Episode 12: The rule of four with the Honourable Michael Kirby

An interview that was made in August 2021 by the Murdoch University Student Law Society in Perth, Western Australia.

The interview records the answers of Michael Kirby to questions asked by student interviewers. The questions concern the necessities of live as a lawyer and a judge; the obligation to apply the law; and the leeways of choice that are sometimes present for judicial decision-making. Specific mention is made by the speaker to the decision of the High Court of Australia in : Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs  v   B (2004) 219 CLR 365

The Decision illustrates the obligation to give effect to the law, even where that decision may appear to be individually unjust, but required by the provisions of the Australian Constitution, valid federal laws and mandated principles of statutory interpretation laid down by the High Court. Judges have leeways for choice. But they are not open-ended. The limits are set by the Constitution, any statute and neutral interpretation.


Michael Kirby has been elected Patron of QTOPIA alongside Ita Buttrose AC OBE.

QTOPIA will launch Sydney’s gay museum.