Chapter 5 Constitutional Law
Appealing to the Future: Michael Kirby and His Legacy, Ian Freckelton and Hugh Selby, eds., p. 179, 2009
41 Pages Posted: 6 Aug 2009
Date Written: 2009
Michael Kirby is something of a force of nature. His reputation for energy, ideas and conviction is only eclipsed by his willingness to articulate his views widely to national and international audiences. He is identified with causes and approaches that win him both plaudits and condemnation, though not in equal measure. Any assessment of his contribution to Australian constitutional jurisprudence is inevitably drawn to the conclusion that he sits awkwardly between two eras. He is a legal realist appointed at a time when the ascendant political and legal norms were hostile to that movement. Moreover, his jurisprudence, it would appear, is not developed solely for his time on the Bench but for some future era when his view may gain greater currency.
Michael Kirby is a judge who stands out of his time. This chapter explores the key attributes of Kirby’s interpretative methodology and significant aspects of his understanding of the nature and operation of the Australian Constitution.
Keywords: Michael Kirby, High Court of Australia, Constitutional Law
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