. If they are so bad at understanding the law, imagine what they do with the science.

    “No man for any considerable period can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which may be the true.” Nathaniel Hawthorne

  22. I notice theyve timed it for the max greentard frenzy media time when all we have heard all day is the utter rubbish claims by the pre gabfest IPCC un muck from america.
    curious that.
    I dont have a cracker to donate but sure can email my few saner politicians and local papers etc and kep speaking out about the costs and the insanity and stifling free speech

  23. I think the best solution would be to go after the board of the university in person. This would make them think twice about launching court action with other peoples money.

  24. The appeal contention in 4 a] to d]
    should be required reading for anyone who wishes to support Dr Ridd.

    It behoves Federal Minister to declare this a test case and advise JCU to have it brought before the High Court.
    By doing so the Commonwealth can then fund the defendant’s case.
    If JCU declines then it is open to the minister, as this is a test case,to fund the
    defence at the Federal circuit Court.
    Otherwise it will become another example of ‘Lawfare’ over the GBR.
    At the moment the Federal Government is inadvertently funding by proxy a Goliath vs David legal case wheras justice demands that, in a test case, the taxpayer, us, get a fair go and not end up being hit twice for endless hearings and appeals, or just see Dr Ridd ground down with a decision that could be easily appealed, should there be sufficient funds and time.
    The appeals also could add to damages to Dr Ridd as his most productive years toward the end of his academic career will be wasted arguing with JCU.
    There is the larger problem of the ‘lost opportunity’ to overcome the mess.
    While tied up in this lawfare, there could not be the time to make a submission to the Productivity Commission about the need for verifiable, repeatable and standardised measurements of the GBR.
    The Commission may want to advocate the setting up of oversight and the facilitation of open enquiry, desperately needed to clear the air.
    Just to do this would shed scientific light on the limits of freedom for farming, agriculture generally and mining that is congruent with the long term health of the reef.

    ‘Today, I announce a step forward in re-establishing our hard won reputation for robust environmental standards and regulation implemented in a consistent and reasonable way that allows for economic development alongside environmental regulation. I announce that we will ask the Productivity Commission to conduct a 12 month inquiry into Australian resources regulation with a focus on streamlining processes.’ 5th August 2019

    The GBR figures predominantly in this one.

    Its time for both academic and government leadership.

    • “Its time for both academic and government leadership.”

      Yeah, neither is going to happen in Aus anytime soon…

  25. Donated already and am hopeful that the judge will be even angrier with the JCU team this time around. Those toads deserve to be publicly humiliated for this outrageous behavior. Maybe this time some heads will roll for their monstrous abuse of the court system and wasteful spending of tax money!

  26. According to the filing:

    Orders sought

    6. That the appeal be allowed.

    This would appear to be the JCU’s request for permission to appeal.

    It’s the preliminary step to get an appeal heard.

    • This request should not cost Peter a cent, the judges should just review the written evidence from the first trial, and bill JCU for their time, whatever the outcome. I’m describing a fair system, no idea if it applies in this case.

  27. Reduced to its minimum and thus probably misleading, the JCU appeal is that there are 2 sets of legislation and/or contract and the first Judge gave supremacy to the wrong one.
    In that light, if correct, this is not a general, national test of academic freedom, free speech, etc. It might be morphed into these areas if certain steps are taken by policy makers, but it is a guess about that happening.
    Nothing I have written here is intended to reduce the potential for success of Peter Ridd, or to indicate that I am opposed to measures to prevent future conduct of this type by JCU, which institution of learning I joined in the second year of its existence, a time of comparative academic innocence and freedom from the dread, heavy hand of the excessively fantasising bureaucrat.
    Please donate for Peter as your means allow. Geoff S

    • ‘first Judge gave supremacy to the wrong one.’
      In other words the ‘Mission Statement’ was to be read prior to the ‘contract of employment’ in the opinion of Judge Vasta, the ‘second judge’.
      In my non legal opinion what was different was that the ‘Mission Statement’, the ethos of the university, bound JCU to freedom of academic enquiry,an overarching and prior obligation and that the two statements were to be read together.
      When read together they reinforced the obligation of JCU to allow Dr Ridd untrammeled use of this freedom without Micky Mouse, over reaching and petty use of regulation.I hope I am not laboring the point, however , as case law was not offered by the defence, and the Judge offered none, this is a test case and should be heard by the Supreme Court.
      If so it may be cheaper to go to the top now, rather than wind up there exhausted in a few years time.
      Not that this is Dr Ridd’s call, but it is time for the minister to step in.
      As rightly pointed out, this is ‘leave to appeal’, however its hard to see that being refused.

  28. Almost $440,995 when I donated at the seven hour mark since the WUWT post.

    The median amount was $100, the average $188 and the there were two donations of $10,000 out of 682 donations.

    • I hadn’t seen the $10,000 donations last night. I was merely impressed with the percentage of three figure donations.

      It’s nice to see how many people are upset that the JCU is continuing to pursue this. I hope things will turn into a backlash directed toward JCU – all the money they’re spending on this has got to be taking away from projects that would actually be useful.

  29. I am alone in thinking that this is the perfect opportunity for a wealthy non-believer to offer to cover the costs? There must be somebody out there on our side to counter Soros, Rockerfeller, etc.?

    With the cost of contesting an appeal makes me think that JUC are just doing it in the hope – expectation? – of it not being contested. If they lose then I hope they are really stung for compensation.

    • I’m sure that Michael Mann’s case against Tim Ball was also relying on it not being contested.

      I hope that these cases will put an end to related lawsuits from people who see the court system as a club to attack those who disagree.

    • “I am alone in thinking that this is the perfect opportunity for a wealthy non-believer to offer to cover the costs? There must be somebody out there on our side to counter Soros, Rockerfeller, etc.?”

      Non-believer in what precisely?:
      That the climate should not or cannot change? ->

      Climate changes. Period. Full stop. To suggest otherwise is the actual belief in fantasy. To suggest that neither active geology nor active biology to have no effect is a belief in fantasy. Any planet that has one or more of these items will experience a changing climate: active weather, active geology, active biology.

      I wish that the words “believe” or “belief” would stop being used in these largely undisciplined and anti-scientific way.
      These ideas should be stated more eloquently and rigorously.

  30. Happy to join the fight in this small way. $C100 is ~ on par with $A. Peter,I feel you are fighting this for all of us. My regards to you and your wife. I hope when you win this that you will consider a speaking tour in N America and Europe.

  31. MODERATOR: Maybe you could keep this at the top of the site for a few days to ensure more people see it.

  32. I do not give lightly to causes, everything goes into funding my self I guess :-), but will do to this one. What is more, will do my utmost to publicize the website. An important battle in this war, because a war it is. You are my hero Mr. Ridd and I say that from the heart, almost tearing up from my own words, believe it or not.

  33. This issue makes me sick to my stomach. Universities MUST teach and practice HOW to learn NOT what to learn. I fully support Peter and the tyranny of this university and the lawyers working for it.

  34. Have you watched this video which is so relevant how climate science is evolving these days? Every politician must watch.

  35. They really are vile scum slithering about with our taxes like this. I’m in again but where’s my Govt when they’re really needed? They have the power to fund public interest cases of the highest order like this to send a loud and clear message to any like rock spiders. What a disgrace to besmirch the name of James Cook like this.

    • The authors last line:

      “We owe it to the academics we publish, to our readers, and to the planet.”

      We owe it to the planet ?

      Whenever any of the proponents of AGW reference “the planet” in a sense that it implies it is a/has “being”, we know they have crossed far into the realm of religion. A pagan religion at that.

    • This is a growing trend in Australia. Commenters at the SMH are demanding the same. The alarmists are trying their hardest to stifle debate and the media are, almost, going along with it.

  36. As I see it, James Cook University’s plan is to run Peter Ridd out of money and so force him to abandon the case. This kind of behaviour is an unfortunate consequence of how expensive the legal process is.

    That would work if it was just Peter Ridd they were attacking, the university has more (taxpayer’s) money that any normal person. In this case they are attacking science and freedom of speech, which makes them the enemies of every civilised person on the planet, and the internet enables us to mobilise against them.

    I have contributed, for a second time, and I hope everybody else has or will.

    I also appeal to the Australians reading this to pursue other avenues: Write to your MP about the way your (taxpayer’s) money is being spent. Ask any alumni you know not to donate to the university. Discourage any potential students you know from going there.

  37. Will there be prosecution to Scientists for all wrong prediction? We are hearing many false alarms which never proved right. Did they ever apologise in open media? Are they aware of how much damage those are causing to common people with sensitive minds? Children with emotional crisis will be seriously affected with such baseless propaganda. What measures have been taken by the government in this regard?

    • The only scientists that I recall being prosecuted for any failed prediction were some Italians a few years ago when an earthquake struck. Any “scientists” in the field of climate is well protected by the cause supporters.

    • It seems to me to be an unreasonable use of university funds. Are there any university rules about this? — about what university funds are allowed to be spent on? … or how much?

      This is an obvious use of financial leverage to deter an individual from pursuing the issue, hoping to grind down the individual under the sheer weight of effort required to continue.


  38. I wonder if Professor Ridd can counter-sue to have the court increase how much JCU has to pay. JCU’s appeal is a continuation of it’s prohibited vendetta against Dr. Ridd. This new attempt to subject Dr. Ridd to yet more stress, suffering, and denigration would seem to commensurately warrant additional penalties against the JCU. Similarly, the JCU’s lack of institutional “remorse” and lack of respect for the court suggests much higher punishment is justified. Perhaps the raising JCU’s penalties by a factor of 10x or 20x will drive home the point that disparaging the court and ignoring its ruling will not be tolerated.

  39. You have to wonder why the JCU is taking this action .
    My explanation is that the Great Barrier Reef is in an Icon in the same category as polar bears , receding glaciers and the claims about an ice free Arctic. And then there is the stories of accelerating sea levels and more destructive storms and hurricanes.
    As Peter Ridd has stated the Great Barrier Reef is not at risk and there is no need for alarm.
    The wider population around the world take little notice of the climate debate but the icons stay in their mind. Starving polar bears carving glaciers and images of bleached coral.
    If Peter Ridd is allowed to tell the truth from the JCU then people will take note but once he is sacked he will not be quoted by the media .
    From my own experience the media is extremely biased on what they print or screen .

  40. I’ve just chipped in,and sent the link to my partner who’s a scientist, and she’s chipping in too, what a disgrace this university is. They underestimate the power of chipping by concerned people.

  41. As I said before, you have my support. This is a battle against a form of totalitarianism. What distinguishes totalitarianism above all is the ruthless stifling of dissent in any form. Science cannot survive without debate. In fact, debate is the essence of science as well as of democracy. Godspeed, Dr. Ridd.

  42. Freedom!!! As per a comment above – please put this page back at the top! I’m not here every day, but believe fervently in assisting the fight against left-wing climate totalitarianism and indoctrination – and I might have missed this appeal.

    I seem to be parting with my money with increasing frequency for anti-totalitarian causes, but this is one of the most important appeals I’ve seen recently. While most venues, and particularly universities, have been weaponized by the left, at least some courtrooms are still guided by due process and fundamental guiding principles of western societies, and the battles for intellectual and political freedom must be fought here.

  43. I donated again and will continue to do so as long as this ecofascist pogrom against Peter Ridd continues.

  44. The biggest irony is that coral bleaching episodes are associated with ocean cooling and sea level fall. The corals get exposed at low tide. But the alarmist rhetoric falsely attributes bleaching to the opposite, warming and sea level rise.

  45. Mystery solved, I wanted to see if my Go Fund Me donation went through, and yes, but it was only about 68% of what I thought I had donated. Well the AU dollar is only 68% of the US dollar. So I wasn’t as generous as I thought I was.

  46. Donated. Will try to find some more next pay day for this most worth of causes.

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