The Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG

Michael Kirby was a Justice of the High Court of Australia, the nation’s highest court, from 1996-2009. Before that he held other important legal posts including President of the New South Wales Court of Appeal and of the Solomon Islands Court of Appeal.

During his judicial service he was a commissioner of the WHO global commission on AIDS (1988-92); Special Representative of the UNSG for human rights in Cambodia (1993-6) and President of the International Commission of Jurists (1995-8). Since his judicial retirement, he has taken part in a large number of international activities. These 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 (2010-12); and chair of the UN Human Rights Council’s Commission of Inquiry on North Korea (DPRK) (2013-14). He currently serves as senior co chair of the International Bar Association Human Rights Institute based in London (2018-). He is a strong advocate of LGBTIQ rights and recently married his partner of 50 years, Johan. In April 2019 he co-headed a mission to the Holy See in Rome concerning repeal of worldwide criminal laws against gays.