What is Kirby's Interpretive Principle Really About?
Australian Law Journal, Vol. 87, No. 3, pp. 200-209, 2013
11 Pages Posted: 18 Mar 2013 Last revised: 28 Aug 2013
Date Written: March 18, 2013
This article critically assesses Michael Kirby’s interpretive principle to reveal the assumptions underlying it and suggests that the principle is not really about international law but rather about moral claims regarding human dignity and the role of the judge. The article proceeds in three main parts. First, the interpretive principle is articulated, its different forms noted and its limitations considered. Secondly, the article reﬂects upon what the interpretive principle reveals about how Kirby sees the role of the judge and how this informs the interpretive principle. Finally, the article considers the emphasis Kirby places on human rights values and how international law ﬁts into the interpretive principle.
Keywords: constitutional interpretation, interpretive principle, Michael Kirby, international law, human rights
JEL Classification: K10, K30
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation