• “The Honourable Michael Kirby and Mr Marzuki Darusman
    after receiving the Japanese Order of the Rising Sun – Gold and Silver Star
    and an audience with His Majesty the Emperor of Japan on 9 May 2017 at the Imperial Palace, Tokyo.
    The award was conferred “In recognition of his contribution to promoting international understanding
    of the situation of human rights in North Korea, including the issue of the abduction of Japanese nationals”.”

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 1990 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


23 Sep 2017

Gratitude, Resilience and Self-Criticism - Public lecture given to The University of Newcastle School of Law in Newcastle NSW

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10 Sep 2017

In Conversation with The Hon Michael Kirby at Global Ideas Forum 2017

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31 Aug 2017

Interview with Michael Kirby and Johan van Vloten

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24 Jul 2017

Ep. 4 (The Thread) - The Hon. Michael Kirby AC CMG: The Great Dissenting High Court Judge

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