Transnational Legal Authority and the Impact on U.S. Courts


The Hon. Michael Kirby will lecture on "The Growing Use of Transnational Legal Authority and the Impact on U.S. Courts," participate in a panel discussion, and hold a "Conversation" co-sponsored by the Suffolk University Law Review and Queer Law Alliance during a two-day visit to the Law School.

Before retiring in February, Kirby was one of the seven judges of the High Court of Australia. He was Australia’s longest serving judge, having been first appointed in 1975 and having served in the state and federal judiciary. 

In addition to his judicial posts, Justice Kirby has held a number of international positions, including president of the International Commission of Jurists in Geneva, special representative of the secretary-general of the United Nations for Human Rights in Cambodia, and member of the UNESCO Bioethics Committee.

Judges' panel discussion

His Law Review Donahue Lecture Series presentation on transnational legal authority will take place from noon to 2 p.m. Wednesday, April 22, 2009, in the First Floor Function Room.

It will be followed by a panel discussion featuring Kirby, the Hon. Margaret H. Marshall, the Hon. John Greaney, the Hon. Peter Rubin, and Professor Eric Blumenson at 2:15 p.m in Room 295 of the Law School.

Sexuality and the law

The previous day, Kirby will hold "A Conversation" with Ruthann Robson, distinguished professor of law at the City University of New York School of Law.

Kirby, the first openly gay justice on the Australian High Court, has been a member of UNAIDS Global Reference Panel on HIV/AIDS and Human Rights. He has also served on the Board of Governors of the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University.

Robson teaches Constitutional Law and Sexuality and the Law. Her books include a three-volume edited series, Sexuality and Law: International Perspectives, and a new legal theory book Queer Constitutions.

The conversation, to be held at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 21, in the Main Function Room of the Law School, will be moderated by Suffolk Law Professor Kate Nace Day, with introductions by Massachusetts Lesbian and Gay Bar Association Board Member, Christina Miller. A reception will follow at 6:00 p.m. 


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