James Cook U actions found unlawful
Professor Ridd is critical of some colleagues’ research on the state of the Great Barrier Reef. The university says he was sacked for breaching the university’s code of conduct in stating his views while Professor Ridd responds he has a right to comment on research.
In the Federal Court yesterday, Judge Vasta stated that the university’s 17 findings against Professor Ridd, five confidentiality directions, a no-satire direction, a censure, final censure and termination of employment, “were all unlawful.”
Last night the university responded robustly; arguing that it dismissed Professor Ridd for the way he “communicated with others” and for repeated breaches of directions. “Dr Ridd at all times continued to engage publicly to promote his academic views and was never prevented by the university from doing so,” JCU Provost Chris Cocklin said.
Professor Cocklin added JCU is, “troubled by the fact,” that Judge Vasta, “fails to refer to any legal precedent or case law in Australia to support his interpretation of our enterprise agreement or academic freedom in Australian employment law.” Last night the university said it “was considering its options”.