What is Kirby's Interpretive Principle Really About?

Australian Law Journal, Vol. 87, No. 3, pp. 200-209, 2013

Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 13/63

11 Pages Posted: 18 Mar 2013 Last revised: 28 Aug 2013

See all articles by Luke Beck

Luke Beck

Monash University - Faculty of Law

Date Written: March 18, 2013

Abstract

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

Beck, Luke, What is Kirby's Interpretive Principle Really About? (March 18, 2013). Australian Law Journal, Vol. 87, No. 3, pp. 200-209, 2013; Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 13/63. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2234867

Luke Beck (Contact Author)

Monash University - Faculty of Law ( email )

Wellington Road
Clayton, Victoria 3800
Australia

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