September 30 - October 5, 2012, Dublin
Long time member, and rapporteur , of the Judicial Integrity Group, the Hon Michael Kirby (Australia) will be attending the upcoming meeting of the International Bar Association in Dublin, Ireland.
The meeting will take place between 30 September and 5 October, 2012. Mr Kirby will be addressing several sessions in a personal capacity. He is a member of the Council of the IBA's Human Rights Institute.
On 1 October 2012 , in the afternoon session, Michael Kirby will be participating in a panel addressing issues of judicial integrity. The panel will be discussing a number of recent events that affect perceptions of judicial integrity ,as defined in the JIG's Bangalore Principles of Judicial Integrity. Among other instances to be mentioned will be:
*The removal of the chief Justice and judges of the Supreme Court of Iowa, in the United States of America, after they decided a case on the right to marry in favour of gay couples. Under the state Constitution, they were punished by retrieval and removal from office. The issue will be whether this feature of supposed democracy is compatible with the Independent discharge by judges of their judicial functions.
*The charge of sedition brought against the chief Justice of Papua New Guinea in relation to a decision made by him, in his judicial capacity, concerning a challenge to the purported removal from office, as a member of Parliament, of the former Prime Minister, Sir Michael Somari. Judicially, he found in favour of Sir Michael and was arrested and charged. The charge is allegedly still pending; and
*The status of judges of Maldives in the Indian Ocean, following the removal/resignation from office of the former president.
Also attending and addressing the plenary session of the Dublin Conference will be the Hon Marsha Ternus, the former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Iowa. She was one of the judges recalled and removed from her office as a result of a popular vote in the State of Iowa, USA, following the aforementioned decision in which she and other judges participated, upholding the right of same sex couples to be married under equality provisions of the Iowa State Constitution.