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Judicial Profiles

Image of Michael Kirby AC CMGThe Hon Justice Michael Kirby AC CMG

Judge, High Court of Australia (1996-2009)

Qualifications | Work History | Other positions held | Academic positions | Relevant judgments | Relevant speeches and publications


Relevant qualifications and honours

  • BA (1959) University of Sydney
  • LLB (1962) University of Sydney
  • BEc (1965) University of Sydney
  • LLM (First Class Honours) (1967) University of Sydney
  • Eighteen honorary doctrorates, including
    • Doctor of Letters from the University of Newcastle (NSW), the  University of Ulster and James Cook University
    • Doctor of Laws from the University of Melbourne, Macquarie University, the University of Sydney,
      the National Law School University of India, Buckingham University and the Australian National University. 
    • Doctor of the University by the University of South Australia
  • Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) (1982) for Services to the law
  • Companion of the Order of Australa (AC) (1991)
  • Awarded Centenary Medal (2001) For service to law reform and as a Justice of the High Court of Australia


Relevant work history

  • Adjunct Professor at a number of Universities, including Deakin University, University of Tasmania, University of Western Sydney
  • 1996-2009 - Judge of the High Court of Australia (6 February 1996 - 2 February 2009; appointed by Paul Keating)
  • 1984-1996 - President of the New South Wales Court of Appeal
  • 1983-1984 - Judge of the Federal Court of Australia (20 March 1983 - 23 September 1984)
  • 1975-1984 - First Chairperson of the Australian Law Reform Commission
  • 1975 - Deputy President of the Australian Conciliation and Arbitration Commission
  • Barrister and solicitor


Other positions held

  • 1984-1993 - Chancellor of Macquarie University in Sydney
  • 1988-1992 - Member of the World Health Organisation’s Global Commission on AIDS
  • 1995-1998 - President of the International Commission of Jurists, Geneva
  • 1993-1996 - UN Special Representative Human Rights in Cambodia
  • 1995-2005 - Member of the UNESCO International Bioethics Committee
  • 2007 - current - Member of the High Commissioner for Human Rights’ Judicial Reference Group
  • 2004 - current - Member of the UNAIDS Reference Group on HIV and Human Rights
  • 2009-2010 - President of the Institute of Arbitrators & Mediators Australia


Academic appointments

  • Justice Kirby has been an Honorary Visiting Professor by twelve universities


Relevant judgments

More forthcoming


Relevant speeches and publications