Earlier this year, the Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia handed down its judgment in James Cook University’s appeal against the 2019 decision of the Federal Circuit Court in Ridd v James Cook University  FCCA 997.
I wrote a case note on the decision for Thompson Reuters’ Workplace Review. My article, along with the entirety of Volume 10 Part 2, can be accessed at: http://sites.thomsonreuters.com.au/journals/2020/12/29/workplace-review-update-summer-2020/.
Since the Full Federal Court’s decision in James Cook University v Ridd, some uncertainty remains regarding the impact of “academic” and “intellectual” freedom upon the interpretation of enterprise agreements within the higher education sector. Xavier Boffa surveys the differing approaches towards these concepts adopted by Judge Vasta in the Federal Circuit Court, the Federal Court majority on appeal, and Justice Rangiah in dissent. The author notes that the High Court may soon have an opportunity to provide further clarity to these conflicting approaches. Regardless, the Ridd case is a reminder to employees of the potential consequences of failing to comply with lawful and reasonable directions from their employers.