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.