Biography of Michael Kirby

Michael Kirby was appointed to federal judicial office in 1975. He was shortly seconded to be the inaugural chairman of the Australian Law Reform Commission (1975-84). Later he became a judge of the Federal Court of Australia (1983-4); President of the NSW Court of Appeal (1984-96); President of the Court of Appeal of Solomon Islands (1995-6) and Justice of the High Court of Australia (1996-2009). Since his judicial retirement he has been heavily engaged in international activities, mostly for the United Nations. These have included the chairmanship of the UN commission of inquiry on human rights violations in North Korea (2013-14) and as a member of the UN Secretary General’s high-level panel on access to essential medicines (2015-16). He took an active role in the Academy in the 1980s and was President (1987-89).