Finale’ – Peter Ridd vs. James Cook University

Dr. Peter Ridd writes on Facebook:

We just got notification that the High Court appeal hearing will be by the Full Court at 10:00am on Wednesday, 23 June 2021 in Court No. 1, Parkes Place, Canberra. My understanding is that appeals can be heard by between one to seven of the judges depending upon the perceived importance of the case. Ours is by the “Full Court” so it will likely be either five or seven judges. The hearing will be just one day.

The final judgement, would be handed down sometime after 23rd June.

For those who live close to Canberra, Court No. 1 is the large courtroom in the High Court complex so, even with covid restrictions, there should be plenty of room in the public gallery if you are interested. I’d certainly be delighted to meet any of you to thank you in person for your support.

I speak for many of us at WUWT in wishing the best of luck to Dr. Ridd in prevailing over the draconian “cancel culture” at James Cook University.

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April 15, 2021 8:55 am

Good luck.

John MacDonald
April 15, 2021 9:06 am

If luck has anything to do with it, the Good Luck.
Otherwise, I think the rational facts of Dr. Ridd’s case should win the day.
Let truth and science win out!

April 15, 2021 9:19 am

I don’t hold much faith in “high/supreme” courts these days but I wish Peter well.

April 15, 2021 9:20 am

Slightly off topic.
George Floyd was found to be hypoxic and to simultaneously have blood oxygen of 98%.
According to the medical literature – 98% is a normal blood oxygen level and therefore his efforts to breathe were effective.
Am I missing something?

Reply to  KAT
April 15, 2021 9:54 am

Maybe this? –
Finale – Peter Ridd vs. James Cook University

Reply to  KAT
April 15, 2021 10:32 am

“…blood oxygen of 98%….. Am I missing something?” No, and that’s high. Chauvin’s already been tried in the court of public opinion with media propaganda. Mr. Ridd has been tried by the opinion of the University backed by the same powerful people who believe in AGW. The Marx Brothers have successfully gained control of many court decisions and this one is critical for them to control their narrative, free speech, and your opinion.

Brooks H Hurd
Reply to  markl
April 16, 2021 7:08 am

Agreed! SCOTUS found Texas lacked standing in a case where the Supreme Court has original jurisdiction. I don’t think that I will ever be able to wrap my mind around that decision.

michael hart
Reply to  Brooks H Hurd
April 16, 2021 10:25 am

Yup. It was breathtaking. And with nominally Conservative Judges in the majority, many appointed by Trump himself, they happily voted 9-0 to deny the sitting President any standing. Like where else are the President and State of Texas supposed to get redress for their grievances? And if they don’t have standing, just who would?

Reply to  michael hart
April 17, 2021 9:02 am

wasn’t the vote 6_3

Big Al
Reply to  KAT
April 15, 2021 1:37 pm

False Flag blood had THREE times the amount of fentanyl need to kill himself. Self doused . This so called trial setup for more justified brown shirt love fest where the Cities will be the bonfire. Fentanyl on death report. The Show must go on for the tard people.

john harmsworth
Reply to  KAT
April 15, 2021 2:42 pm

I’m struggling to see how a colder climate would have saved him? Oh Lord, I confess my sin.

Reply to  KAT
April 16, 2021 5:38 am

Maybe CO. The defense threw late curve ball into the prosecution by bringing up carbon monoxide poisoning as a contributor. They showed photographs implying Floyd was near the vehicle’s running exhaust pipe. The prosecution tried to deflect this with the ‘evidence’ that his blood oxygen level was 98%. In this last minute flurry, it appears to me that they missed the fact that some methods of measuring blood oxygen level can mistake CO for oxygen. There has been some talk of a mistrial because of all this.

April 15, 2021 9:24 am

I hope he’s hired Dennis Denuto from The Castle as his lawyer.

dennis denuto.jpg
Wallaby Geoff
Reply to  Mr.
April 15, 2021 7:29 pm

You must have seen a different Castle. He was effectively only a drink waiter in the High Court case.

Reply to  Wallaby Geoff
April 15, 2021 9:30 pm

True, but he had the smarts to know what his intellectual & expertise limitations were.

I’ve had the disedifying experience of coming to realize that after paying big $$$$s to a top-tier legal firm to handle a breach of contract case for me, I had a much better grasp on the case than the very expensive “legal eagle” assigned to me.
They say that a person who represents himself has a fool for a client, but a bigger fool is someone who doesn’t register that he has a P-plater for a lawyer.

(I was able to jump into the driver’s seat at a very late stage and we won the case. No luck involved)

Reply to  Mr.
April 15, 2021 7:39 pm

Upvote for knowing that awesome movie. But Peter Ridd definitely needs Mr. Hammill.

Last edited 1 year ago by wadesworld242
Reply to  wadesworld
April 15, 2021 9:32 pm

Upvote for you too.
Wasn’t that one of Bud Tingwell’s best characters?

April 15, 2021 10:07 am

Don’t get too excited. Australia has no explicit protection of freedom of speech like we have in the U.S. Constitution, so it can be interpreted freely by the court. It could go either way.

The American Founders carefully considered natural rights inherent to every individual and protected them so government officials with tyrannical tendencies (a surprising number of them) could not restrict those rights. The freedom to believe, to express yourself, to protest peacefully, and to challenge the government were the first to be protected. An astonishingly small number of modern democratic governments have constitutional protections of these freedoms. Australia isn’t one of them.

john harmsworth
Reply to  stinkerp
April 15, 2021 2:44 pm

Canada has the same problem. Constitution created by politicians. A pseudo democracy when the going gets tough.

Nameless Nomad
Reply to  john harmsworth
April 15, 2021 3:05 pm

I did not see the Supreme Court step up when the going got tough after the US elections. What use is a constitution if it is not defended by the courts?

Reply to  Nameless Nomad
April 15, 2021 3:38 pm

Nomad, the Supreme Court in this US isn’t a response force like police. Instead, citizens submit cases to be heard and the Court hears them as it has time. The bar to be heard is high for the Federal Supreme Court. Trump did submit cases to the Supreme Court but all of them fell short of the standards to be heard..

John in Oz
Reply to  leowaj
April 15, 2021 9:16 pm

I have heard that some cases were not heard due to fear of the fallout from their decision if it went Trump’s way.

If true, this is not ‘defending the constitution’ but pandering to popular opinion, which is often wrong, misinformed, ignorant of fact and promoted by vested interests.

Reply to  leowaj
April 16, 2021 7:57 am

One of the biggest problems with “standards to be heard” is the concept of “standing”, which was used on several of those cases.

It seems to me that ANY citizen should have “standing” to challenge ANY law that violates the Constitution, but the courts have decided that you can’t make such a challenge unless you have been personally harmed by the law. That seems a very sad and dangerous precedent.

Mason Crawford
Reply to  TonyG
April 16, 2021 7:23 pm

As I recall when voting requirements (specifically absentee and mail-in ballots) were changed by governors and, at least in one case, a judge, Trump’s administration filed cases, which were rejected because “no harm” had occurred. They were instructed by the courts to file after the election, and of course after the election the courts refused to hear the cases because they were filed to late to change the results! These a-holes must of been really good at dodge-ball.

Reply to  john harmsworth
April 15, 2021 4:41 pm

The Canadian Charter was created not to secure rights but to ensure Court supremacy over them. Freedom of conscience, religion, association, speech, etc. now take a back seat to gay/transgender/gender rights — which were not in the Charter until the Supremes saw fit to read them in.

Reply to  john harmsworth
April 15, 2021 7:34 pm

“A British Parliamentary Democracy is really a 5 year dictatorship as long as his cabinet stays with the Prime Minister and keeps the other members of their party in parliament in line and not voting for a non-confidence motion.”

Said by my high school history teacher who was one of the best I had. Pilot in WW2 for Canada but flew with the Brits. He had a unique perspective to put it mildly.

Richard Page
Reply to  stinkerp
April 16, 2021 7:56 am

The American founders knew their own citizenry all too well, as well as the kind of people they would choose to lead them.

April 15, 2021 10:13 am

Dr Ride
May the winds of open and fair minds, facts, truth and the scientific way blow through the #1 court on this important event.
With regards

Reply to  Ozonebust
April 15, 2021 10:14 am

Dr Ridd,

April 15, 2021 10:56 am

Groklaw was a website devoted to legal issues especially SCO vs. The Whole World. Many of us saw those cases as an attempt to derail Linux. (It didn’t work. Android, based on Linux, leads Windows on device shipments by a wide margin.

The beauty of Groklaw was that it presented the court documents. You could know exactly what a court was being asked to decide and you could know exactly why a court decided as it did.

It’s fine to say that the Ridd case may be about free speech but I wouldn’t be at all surprised to discover that the court is going to rule on something else altogether.

A quick web search didn’t find the court documents and that’s frustrating.

Reply to  commieBob
April 15, 2021 2:20 pm

And that case, like a zombie, has come back from the dead:

Xinuos is apparently the reanimated corpse of SCO… at first I thought it was an April Fool’s joke, since I originally saw a report about the suit on April 1, but apparently it’s a real thing. Still has the fundamental problem that SCO never owned the copyrights to UNIX, only the distribution rights.

Last edited 1 year ago by Don
Reply to  Don
April 15, 2021 8:13 pm

The name is highly suspicious. Xinuos is Sounix backwards, and that is a homonym for Sue-nix.

On the other hand, the company has a Wikipedia article. If it’s an April Fool’s joke, it’s a very elaborate one. The names of some of the people supposedly involved bring back bad memories.

Last edited 1 year ago by commieBob
Lewis Buckingham
April 15, 2021 11:11 am

The fact that the High Court will hear the case as a Full court indeed means that they consider this to be an important decision for which a principle must be established.

Pat from Kerbob
Reply to  Lewis Buckingham
April 15, 2021 2:02 pm

As long as that does not mean what we got recently here in Canada where the SC decided on the constitutionality of a federal carbon tax and ended up making a bunch of statements about “climate crisis” which is all conjecture and completely outside their competence.

How woke is the court in OZ?

Reply to  Pat from Kerbob
April 15, 2021 2:45 pm

It varies. Their last decision was to kick out a very dodgy court case against a priest. Prior to that they decided that people not born in Australia, but living in another country, but were also had indigenous heritage of Australia didn’t need a visa or something along those lines of. So 50/50.

john harmsworth
Reply to  Pat from Kerbob
April 15, 2021 2:48 pm

Yup, The recent SCof Canada decision was a travesty from a politicized court that expanded its purview well beyond anything reasonable. They decided that they are competent judges of scientific matters when they should have ruled on the constitutional aspects of the argument. It was so bad they had to write 90 pages on why this blatantly political precedent shouldn’t be taken as political or a precedent. Disgusting!

Ron Long
April 15, 2021 11:13 am

good luck to Dr. Ridd. But why depend on luck? Borrow the technique of AlGore and turn the Courtroom into a polar outbreak (might need some insider help to adjust the air conditioning?).

Izaak Walton
April 15, 2021 12:03 pm

I would be very surprised if Dr. Ridd wins. Decades of anti-union activity by the Australian governments and large companies have meant that large corporations including Universities
can fire people for almost anything. The case is almost certainly going to be decided on a technicality and my guess is that the University has written academic contracts in such a way
that they can always find a reason to fire somebody.

Wim Röst
Reply to  Izaak Walton
April 15, 2021 12:23 pm

A full court could mean that the case is about a scientist’s right and duty to tell the truth. And for the university, about its duty to ensure that the truth is spoken.

Izaak Walton
Reply to  Wim Röst
April 15, 2021 2:35 pm

I think you will find that no scientist in the world has an employment contract that says that they have a “right and duty” to tell the truth. This case will be decided on technical details of employment law not on issues like academic freedom unfortunately.

Wim Röst
Reply to  Izaak Walton
April 15, 2021 3:05 pm

Izaak: “I think you will find that no scientist in the world has an employment contract that says that they have a “right and duty” to tell the truth.”

WR: That is not what I said. And it is neither what I think. I only know that historically scientists were ‘truth seekers’ and by doing so they enabled the development of the prosperous world we have now. The trust we have in Science is based on the strict norms about ‘the truth’ that scientists used to have in the past. In case universities punish scientists that show the truth – as in this case – universities undermine their own credibility and the credibility of Science.

Those universities (being paid by public money) should be stopped. Science only advances by an open debate. Universities should encourage such a debate.

Reply to  Izaak Walton
April 15, 2021 3:14 pm

I think you’re seeing this how it is Izaak.

Unless the HC determines that the employment contract conditions were unconscionable

unconscionableadj. referring to a contract or bargain which is so unfair to a party that no 
reasonable or informed person would agree to it. In a suit for breach of 
contract, a court will not enforce an unconscionable contract (award damages or order specific performance) against the person unfairly treated on the 
theory that he/she was misled, lacked information, or signed under duress or misunderstanding. It is similar to an “adhesion contract,” in which one party 
has taken advantage of a person dealing from weakness. (See: contractadhesion contract)
Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.

morally abhorrent. In the legal context, from time to time and place to place 
the law insofar as not already incorporating moral issues allows exceptions to allow parties some degree of relief from being imposed upon. The modern 
legal conception tends to be discussed around the more practical and 
objective concept of inequality of bargaining position, which can help 
consumers as much as the more traditional beneficiary of protection the small debtor pressed for excessive interest or repossession.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

(my emphasis)

Reply to  Mr.
April 15, 2021 8:19 pm

I don’t know anything about Australian law but in the US you are spot on: employment is usually “at will” and barring very exceptional circumstances (e.g., an unconscionable contract) Dr. Ridd is owed nothing and the university can terminate him for practically any reason.

Reply to  Izaak Walton
April 15, 2021 7:02 pm

This could be case similar to George Pell’s where the Supreme Court ruled him innocent

Lewis Buckingham
Reply to  Lrp
April 15, 2021 9:44 pm

Not quite. In the Pell case he was always innocent until proven guilty.
The High Court went as far as thy could go and said that there was a reasonable prospect that an innocent man would be convicted if the 2/1 verdict of Victoria’s Supreme court were allowed.
In the Pell case there was zero evidence for the prosecution except the say so of the accuser.
The evidence of 20 other witnesses contradicted it.
It was a travesty that the case got so far.
The original Crown Prosecutor who took Pell to court says he was innocent.
You can’t get any better than that.

 ‘That said, I have just finished reading The Persecution of George Pell by Keith Windschuttle which is as good an analysis as one could hope to find. We lawyers are used to defending clients and interpret their acquittals as a failure of the prosecution to prove guilt beyond reasonable doubt. I must say, that after reading this I was persuaded that not only was the standard of proof not met, but that Pell was an innocent man.’
The Ridd case is about contract law indeed, not criminal law.
I am not a solicitor.
However were the University or any employer set a high bar to their own standard of behavior which supported academic freedom and then, as a practical act, wrote it out of the actual employment agreement, the contract could be seen as a sham and annulled.
No doubt some of the University’s actions will be called into question by the Full Bench.
If things go the way they went for the Prosecutor in the Pell case, the verbal ‘blowtorch to the belly’, for the employer, as the late Neville Wran used say, will be the outcome.

Reply to  Lrp
April 15, 2021 9:57 pm

More precisely, in legal terms –

On 7 April 2020, the High Court upheld Cardinal George Pell’s appeal against conviction and acquitted him of five sexual offences.

They wrote that there was a risk that an innocent man had been convicted, because guilt had not been proven.

(which many silks subsequently confirmed is not a judgement of ‘innocence’, but rather a finding that the previous court proceedings had not established a sound case for a guilty judgement)

Lewis Buckingham
Reply to  Mr.
April 16, 2021 6:34 am

‘Disposition 9 For the reasons to be given, it is evident that there is “a significant possibility that an innocent person has been convicted because the evidence did not establish guilt to the requisite standard of proof” 5 . Special leave to appeal should be granted on both grounds and the appeal allowed. The respondent submitted that, in the event special leave were granted and the appeal allowed, the matter should be remitted to the Court of Appeal or relisted before this Court so that the whole of the evidence might be placed before it. 10 The respondent’s submission with respect to the consequential order is rejected. The submission that the Court does not have before it the material to enable it to determine whether the verdicts are unreasonable or cannot be supported by the evidence is specious.’
In these words the High Court of Australia threw out the charges against Pell.
No technicalities here.
Phrases such as ‘significant possibility that an innocent person has been convicted;, specious, and ‘rejected’
say it all.
That’s about as far as a High Court can go rejecting a case.
We wait to see what this court has to say about the Ridd employment contract and its validity.
If it is in the above terms, then the academics of Australia will be in a much safer place than now.

Nick Graves
April 15, 2021 12:33 pm

Hoping for a favourable outcome for Dr. Ridd

April 15, 2021 12:55 pm

Its now in the diary
I would say good luck to Peter . . .
and I hope the judges all know about history

April 15, 2021 1:53 pm

My support of Dr. Ridd is heartfelt. Science should not be a slave to politics.

Pat from Kerbob
April 15, 2021 1:59 pm

Hoping for victory for actual science

john harmsworth
April 15, 2021 2:41 pm

Lately I have seen several YOUTUBE videos come out on the topic of “corals being much more resistant to climate change than previously thought”, and “turns out we were way wrong about corals”. I had to wonder if Dr. Ridd’s courage in telling the truth to the Great OZ of climate change politics had anything to do with a few rays of scientific sunshine making their way to the bottom of this swamp. Maybe not the bottom. If anybody sees Mikey Mann walking around with a sunburn, that’s the bottom of the swamp!

Ian McClintock
April 15, 2021 5:22 pm

This upcoming decision by the High Court of Australia in the Dr Peter Ridd case, will clearly set an important legal precedent, which is clearly why the full bench of the High Court will be involved.

The issue at stake is the very survival of unbiased investigation and factual reporting of matters that from time to time may be in conflict with generally accepted understanding or about which there are divergent or controversial views.

It is this process of challenge and truth seeking that has in large part driven human progress.

And any curtailment of this process, difficult at times though it might be, will likewise act to reduce or reverse this progress.

This case is therefore of fundamental importance for the future of all Australians and all those that observe the outcome.

The High Court of Australia is the final legal bastion to protect these immeasurable and fragile values so critically important for all our futures.

April 15, 2021 7:28 pm

I speak for many of us at WUWT in wishing the best of luck to Dr. Ridd in prevailing over the draconian “cancel culture” at James Cook University.”

Hear, hear!! I say send John Cleese on a tour to re-introduce comedy to the universities down under. Their upper management seem to have no sense of humour (or irony)

April 16, 2021 8:31 pm

This is good news. If the High Court is taking it on, they think there is something very important to consider about the Full Federal Court’s decision.

Here’s hoping the original decision is upheld along with academic freedom.

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