Michael Kirby is an academic and jurist who is a former High Court Justice of Australia. He attended the University of Sydney, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in 1959, of Laws in 1961, and of Economics in 1965, as well as a Master of Laws in 1967. He was admitted to the New South Wales bar in 1967. In 1975, he became the youngest man appointed to a federal court when he was made Deputy President of the Australian Conciliation and Arbitration Commission. In 1996, following several other appointments, he was appointed to the High Court of Australia. He has served on many other boards and committees, notably the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) and the CSIRO. He is Patron of the Friends of Libraries Australia (FOLA) and many other bodies. He retired from the High Court in 2009. In 2013, he was appointed by the UN Human Rights Council to lead a commission of inquiry into human rights abuses in North Korea. Kirby was one of the founders of Australians for Constitutional Monarchy, a group that played a large role in the 1999 republic referendum. Kirby came out as a gay man in 1984, and has since been outspoken in his support of LGBTQ rights.

In his lecture, Kirby spoke about the role law should or could play in the AIDS epidemic.

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