Peter Ridd update: James Cook University blows $630,000 on legal fees

Written by John O'Sullivan

On the JoNova blog we read ‘Peter Ridd update: James Cook University wasted $630,000 defending the Bureaucrat Rulers of Science, and plans to appeal.’

Aussie climate researcher, Professor Albert Parker reacted by lamenting:

Australian tax payers fund this ridiculous education indirectly with almost 100 billion dollars per year. As we are 20 million in population, it is $5000 each.”

Respected climate skeptic, Parker points out that some tax payers  also fund the fake news system through private schools and  public universities. They are ripped off of an additional $20k – 40k per year per child.

The government should cut not only research funding but every funding to James Cook University, says Professor Parker.  He concludes:
“Even better, the government should remove from the university the licence to sell degrees. They are free to spend their monies, not the money of the taxpayers, to settle fake science and harass their employees.”

Charlie Peel, The Australian adds:

James Cook University risks contempt rap for response to verdict

James Cook University is poised to appeal against the Federal Court finding that its sacking of physics professor Peter Ridd was unlawful.

JCU’s response was so far from the mark, apparently Justice Vasta is considering whether to refer it to the Federal Court Marshall. Vasta said the statement attributed to Chris Cocklin of JCU was “almost contemptuous”.

The IPA, bless them, filed an FOI to find out how much money was burnt in the quest, and says it’s high time JCU  stops:

Gideon Rozner: The details of a freedom of information request lodged by the Institute of Public Affairs with James Cook University and released today reveal the University has already spent at least $630,000 on legal fees in the Dr Peter Ridd case.

“The very fact that an Australian university is willing to force the weight of an entire administration backed by taxpayer funds to stifle an academic’s freedom of speech sends a massive chilling effect to any academic engaging in public debate in Australia,” said IPA Director of Policy, Gideon Rozner.

“James Cook University’s shameful actions prove without doubt there is a crisis of free speech at Australian Universities.

“It is staggering to think that after the Federal Circuit Court ruled on every point in Dr Ridd’s favour, JCU is contemplating an appeal.

“Australian universities receive billions of dollars in taxpayer funding for the purpose of free intellectual inquiry. Now JCU wants to go to a higher court to prove it can shut down the freedom of speech on academic issue by one of its professors. It is outrageous. Taxpayers fund JCU to do education and research, not engage in vexatious litigation against its own staff.

The IPA media release.

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