(NB. Appologies, this part of the Site is still very much under construction. Last modified: Aug 28, 2003 )
Completed sections:
+ The Hardwick Case

Sections under construction:
+ Defamation on the Net
+ The Industrial Relations Case
+ The Visitorial Appeal
+ Other Notorious Australian University Legal Cases

The Hardwick Case

Shortly after Dr Rindos was fired in 1993, and in a response to the First Net Posting by Hugh Jarvis, Mr Gil Hardwick posted a series of replies (e.g. 27 June, 29 June) giving what he claimed were the "true reasons" for "Dr Rhindos'" [sic] dismissal by the University of Western Australia. He claimed that "facts" he was presenting were told to him by (unnamed) eminant Western Australian Anthropologists. The first alleged "real reason" for UWA's action against Dr Rindos was the totally false claim that Dr Rindos was a known pedophile. Mr Hardwick also made many other false claims including the remarkable one that Dr Rindos had achieved his international reputation not by means of his own research, but rather by "bullying," and raised the bizarre idea that Hugh Jarvis' support for Dr Rindos was somehow tied to some sort of conspiracy by international mining companies!

As a result, Dr Rindos wrote Mr Hardwick, asking the false statements be withdrawn. He attempted to explain that what was being passed on was untrue and offered to explain the facts of the case, pointing out that numerous false rumours were being passed about him. Mr Hardwick rejected the offer in his reply, stressing that political conditions in Western Australia were such that, given what had happened, even talking to Dr Rindos would likely be harmful to his career.

For the next several months, Mr Hardwick continued to make his claims on the net, oftentimes accompanied by homophobic and Anti-American references (Dr Rindos is an American by birth, but holds dual Australian and American citizenship). A few of these follow-up comments Mr Hardwick made about Dr Rindos on the Net can be seen in a December 1993posting by Hugh Jarvis, who wrote to complain about the continued nonsense being passed around by Hardwick.

Finally, after several months of unsuccessful attempts to work matters out informally, Dr Rindos, particularly upset about the homophobic nature of the continuing postings, finally took out a writ for defamation against Mr Hardwick. This action resulted in what was likely the first successful suit for defamation on the Internet. The formal Ruling of Judge Ipp, in the Supreme Court, Perth, Western Australia was handed down at the end of March, 1994.

Given the nature of the case, and the precedent set, quite a bit of news coverage occurred, both in Australia and overseas. One of the articles is included here as written in a local, Western Australian, newspaper.

As was noted in the Judgment written against him, Mr Hardwick refused to appear or provide any defense at his trial, openly expressed his contempt for the whole proceedings. Later, following attempts by the court to enforce its ruling, was to declare himself a bankrupt.

Hardwick continually claimed he was innocent of any wrong-doing in making his laying of false charges against Dr Rindos and within a year, he began repeating the same claims on the net. This action caused many persons to reply to his postings. A few of these comments as posted on sci.anthropology (including a public reply to Hardwick by Rindos) are given in the following Comments SubMenu.

In 1995, following the publication of a Feature Article in the newspaper, The Weekend Australian, Mr Hardwick wrote a new analysis of his view of the situation. Interestingly, the charges he had formerly brought against Dr Rindos are not mentioned, and from what he says here, it now appears that Rindos' real crime was to believe in concepts like "academic freedom" in a country that, according to Hardwick, has no time for such "foreign" notions.

This case has been written up at the Australian Media Law Locus.

Gil Hardwick has recently (spring 2002) made his own Statement on the "Rindos Affair"

Also see Can the Internet be regulated? by Helen Roberts (Consultant to Law and Public Administration Group). Research Paper 35 1995-96 Australian Parliamentary Library. This refers to the Rindos/Hardwick case and its context in Australian and Internet law.

Sections under construction

Persons having relevant references, links, data, or documents relevant to the following topics are cordially invited to contact the Site Maintainer.

Sub-Page: Defamation on the Net.

It is hoped that eventually this part of the Site will collect together the many articles and analyses that have considered the case of Rindos vs Hardwick. At the present time, the following links have been identified:

Sub-Page: The Industrial Relations Case

This region is still under construction. As it turned out, the decision of the Western Australian Industrial Commission may well have major implications for Industrial Law in the State, and given recent changes in national industrial policy may lead to a situation where University faculty in the state might find that the antique jurisdiction of the University Visitor may play a major role in matters of industrial law.

Sub-Page: The Visitorial Appeal

This part of the Site is also under construction. It will look to the history and role of the "University Visitor", a British tradition harking back to medieval times.

Sub-Page: Other Notorious Australian University Legal Cases

This set of links and information is being developed on another page.
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