Michael Kirby

2010 Justice Prize

Laureate Profile

Michael Kirby was appointed to Australia’s High Court in 1996, where his attention to international law and human rights as relevant to Australia’s common law often put him in the minority and earned him the title of Australia’s “Great Dissenter.” In the 1970s, Mr. Kirby had become involved in international activities, chairing the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development panels that created the guidelines that were to serve as the basis for modern privacy and data security law in the U.S., Europe, Australia and New Zealand. He has served on UNESCO’s International Bioethics Committee, and chaired the group that prepared the Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights. His work for the UN on behalf of the human rights of persons living with HIV and AIDS has driven legal reform in many countries that has resulted in many lives being saved.