Justice Michael Kirby will be replaced on the High Court bench by the New South Wales Court of Appeal judge, Justice Virginia Bell.
She is the fourth woman to be appointed to the High Court and her appointment will take effect from February 3 next year.
Justice Kirby will retire after reaching the mandatory retirement age.
Justice Bell began her career with the Redfern Legal centre in 1978 and served as counsel assisting the Royal Commission into the New South Wales Police Services.
She has also sat on the bench of the New South Wales Supreme Court and as a Commissioner with that state's Law Reform Commission.
Quote: As anyone can see by these links and perhaps many more posted elsewhere, His Honour Justice Michael Kirby has spoken out for social justice issues. I do hope that Virginia Bell follows in his footsteps. From the team Mr Kirby...Thanks.
Brennan to head human rights consultation The Federal Government will appoint a four-member panel, headed by Jesuit priest and lawyer Frank Brennan, to consult with the public on strengthening human rights laws in Australia - including through a charter of rights.