The Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG FAIIA


The Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG FAIIA is a former justice of the High Court of Australia, where he served from 1996 to 2009. Previously he was appointed as the Deputy President of the Australian Conciliation and Arbitration Commission and Chairman of the Australian Law Reform Commission, which he served concurrently from 1975 to 1983 and 1984 respectively. Later, he was appointed a judge of the Federal Court of Australia, President of the New South Wales Court of Appeal and the Court of Appeal of Solomon Islands.
Outside of his judicial roles, Kirby has been an advocate on the international stage for human rights issues. He was a member of the World Health Organisation’s Global Commission on AIDS from 1988 to 1992, UN Special Representative Human Rights in Cambodia from 1993 to 1996, President of the International Commission of Jurists from 1995 to 1998 and a member of the UNESCO International Bioethics Committee from 1995 to 2005. Kirby has served as a member of the High Commissioner for Human Rights’ Judicial Reference Group from 2007 and the Human Rights Initiative Council from 2009.
In 2013 he was appointed a Commissioner of the UNAIDS Commission on Sustainable Health and lead the Commission of Inquiry on Alleged Human Rights Violations in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea until 2014. Since 2014 he has been elected the Vice-Chair of the Human Rights Institute of the International Bar Association, received the Leo Nevas Award for human rights from the United Nations Foundation of United States of America and become a member of the Global Fund’s High Level Panel, Equitable Access Initiative to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.



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