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"It is often said that the best leaders are those who serve."

MICHAEL, KIRBY -

"I am sure that no one coming to this ceremony expected a High Court judge to use the occasion to talk about that four-letter word, love. But that's a good thing. In life, never be predictable. It's so uncool. "

MICHAEL, KIRBY - High Court judge But The Greatest of These is Love Graduation Speech Griffith University 2008

"So I want to identify, if I can, the most important thing that we discover in life. At least, it is the most important thing that I have discovered. I will share it with you, like a precious jewel, fit for this occasion. I refer to love. Love for one another. Love for our community. Love for others everywhere in the world. Love transcends even scholarship, cleverness and university degrees. It is greater than pride and wealth. It endures when worldly vanities fade..."

MICHAEL, KIRBY - High Court judge But The Greatest of These is Love Graduation Speech Griffith University 2008

"I have always thought that the essential foundation of fundamental human rights is love. Love for one another. Empathy for fellow human beings."

MICHAEL, KIRBY - But The Greatest of These is Love Graduation Speech, Griffith University December 2008

"When in the evening we are alone with our most existential thoughts, it is then that we come face to face with the most precious truths that we discover in our brief existence in this world. Just before fatigue envelopes us, taking us into sleep. We think of what our lives actually mean. And then we know how lucky we are if we still enjoy consciousness, rationality and love. But the greatest of these is love."

MICHAEL, KIRBY - High Court judge But The Greatest of These is Love Graduation Speech Griffith University 2008

"I am the result of a loving upbringing in a peaceful country, with wonderful parents and siblings, a very long-term relationship, stability, support - but a feeling that life isn't always just and that there is injustice for people and we should do something about it."

MICHAEL, KIRBY -

"And one way to give it a stimulus is to give the courts the opportunity to respond to something over which the politicians can't wield control - that is, people who go to court and say: 'Steady on, you have ignored or you have breached a basic principle. It affects me and I believe you should be reminded of this and if possible, that the law be interpreted so that it conforms to the basic principle."

MICHAEL, KIRBY - on making the democratic process work more effectively