The Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG

Michael Kirby is an international jurist, educator and former judge.  He served as a Deputy President of the Australian Conciliation and Arbitration Commission (1975-83); Chairman of the Australian Law Reform Commission (1975-84); Judge of the Federal Court of Australia (1983-4); President of the New South Wales Court of Appeal (1984-96); President of the Court of Appeal of Solomon Islands (1995-96) and Justice of the High Court of Australia (1996-2009).

He has undertaken many international activities for the United Nations, the Commonwealth Secretariat, the OECD and the Global Fund Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.  He has also worked in civil society, being elected President of the International Commission of Jurists (1995-8).  His recent international activities have included member of the Eminent Persons Group on the Future of the Commonwealth of Nations (2010-11); Commissioner of the UNDP Global Commission on HIV and the Law (2011-12); Chairman of the UN Commission of Inquiry on DPRK (North Korea) (2013-14); and Member of the UN Secretary-General’s High Level Panel on Access to Essential Healthcare (2015-16).  He is also heavily engaged in international arbitrations; domestic mediations; and teaching law.  He is Honorary Professor at 12 Australian and overseas universities.

In 1991 he was awarded the Australian Human Rights Medal.  In 1998, he was named Laurette of the UNESCO Prize for Human Rights Education. In 2010 he was named co-winner of the Gruber Justice Prize.  In 2011 he received the inaugural Australian Privacy Medal.  The honorary degrees of Doctor of Letters, Doctor of Laws and Doctor of the University have been conferred on him by universities in Australia and overseas.  He lives in Sydney with his partner since 1969, Johan van Vloten.

Areas of Interest


News and Events


26 Nov 2021

Advocates: The Podcast

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02 Nov 2021

30th Anniversary of Paris Peace Agreements on Cambodia

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25 Oct 2021

Justice Michael Kirby- NK Watch Conference (09/27/2021) Speech and Q&A

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21 Oct 2021

The Hon Michael Kirby, by video link, launched a new book by Linda Rhodes: Beyond the Rainbow

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06 Oct 2021

Webinar on Human Rights Fact-Finding

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06 Oct 2021

Human Rights Laws and Values - and Why They Matter. Keynote Address by the Hon. Michael Kirby

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16 Sep 2021

Transitional Justice: the Case of North Korea

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17 Aug 2021

Fort Street Future Leaders Week - Interview with Hon. Michael Kirby AC CMG

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17 Aug 2021

Introduction by Ms Juliette McMurray, School Principal

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29 Jul 2021

Unravelling International Law: The Hon Michael Kirby AC, CMG

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