Free market think tank the Institute of Public Affairs has condemned James Cook University for proceeding with its appeal against the Federal Circuit Court’s decision in favour of Dr Peter Ridd earlier this month.
“James Cook University must reverse its position to appeal the decision. This will only prolong this already ugly dispute. Dr Ridd won this case on all 17 counts. It is time for JCU to accept the decision and move on,” said Gideon Rozner, Director of Policy at the IPA.
“JCU’s council should have already stepped in to restore sanity, to save the university from spending millions of taxpayer dollars to exert control over a fine and sincere 30-year employee.”
It has been revealed that Bret Walker SC is acting for JCU in attempting to shut down freedom of speech on climate change.
“Barristers such as Bret Walker SC charge in the vicinity of $20,000 a day. JCU must reveal how much of taxpayers’ money they are spending to shut down freedom of speech,” said Mr Rozner.
A freedom of information request lodged by the Institute of Public Affairs with James Cook University revealed that the University has already spent $630,000 up until 29 April 2019 on legal fees in the Dr Peter Ridd case.
“This whole ugly affair could have been avoided if JCU had addressed Dr Ridd’s substantive questions about the lack of quality assurance in relation to science surrounding the Great Barrier Reef.”
“Instead of engaging in good faith scientific debate, JCU are now proposing to spend millions of taxpayer dollars to muzzle Dr Ridd.”
“James Cook University’s actions are further proof of the crisis in Australian universities,” said Mr Rozner.