Author(s): Daryl Dellora
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 and Life looks back on a controversial career of dedication and success, and a private life of great love, secrecy and, finally, openness.
Daryl Dellora is an award-winning documentary filmmaker. He is the recipient of an Australian Human Rights Award for his film Mr Neal is Entitled to be an Agitator, about the life of High Court justice Lionel Murphy, and a Gold Plaque at the Chicago International Television Festival for The Edge of the Possible - a film about Sydney Opera House architect Jørn Utzon. Daryl has been an Australian Film Commission documentary fellow, and in 2005 was awarded a residency at the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Study Centre. He wrote and directed the film Michael Kirby: Don't forget the justice bit (2010) for ABC-TV, has made films about the Governor-General of Australia and the High Court, and has worked for Film Australia and SBS-TV. Daryl co-produced the 2006 feature film Hunt Angels (winner of the AFI Award for Best Documentary) and was an executive producer of Celebrity: Dominick Dunne (2008). He is a director of the film production company Film Art Doco and filmartmedia.com, and lives in Melbourne. Michael Kirby: Law, Love and Life is his first book.