Michael Kirby

Michael Kirby, AC, CMG, (born 18 March 1939) is an Australian retired judge, jurist, and academic who is a former Justice of the High Court of Australia, serving from 1996 to 2009.

Michael Kirby reviews 'Songs without Music: Aesthetic dimensions of law and justice' by Desmond Manderson

September 2001, no. 234 01 September 2001
Michael Kirby reviews 'Songs without Music: Aesthetic dimensions of law and justice' by Desmond Manderson
This is not an easy book to read. It is crammed full of ideas, literary and musical allusions, and theories about law and justice. The author’s basic thesis – that law is a concept imperfectly realised, continuously reinterpreted, and always in flux – is not really controversial in legal circles in Australia today, let alone novel. The most influential legal scholar in Australia’s history, ... (read more)

Michael Kirby reviews 'Habeas Corpus: From England to Empire' by Paul D. Halliday

April 2011, no. 330 24 March 2011
Michael Kirby reviews 'Habeas Corpus: From England to Empire' by Paul D. Halliday
In the days when every Australian law student studied legal history, one of the famous cases we were taught was about James Somerset. Taken from Africa, probably in his early teens, Somerset, in 1749, was by the laws of Virginia made a chattel of his master, Charles Steuart. Twenty years later, Steuart took Somerset to England, where he continued to serve as a slave for two years until, in October ... (read more)