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Israel Folau settles claim with Rugby Australia

Posted on Categories civil litigation, Industrial relations, Liberty, litigation, Unfair dismissalTags , , , , , , , , , , , Leave a comment on Israel Folau settles claim with Rugby Australia

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Following a marathon mediation, former Wallabies star Israel Folau and Rugby Australia have settled their dispute over the termination of Folau’s employment with Rugby Australia after he made controversial comments on Twitter about homosexuality.

The case was notable and of political significance because it highlighted the tensions between the rights of employers to dismiss workers to preserve their own reputational interests, freedom of religion, and employees being able to publicly express their own opinions outside of work. Continue reading “Israel Folau settles claim with Rugby Australia”

Professor Peter Ridd wins dismissal case against James Cook University

Posted on Categories Human rights, Industrial relations, Liberty, litigation, Unfair dismissalTags , , , , , Leave a comment on Professor Peter Ridd wins dismissal case against James Cook University

Last year, Professor Peter Ridd was sacked by James Cook University after speaking out on issues relating to climate change research.

He took James Cook University to the Federal Circuit Court, arguing his termination of employment was unlawful.

Today, Ridd has won his case, with the Court awarding judgment in his favour:

“Handing down his decision today, judge Salvatore Vasta said that the 17 findings used by the university to justify the sacking were unlawful.

“The Court rules that the 17 findings made by the University, the two speech directions, the five confidentiality directions, the no satire direction, the censure and the final censure given by the University and the termination of employment of Professor Ridd by the University were all unlawful,” Judge Vasta said.

A penalty hearing will be set for a later date.

At a hearing last month, Professor Ridd’s barrister Stuart Wood argued his client was entitled to criticise his colleagues and the university’s perceived lack of quality assurance processes.”

This is a win for free speech and academic freedom.

 

Law of Defamation in Australia

Posted on Categories DefamationTags , , , , , , , 1 Comment on Law of Defamation in Australia

Legal advice

This article outlines the elements of the tort of Defamation in Australia and the various defences available at law.

UNIFORM DEFAMATION LAWS

Previously, different Australian states had different Defamation laws, which often resulted in plaintiffs ‘forum-shopping’ by commencing their claim in the jurisdiction in which the law of defamation was most favourable to their case.

Now in Australia there are uniform Defamation Acts which have been designed to overcome this problem.

Section 6 of the Defamation Act 2005 provides that “This Act does not affect the operation of the general law in relation to the tort of defamation except to the extent that this Act provides otherwise (whether expressly or by necessary implication)”. Therefore, the common law still applies to the extent that it is not extinguished expressly or by necessary implication by legislation.

Section 8 of the Defamation Act 2005 provides that:

“A person has a single cause of action for defamation in relation to the publication of defamatory matter about the person even if more than one defamatory imputation about the person is carried by the matter.” Continue reading “Law of Defamation in Australia”

JCU in Court for adverse actions against academic freedom

Posted on Categories Human rights, Industrial relations, Liberty, Unfair dismissalTags , , , , , , 1 Comment on JCU in Court for adverse actions against academic freedom

Climate blogger Jennifer Marohasy provides an interesting report on Dr Peter Ridd’s case against James Cook University in the Federal Circuit Court. Ridd’s employment as an academic of the university was terminated in May due to him speaking out and defying a gag order imposed by the university.
Continue reading “JCU in Court for adverse actions against academic freedom”

Liberty Victoria’s Orwellian Voltaire award

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“War is peace / freedom is slavery [and] ignorance is strength” was the grand party slogan in George Orwell’s 1984.

A more recent example of doublethink involves the bizarre choices by Liberty Victoria for its Voltaire Awards.

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“War is peace / freedom is slavery [and] ignorance is strength” was the grand party slogan in 1984, George Orwell’s dystopian novel about a totalitarian society characterised by omnipresent surveillance and the policing of thought. The slogan itself is a famous example of doublethink: the process of accepting opposing and contradictory beliefs.

A more recent example of doublethink involves the bizarre choices by Liberty Victoria for its Voltaire Awards.
Continue reading “Liberty Victoria’s Orwellian Voltaire award”

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