Sept 9, 2008, Sydney Morning Herald:
Retiring High Court Judge Michael Kirby says Australia's next generation of lawyers must change their focus and think globally.ABC News, Michael Kirby:
Justice Kirby, who steps down next year after 12 years serving on Australia's High Court, says the legal profession must no longer view itself as an "enclave of parochialism".
"Question old rules in new contexts of rapidly changing times," Justice Kirby told Faculty of Law graduates at the University of NSW in an address.
"The big challenge, and opportunity, of this generation of lawyers lies in its demand that lawyers should think globally."
Justice Kirby said the changing times had spurred advances in international law - in trade law, economic law and human rights law.
"Never accept that these are developments irrelevant to our Australian domestic law," he told graduates...
... At our going out, we who did our best to reform the law must hand it on to you who are coming in. Never be content with injustice. Question old rules in new contexts of rapidly changing times.ABC News (with audio), Michael Kirby:
The changing times include the advances in international law - trade law, economic law and human rights law. Never accept that these are developments irrelevant to our Australian domestic law. The big challenge and opportunity of this generation of lawyers lies in its demand that lawyers should think globally.
We need to change mental gears. Others on this campus are thinking globally all their lives. A law school cannot be a little enclave of parochialism. Nor can the legal profession or the judiciary. At your coming in, you must change the focus of the law. This is your special challenge and chance.
...The position of women has also improved, as have many of the laws affecting them. But there is still far to go. The slights to Asian-Australians have diminished. But there is still far to go.
The position of gays has got better in my lifetime. But the oppression and ignorance are not yet over. Inequality and discrimination have not yet stopped. Wrongs and injustices still occur in the law to this day, including even for me, an office-holder under the nation's Constitution. So it is work in progress; no room for complacency.
A law school cannot be a little enclave of nationalism and parochialism in today's Australia...The chorus of globalists is out of the closet and singing loud now that Rudd has told them to "think big" about an Asia Pacific Union. Borders are 'immoral', don't you know? And I wonder if he too thinks that sharia law is 'unavoidable'? Of if he too thinks Muslims in the West 'shall be governed by law other than English law'?
For Islamic Australians it must still seem sometimes very difficult.