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Former High Court judge to inspire next generation of law practitioners

Australia’s best-known judge – the Honourable Michael Kirby AC CMG – will visit Ipswich tomorrow (April 1) for a number of events, including a book launch at the Old Ipswich Courthouse.

The former Justice of the High Court of Australia will be supporting University of Southern Queensland lecturers Dr Sarah McKibbin, Dr Libby Connors and Professor Marcus Harmes – co-authors of the book A Legal History for Australia.

Justice Kirby’s visit will start at the University’s Ipswich campus where he will share lessons on criminal law and history with first-year law students and participate in a research showcase with academics.

The University’s Head of the School of Law and Justice, Professor Reid Mortensen, said the University was honoured to welcome Justice Kirby.

“Justice Kirby is a very good friend of the University and also serves on the School of Law and Justice’s Advisory Board,” Professor Mortensen said.

“We have been overwhelmed by the response, particularly from our students.

“He is easily the most famous judge in Australian history – he even features in the book! – and he stands out with his tireless commitment to justice, equality and the dignity of all people.

“Even though he retired from the High Court more than a decade ago, Justice Kirby still has a strong reputation in the legal community. Most heartening is his extraordinary popularity with students.”

Justice Kirby was Australia’s longest serving judge when he retired from the High Court in 2009. He is renowned for his commitment for social justice and judgments over 35 years on three courts.

He has also served on a number of international boards – from the United Nations (UN) Special Representative Human Rights in Cambodia to the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Global Commission on AIDS. Most recently, he led the UN Human Rights Council Commission into human rights abuses in North Korea.

kirby talking to students
The Honourable Michael Kirby AC CMG will be spending the day at Ipswich tomorrow.