A Federal Court judge has ruled James Cook University acted unlawfully when it sacked physics professor Peter Ridd after he publicly criticised the institution and one of its star scientists over claims about the global warming impact on the Great Barrier Reef.
Professor Ridd last night welcomed the decision and called on the university’s council, its governing body, to make vice-chancellor Sandra Harding accountable for the legal defeat.
“The university has broken the law. What is the university council going to do about this? The vice-chancellor has brought the university into disrepute,” he said.
In his verdict, judge Salvatore Vasta said the university’s grounds for dismissing Professor Ridd — that he breached the university’s code of conduct — were improper. He found that all 17 findings used by the university to justify the sacking were unlawful. . . .
Judge Vasta also said the university had misunderstood “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,” he said.
A penalty hearing will be set for a later date.
The left always tries to silence its critics, because it can’t answer them. “Code of conduct,” my ass.