A University at Buffalo paper, The Reporter, has published a summary of these events in a feature article called "Trouble in cyberspace...".
This action by UWA may be what the legal profession in the US call a "strategic lawsuit against public participation" or SLAPP suit.
SLAPP suits are used by companies or even government
agencies to inhibit public interest and participation in (or
reaction to) their activities. These powerful interests cloak
their real motives in terms of personal injury, such as defamation
or tresspass, which require extensive examination of motives and
fact exploration in court. Since they have a "chilling effect" on
rights guaranteed by the First Amendment of the Constitution (aka
"Freedom of Speech"), and are indeed an illegal assault on personal
rights and freedoms, and incidentally take up a great deal of (un-
necessary) court time, these suits are frequently dismissed before
even entering court by savvy judges. Apparently SLAPP suits were
virtually unknown before 1970, but since then became so common and
disruptive to the judicial process that at least ten states,
including New York, passed laws prohibiting them. For further
information on this topic, try this
The First Amendment Project's Anti-SLAPP Resource Center (http://www.thefirstamendment.org/antislappresourcecenter.html)
The Freedom Forum's First Amendment Center's overview by Lori Potter (http://www.firstamendmentcenter.org/petition/topic.aspx?topic=slapp)
1992 Get SLAPPed? SLAPP back! Utne Reader July-August 52:47
1996 Libel Concerns Are A Reality For Scientists Who Speak Out In Public. The Scientist 10(6):15
1991 The SLAPP suit threat: squelching public debate American Libraries 22(10):1003
1989 A new way to intimidate activists; corporations SLAPP them with a lawsuit. Utne Reader Nov-Dec 36:115
Pring, George W. and Penelope Canan
1996 SLAPPs : getting sued for speaking out. Philadelphia : Temple University Press.
1993 Free speech and SLAPP suits. Skeptical Inquirer 17(3):244(3)
1989 A SLAPP in the face. Forbes 143(11):106
For example, the following page includes all references found in 1996 to Dr Rindos and his dismissal. A second search, in December of 1997, shows fewer references and only one active link, to a letter in the UWA Postgraduates Student Association Newsletter...
All of the UWA Senate minutes of which we are aware are noted below. These are local copies of relevant sections, provided by UWA. By comparison, if you have access, try accessing the minutes directly through their index!
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