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The Hon. Michael Kirby | The Report of the Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in the DPRK: 10 years on

16 July 2024
5.30pm – 7.00pm AEST
Tyree Energy Technologies Building Room LG05, UNSW Sydney
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The United Nations Human Rights Council’s Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in the DPRK was chaired by the Hon. Michael Kirby, who had previously served as a Justice of the High Court of Australia from 1996 to 2009. The Commission's report found that systematic, widespread and gross human rights violations had been committed by DPRK institutions and officials. In many instances, these violations amounted to crimes against humanity. The report was presented to the Human Rights Council on 17 March 2014 and subsequently sent to the UN General Assembly, which voted to transmit the report to the UN Security Council. No further substantive action was taken by the Council, and the issue remains on the agenda to this day.  

In this conversation, the Hon. Michael Kirby will reflect on the impact of the report and consider its legacy. 

This event will be introduced by Professor Justine Nolan (Director of the Australian Human Rights Institute) and moderated by Associate Professor Christopher Michaelsen (UNSW Law & Justice and Australian Human Rights Institute Associate).

Michael Kirby

Michael Kirby

Michael Kirby is a highly distinguished Australian jurist and legal scholar who served as a Justice of the High Court of Australia from 1996 to 2009. He has been recognised internationally for his contributions to human rights and social justice and is affectionately known as the ‘Great Dissenter’ for his well-reasoned, independent, and sometimes controversial opinions.

He was a member of the World Health Organisation’s Global Commission on AIDS and since retiring from the High Court, has continued his work in various international roles, including as a Commissioner on the UNDP Global Commission on HIV and the Law, and as a member of the UNAIDS Reference Group on HIV and Human Rights. He has been awarded the Australian Human Rights Medal, was named a laureate of the UNESCO Prize for Human Rights Education and received the Gruber Justice Prize for his work on sexual orientation discrimination and international human rights law, including laws relating to privacy and HIV/AIDS. He is also a public speaker, commentator, and author.