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The intimate biography of High Court justice Michael Kirby.

The intimate biography of High Court justice Michael Kirby.

For most of his life, Michael Kirby has been a man on a tightrope. A person of strong views working in a world governed by objectivity, he has had to balance the potent, sometimes contradictory impulses of passion and duty, honesty and discretion, advocacy and neutrality.

He had to hide his real self from the world for decades, while being the public voice of countless human-rights and legal issues. And his thirty-five years as a federal judge afforded him tremendous authority and power,
but often demanded silence and impartiality on matters closest to his heart.

This intimate biography takes us behind the bench to explore the personal, moral and spiritual convictions of one of our most beloved and brilliant citizens, a man who made the law accessible, humane and interesting, a man who was never blown along by the prevailing political winds. It draws on a wealth of previously unavailable letters and papers, as well as interviews with Kirby, his family, friends and – for the first time – Johan van Vloten, his partner of more than forty years.
Michael Kirby: Law, Love & Life looks back on a controversial career of dedication and success, and a private life of great love, secrecy and, finally, openness.

'With a filmmaker's flair, [Dellora] paints a revealing portrait of Australia's 'activist judge.' Sydney Morning Herald

'Captivating … Immaculately crafted.' West Australian

Formats & editions

  • Paperback

    9780143569152

    June 26, 2013

    Penguin (AU Adult)

    400 pages

    RRP $24.99

    Online retailers

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  • EBook

    9781742536200

    July 25, 2012

    Penguin eBooks (AU Adult)

    336 pages

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    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au