Follow MKC
Kiva - Loans that change lives

Tasmanian Advocacy Convention 2014

The inaugural Tasmanian Advocacy Convention will take place in Hobart from the 4TH TO THE 6TH DECEMBER 2014. Participants will receive three days advocacy training from a disitinguished international and national teaching faculty. The Convention will commence with a reception at Government House  There is only a limited number of places.

For more details and to register go to .

Chambers visit

Chambers was delighted to welcome Michael Kirby who joined us for a cup of tea and a catch up recently. Whilst in Tasmania Michael presented a very interesting lecture on the Hart-Devlin debate in the context of issues which are engaging the community today.

Judicial Appointment

Duncan Kerr SC, a founding member of Michael Kirby Chambers, has been appointed a Judge of the Federal Court of Australia and President of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

An advisory panel comprising Chief Justice Patrick Keane, Sir Gerard Brennan AC KBE, the Hon Acting Justice Jane Mathews AO and a senior representative of the Attorney-General’s Department considered candidates for appointment.  

Everyone of us in Chambers is delighted to congratulate Duncan, and to wish him well in this new and significant chapter in his already distinguished career.

French Honour

On Tuesday the 23rd of August, the Hon. Duncan Kerr was confered the insignia of Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur (Knight in the Order of the Legion d’Honneur) by the Ambassador of France, his Excellency Mr. Michel Filhol. 

The Honourable Duncan Kerr has been awarded this official distinction, the highest and oldest award in France, for his commitment to defend values dear to France and his contribution to the enhancement of friendly ties between Australia and France. 

As a barrister specialised in Public Law, and more precisely in administrative and constitutional law, Mr. Kerr has had great success before the High Court of Australia. In some cases, he has set the beginning of a jurisprudence which better protected citizens against the wanderings of the administration. 

As a politician, he has served for 23 years as a Member of Parliament, been twice a Member of Government, as Attorney General and Minister for Justice in the Keating government and as Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Islands Affairs in the Kevin Rudd government. 

In his role as Parliamentary Secretary for the Pacific, he has developped special ties with Pacific French Territories and France, understanding its efforts to assist its Pacific territories towards stability, development and direct participation to life in this region. 

The Hon Duncan Kerr receiving the insignia of Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur from the hands the Ambassador of France, his Excellency Mr. Michel Filhol. 

The Hon Duncan Kerr’s acceptance speech. 

The Hon Duncan Kerr and partner Anna Pafitis. 

The Hon Duncan Kerr with Mrs. and Mr. Michel Filhol.

Members of Chambers congratulate Duncan on the award of this Honour.

New Members of Chambers 

September 1st 2011

It gives us great pleasure to welcome Aneita Browning to Chambers.

July 1st 2011

It is with great pleasure that we welcome Yvonne Pagett and Caroline Graves to Chambers.

Commonwealth Acts Interpretation Act Amendments Bill passes

15th June 2011 

The Australian Parliament has passed the Acts Interpretation Amendment Bill 2011, which will make it easier for people to understand and interpret Commonwealth legislation.

The Bill introduces a number of new general rules and definitions, which avoids the need to repeat these in other Commonwealth Acts. The full explanatory memorandum can be accessed at Memorandum/Text 


ALRC PUBLICATION-Discovery in the Federal Court 


The Australia Law Reform Commission report on Discovery in the Federal Court has now been published. 


Disclosure is an area of considerable importance. Link to the ALRC report by following the link on the right under 'ARTICLES"




NSW Court of Appeal - Advocates Immunity - Day v Rogers: 







Follow the link on the right under 'Case news & Comment' to read the NSW Court of Appeal's important decision on advocates immunity.


Austlii iPhone app is now available  - follow news and important legal updates by following us on Twitter of Facebook.


More at


Check out BarNet Jade:

BarNet Jade is accessible from the right hand side of the page under Links. This is a project well worth joining. Click on the link and for enhanced benefits, register. 





Federation press has released "Michael Kirby  Paradoxes & Principles", by AJ Brown. 

This biography charts Michael Kirby’s extraordinary public life from his first forays as a student politician in the early 1960s, to his appointments as foundation chairman of the Australian Law Reform Commission in 1975, President of the NSW Court of Appeal in 1984, and Justice of the High Court of Australia (1996-2009).

Internationally, Kirby has been a leader in law reform and human rights with the OECD, UNESCO, UN Human Rights Commission and the WHO Global Program on AIDS. He is a former world president of the International Commission of Jurists, and in 1993-1996 was the first Australian to serve as a Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Human Rights.

A J Brown reveals Kirby’s difficult and often challenging personal path as judge, public intellectual and gay man. He shows the sharp contrast between Kirby’s 30-year love affair with controversial public issues and the reality of a man whose underlying message is deeply traditionalist – that people should have faith in the status quo of political institutions, even the monarchy.

He shows also how Kirby’s most constant companion – publicity – has been a double-edged sword. Behind his active courtship of an unprecedented judicial profile lay a passion for principles and the social relevance of the law, but it drove him into fierce conflict with the many judges and politicians who questioned whether such celebrity was compatible with judicial life.

The slow coming together of his personal, professional and public lives culminates in sharp moments of truth – for Kirby, for powerful institutions, and for a society learning to cope with the challenges of change.

The research has included:

  • Exclusive access to over 117 metres of personal and official papers, dating back to the 1940s
  • Interviews with more than 30 of Michael Kirby’s closest relatives and colleagues
  • Independent research into how falsified records came to be used in Parliament in a direct attack on a High Court judge, and
  • Unprecedented access to the working materials of a High Court judge, including draft judgments and papers normally shredded within judicial chambers.

The book is highly recommended and is available at in the bookstore:

Publisher The Federation Press
ISBN 9781862876507
Australian RRP $59.95
Direct Price $55.00
International Price $55.00

Prize Winner 


Congratulations to Rosalind Ta'eed inaugural winner of the Michael Kirby Chambers UTAS prize for highest achievement in 2010 in the subject "Legal Ethics and Professional Conduct". Go to the link at the top of the page for more information.

February 3rd 2011

Chambers formal opening by Michael Kirby on February 3rd was a great success. As well as our guest of honour, we were honoured by Judges, Magistrates, members of other chambers, solicitors, the President of the Law Society and its Executive Director and not least the Premier and Leader of the Opposition. It was a wonderful occasion. Every member of Chambers records their appreciation for the support and good wishes of the many who attended.


[L to R] Will Hodgman, Michael Kirby, Lara Giddings, Duncan Kerr SC 

Click through on the "opening of chambers" tab in the left navigation column for the full text of Michael Kirby's opening speech.