Sunday, 8 February 2009

Michael Kirby "retires" and now takes up blogging

Justice Michael Kirby has retired from the High Court. As Australia's first openly gay judge, and the youngest judge appointed by the Commonwealth ever (an earlier appointment by the Whitlam Government), Justice Kirby has now reached the age of 70 and therefore had to retire from the bench.

The man who has achieved more in one lifetime than most of could achieve in several, and gave his recreation for Who's Who as "work", has now taken up blogging. Michael Kirby has now started his eponymous site which is a wealth of info about him, including setting out speeches.

Will Michael Kirby really retire now? I doubt it. After all when his Honour was rightly awarded one of his Honorary Doctorates last year, his dad drove himself to the ceremony!

In light of his record and his sheer humanity, the media, rightly, have made much of his Honour's retirement.

The ABC has run an interview on The World Today- about life, the universe and everything.

The angle Melbourne's Herald-Sun ran with was that Michael Kirby now shakes the hand of Senator Bill Heffernan.

But the best by far was the interview by the Australian's Mike Pelly, downloadable here, and praise by Tony Abbott, who said:

Kirby could never fairly be described as a man of the Left or even as a
radical judge. He has been a reformer in wanting improvements but a conservative
in believing that Australia's institutions had it in them to be better. Kirby
campaigned against injustice, exclusion and xenophobia because, in his view,
they were contrary to English-speaking civilisation at its best.

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