Faith in the law

Faith in the law

The Hon. Michael Kirby, former Justice of the High Court of Australia, will give the address at St Ives Uniting Church’s inaugural annual Law Service on May 20.

St Ives of Kermartin is the patron of lawyers and abandoned children and is referred to as “Advocate of the Poor”. His feast day is May 19.

The Sydney suburb of St Ives is home to many lawyers and others with an interest in the law.

The May 20 service is intended for everyone in the law or with an interest in law. One of St Ives’ “Landmark Services”, it will provide the opportunity to reflect on values and ethics in law and to give thanks for those who contribute to the legal system.

“Faith in the Law” will be held at 9.30 am, Sunday May 20, 2012, at St Ives Uniting Church, corner of Mona Vale Rd and Douglas Street, St Ives.

The Hon. Michael Kirby, AC CMG

When he retired from the High Court of Australia on February 2, 2009, Michael Kirby was Australia’s longest serving judge.

He was first appointed in 1975 as a Deputy President of the Australian Conciliation & Arbitration Commission. Soon after, he was seconded as inaugural Chairman of the Australian Law Reform Commission (1975-84).

Later, he was appointed a judge of the Federal Court of Australia, President of the New South Wales Court of Appeal and, concurrently, the Court of Appeal of Solomon Islands. His appointment to the High Court came in 1996 and he served 13 years. In later years, he was Acting Chief Justice of Australia twice.

In addition to his judicial duties, Michael Kirby served on three university governing bodies being elected Chancellor of Macquarie University in Sydney (1984-93).

He also served on many national and international bodies. Among the latter have been service as a member of the World Health Organisation’s Global Commission on AIDS (1988-92); President of the International Commission of Jurists, Geneva (1995-8); as UN Special Representative Human Rights in Cambodia (1993-6); a member of the UNESCO International Bioethics Committee (1995-2005); a member of the High Commissioner for Human Rights’ Judicial Reference Group (2007-) and a member of the UNAIDS Reference Group on HIV and Human Rights (2004-).

Since his judicial retirement, Michael Kirby was elected President of the Institute of Arbitrators & Mediators Australia from 2009-2010. He also serves as Editor-in-Chief of The Laws of Australia. He has been appointed Honorary Visiting Professor by twelve universities. And he participates regularly in many local and international conferences and meetings. He has been awarded twenty honorary doctorates.

In 2010, he was awarded the Gruber Justice Prize. He is also presently a member of the Eminent Persons Group which is investigating the future of the Commonwealth of Nations; and has been appointed to the UNDP Global Commission of HIV and the Law. In 2010, he was appointed to the Arbitration Panel of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (World Bank).

Landmark services

St Ives Uniting Church is working on ways to connect more with its community and, in particular, to try to do that intentionally through worship.

The “Landmark Services” are worship services designed to help people navigate through life.

St Ives minister the Rev. Dr Robert McFarlane said, “As we travel through life we use landmarks to navigate. Some landmarks are part of our relationships and family life; some are part of our working life; some are joyful, others are sorrowful.”

Landmark Services for 2012 are:

May 13 – Mother’s Day. An opportunity to reflect on mothering in our lives and how this helps us to appreciate God’s nature.

May 20- Law Service.

June 17- “Wear Purple” Respect for Seniors. Following close after World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, the Wear Purple service embodies St Ives’ vision of a safe, caring community where all can age with dignity and respect.

June 24 – 35th anniversary of the founding of the Uniting Church in Australia. The guest preacher for the anniversary service is the Rev. Dr Andrew Williams, General Secretary of the Synod of New South Wales and the ACT. The service will focus on exciting new directions for the Uniting Church.

July 29 – Education Service. At the beginning of Education Week, St Ives celebrates learning and affirm the work of teachers in all education sectors and informally throughout our lives.

September 2- Father’s Day. An opportunity to reflect on fathering in our lives and how this helps us to appreciate God’s nature.

October 21 – The centenary of the founding of Frontier Services (formerly the Australian Inland Mission). Guest preacher, the Rev. David Buxton (Frontier Services Associate National Director) will lead in reflecting on the centenary theme, Beyond the Furthest Fences. The service will be followed by an outback Aussie Barbecue and more stories.

November 4 – Funeral Remembrance Service. An opportunity for everyone to recall their best memories of those close to them who have died and to seek healing and wholeness in their lives.

For more information:

St Ives Uniting Church, phone (02) 9402 6207, email, website or Facebook.



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