Michael Kirby joins UNSW

Michael Kirby joins UNSW
19 March 2009
Former High Court Justice Michael Kirby has taken up an appointment as a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of New South Wales.

Professor Kirby, who stepped down from the nation's highest court earlier this year after 13 years on the bench, accepted an offer made by Vice-Chancellor Professor Fred Hilmer to take up the position in the Faculty of Law.

Australia's longest serving judge, Professor Kirby also served on the Court of Appeal of New South Wales.

"I am thrilled to announce that Michael Kirby, Australia's longest serving judge, has accepted the University's offer of a Visiting Professorial Fellowship," said Dean of the Faculty of Law, David Dixon.

"Professor Kirby will contribute to the Faculty in a number of ways, including writing, teaching and mentoring. Students and staff will benefit from his wisdom and experience."

Commenting on his appointment, Professor Kirby said he was delighted to accept the offer: "I have been coming to UNSW since the late 1950s and have watched its Law School grow to one of world renown.

"I now have a number of professorships and plan to compensate for the loss of my judicial title by insisting that I am called 'Professor Dr Professor Kirby'," he joked.

However, Professor Kirby said any delusions of grandeur that he might experience would be cured by his new students and by his partner Johan at home, who would "keep his feet firmly on the ground".

Since his appointment Professor Kirby has delivered a lecture to law students on the challenge of speaking to juries populated in increasing numbers by members of Generations X and Y.

On Wednesday 1 April, he will take part in a seminar at UNSW on constitutional courts in a time of social change. This will compare the situation of the High Court of Australia with developments in constitutional courts in the new democracies of South Africa and Hungary.

Media contact: Steve Offner | 02 9385 8107| s.offner[at]unsw.edu[dot]au

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