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Msg  48269 of 48512  at  4/16/2019 10:46:59 AM  by

creaturecomphort


The full accounting of Peter Ridd's big win

Beginning of the end of rampant character assassinations by the CAGW alarmist academic cabal. 
 

VICTORY: Climate skeptic scientist Peter Ridd wins big!

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

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

WUWT readers helped make this possible.

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

Background on the court case

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

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

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


UPDATE: Peter writes via his GoFundMe page:

Dear All,

Excellent news.

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

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

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

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

Attention must now focus on the JCU council.

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

kind regards

Peter

Help spread the word!

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

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

Some excerpts:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FINDINGS:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 


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