Michael Kirby

Michael Kirby

Michael Kirby I think is a worthwhile man. And this article from the Australian (Michael Pelly February 03, 2009)
offers some of the character, interest, not-the-sameness of Justice Kirby. And as he ‘retires’ I think it is worth taking a moment to think about his contribution.

Here is part of the article:

‘Kirby was Australia’s first – and perhaps only – celebrity judge. He is a hero to those who want to concentrate on what the law could be rather than what it is. He is a law reformer of international reknown, a public intellectual who defies labels and a gay icon.

But please don’t call the man who disagreed with his colleagues more than any judge in the court’s 106-year history “The Great Dissenter”.

“I think it can be used to de-legitimise the opinions that are expressed.

“The title I would like is the title given to Ronald Reagan. The great communicator. I think one of the successes has been trying to explain the law a little bit better to ordinary folks, which is where I came from. ”

Over more than an hour, Kirby is keen to have a say on how he will be remembered.

“I am a very good chairman.”

“I am good on my feet,”

“I have a saintly disposition of Christian kindness.”

“I think the successes include courtesy to lawyers.”

“I feel I am quite close to ordinary folks.”

And his favourite: “I will be vindicated.”

Some are offered with a smile, other in a reflective tone that invites you to accept what he saying as truth.’

Justice Kirby is possibly not everyone’s cup of tea, but then again, I am a coffee drinker and I think he is pretty okay.

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