Ted Thomas interviews Michael Kirby

16 April 2012


The Honourable Michael Kirby visited the Auckland Law School on Friday 30 March. His visit attracted considerable interest with over three hundred students turning out to hear him being interviewed by his close friend Sir Edmund Thomas, a Distinguished Fellow at the Law School. Students ended up sitting in the aisles and in front of the stage in the Stone Lecture Theatre, where the interview took place, and there was standing room only in the Algie Lecture Theatre, which received a video relay of the interview.

Michael Kirby is universally recognised as one of the world’s foremost jurists. He was President of the New South Wales Court of Appeal from 1984 to 1996 and a member of the High Court of Australia from 1996 to 2009. He has also been President of the International Commission of Jurists and UN Special Representative on Human Rights in Cambodia.

Ted Thomas interviewed Michael Kirby on ‘judicial activism’, the title of his Hamlyn Lectures delivered in 2003. Students present agreed that the interview was a memorable occasion. There was a lot of laughter, good humour, and some very serious points about the law and the role of judges in interpreting and making it.

See the video of the interview below: