The High Court has delivered its judgment in the Peter Ridd case, an important case concerning academic freedom .
The affair started when Ridd contacted a reporter in 2015 in a way that criticized the work of other academics and academic centers on marine sciences and Great Barrier Reef , suggesting that some organizations had engaged in a "spin". In 2017, Ridd conducted an interview in which he said that the published science on reef welfare was wrong and that some scientific organizations could not be trusted and were lacking in objectivity..
James Cook University has twice censored Ridd based on his criticism of the work of his colleagues, and what he alleged was a lack of respect and courtesy towards colleagues and a lack of collegiality in the pursuit of knowledge.
The topic of academic freedom has been the subject of public debate since the Federal Minister of Education launched a inquiry in 2018 in freedom of expression in universities , led by former Chief Justice Robert French. It was on the basis of a complaint - demonstrated by the report to be incorrect - that there was freedom of expression " crisis "in universities . The review report recommended the adoption of a model free speech code, and was followed by another reviewed to ensure compliance.
The French review usefully distinguished between academic freedom and freedom of expression. Academic freedom is essential to the central mission of universities - the creation and disseminationwe have new knowledge. eedom to conduct research, publish results and teach students. It is not relative. Freedom of expression, on the other hand, is a freedom that applies to contexts that do not require special protections, such as outside speakers using campus venues and student demonstrations.