'A Private Life' is available from all good bookshops from
28 September 2011 or from www.allenandunwin.com
For Chinese readers, I have attached a translation of a chapter
of my book ‘’A Private Life’’ concerning my partner Johan. This will give
them an insight into me and my life. And the importance of love to every human
Attorney-General, The Hon Robert McClelland MP; President of the Australian Bar Association, Mr Thomas Bathurst, QC; President of the Law Council of Australia, Mr John Corcoran; President of my home Bar, the Bar Association of New South Wales, Ms Anna Katzmann SC;The Hon T E F Hughes, AO, QC; Judicial, Academic and other Colleagues; Family and Friends:
In this room, where independent judges uphold the law and the Constitution, I start by honouring the people of Australia, in all of their diversity, most of them happily unaware of what we do here today. Fortunate is a land that lives in confidence under the rule of law, with elected parliaments, uncorrupted officials and independent judges.
Welcome to my home page. This allows me to speak directly to you. Until now, I have mainly had to speak through the forbidding pages of court reports and formal legal texts. Of course this has not stopped me in the past from speaking directly. Basically, I always try to write in the same way as I speak.
My career has included work as a judge in two great Australian appellate courts - the High Court of Australia and the Court of Appeal of New South Wales. This website helps you to find:
My judicial opinions in the courts on which I have served;
My speeches, articles, book reviews and other 'pearls of wisdom';
For the first time, this website has my speeches back to 1975, the year I helped set up the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC). Virtually all of the speeches are here. In fact, I lay claim to inventing the 'blog'. Follow my speeches and you can track my activities, experiences, thinking and feelings over 34 years of public life in Australia and abroad;
My multimedia gallery provides photos and films of my work and home life;
The website will offer filmed and recorded excerpts from speeches old and new as well as podcasts that can be downloaded.
Everyone who visits this space has a right to agree or disagree with what they find. Causing occasional offence is not the greatest sin. Being boring, self-righteous or unkind compete for that award. I welcome feedback and suggestions as I embrace new adventures in my life. These may take me into arbitration and mediation; academic teaching and research; new international activities; and work completely outside the "Great Game" of the law.
The Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG - 2014 Centenary Summit
Melbourne - Saturday, 22 November 2014
Epic Exchange Between Justice Kirby and DPRK Councillor Kim Song
“Michael Kirby and Kim Song, North Korean Ambassador to United Nations, disagree in New York.
22 October 2014 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, a side
event to the meeting of the General Assembly was organised by the UN
Missions of Australia, Botswana and Panama. This event, chaired by
Ambassador Gary Quinlan (Australia) included participation of DPRK
refugees. Exceptionally, Kim Song, the DPRK Deputy Head of Mission
attended and challenged the report of the Commission of Inquiry on DPRK
which Michael Kirby had chaired. Mr Kirby urged DPRK to release the COI
report in North Korea and to invite COI members to Pyongyang to explain
it and answer questions. "
Watch the video here
Photo of the Honourable E.G. Whitlam AC QC with prize
winning film maker and author Daryl Dellora, who was author
of Michael Kirby: Law, Love & Life, published by Penguin Books (2012).
was taken on 14 November 2012. Reproduced with permission.
Michael Kirby's presentation on International Child Abductions in Australian Courts on 14 October 2014.
Lecture at Otago University, Dunedin, New Zealand
Tuesday, 26 March 2013
Report of the United Nations Commission of Inquiry on DPRK (North Korea is released in Geneva)
On 21 March 2013, the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) (during its 22nd
Session) established the Commission of Inquiry (COI) on Human Rights on
the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) (North Korea). The
Commission was established by HRC Resolution A/HRC/RES/22/13. This
mandated the COI to investigate the systematic, widespread and grave
violations of human rights in the DPRK so as to ensure full
accountability, in particular, for violations that may amount to crimes
President of the HRC in 2013, (Ambassador H.E. Mr Remigiusz A. Henczel,
Poland) on 7 May 2013, named Michael Kirby of Australia and Sonja
Biserko of Serbia as Commissioners of the COI. They joined Mr Marzuki
Darusman, past Attorney-General of Indonesia, who is the second holder
of the mandate from the HRC as Special Rapporteur on the situation of
human rights in the DPRK. Michael Kirby was also appointed as Chair of
the COI. The Commissioners serve in a non-remunerated, independent,
expert capacity. They took up their duties in the month following their
appointment. The COI was supported by a secretariat of 9 experienced
human rights officials provided by the High Commissioner for Human
Rights (OHCHR). However, once appointed, the Secretariat was wholly
independent of the OHCHR, as were the Commissioners.
COI received no cooperation from DPRK which declared that the creation
of the body was a hostile political act. This notwithstanding, the COI
repeatedly sort to engage with DPRK. As Chair, Michael delivered an
Oral Update on the work of the COI both to the HRC in Geneva in August
2013 and to the 3rd Committee of the General Assembly in New York in October 2013.
Report of the COI is to be delivered to the Human Rights Council in
Geneva at its current session expected to be on 17 or 18 March 2014.
Meantime, the draft Report (which is being translated into the UN
languages) has been published online in Geneva in its original English
Michael Kirby Named Patron of Kirby Institute at UNSW
The Hon. Michael Kirby has been named Patron
of the Kirby Institute. The Institute is the new name of the cutting
edge centre for scientific and social research into HIV, viral hepatitis
and sexually transmissible infections. It is based in the University of
New South Wales. Since 1988, Michael Kirby has had a close association
with the global
and national HIV response, including through the World Health
Organisation, United Nations Development Programme, UNAIDS and the
Commonwealth of Nations. The Kirby Institute was named in December 2012
as a major recipient of research funding awarded by the National Health
and Medical Research Council. Professor David Cooper, Director of the
Kirby Institute, received a
grant of $12.6 million for a major research program involving 7 groups
in Sydney and Melbourne investigating how HIV lies dormant in some parts
of the body, evading eradication by HIV therapy. The research will
examine how the immune system responds to the virus. For further
stories CLICK here.