9 months ago

LSB March 2018_Web


MILITARY LAW Commander Burnett returns to Adelaide to continue decorated naval career Adeladian, Commander Andrew Burnett, is a Naval Officer and lawyer, presently posted to South Australia as the Commanding Officer Naval Headquarters South Australia (CO NHQ-SA). He returned to Adelaide in November, 2017 following a career spanning 38 years in the Navy Reserve and Permanent Navy in Adelaide, most of the rest of the country and overseas. He joined the Navy in Adelaide as a sailor in the Naval Reserve in 1979, was commissioned as a logistics officer in 1982 and transferred to the permanent Navy in 1986. He then served in Darwin, Melbourne and at sea in HMAS Tobruk, deploying twice. First in 1988 circumnavigating Australia over three months with the Bicentennial Military Tattoo and second, for five months through the Pacific to the West Coast of the US on a joint exercise with US forces. On leaving Tobruk, Andrew continued his Naval career in Sydney and in 1991 applied for the RAN legal officer program. Andrew had become interested in the law whilst still in the Navy reserve working as an insurance clerk at SGIC in the early 1980s. He enjoyed the interaction with the legal providers and developed an interest in the law. And besides, this was the heady 80s and the legal firms of the day were rather generous in their entertaining of the insurance industry which made the law seem a very interesting profession in the eyes of an impressionable young man. Unlike the Army and Air Force, the Navy used to recruit most of its lawyers from within and had a program to achieve this. When qualified as a lawyer, the Navy has an officer employable in two fields. Ships are limited in their crew numbers and a dual qualified officer can assist the Commanding Officer with legal issues as well as perform duties in their other qualification. The study program endorsed 12 THE BULLETIN March 2018 Commander Andrew Burnett in Afghanistan during the ‘Green on Blue’ investigation in 2016 by the Navy was the Legal Practitioners Admission Board (LPAB) Course, run by the NSW LPAB through the University of Sydney. The course is part-time and allows study by correspondence and examinations in a number of cities in NSW and in Canberra. This flexibility is critical when serving in the military. The only downside with the LPAB course is that you do not gain a degree, only a Diploma in Law. But once you begin to practice that is of no relevance and in any event, all ADF lawyers are now required to obtain a masters under ADF sponsorship. Andrew obtained his in 2006, but nowadays most Navy lawyers join directly like the other two services. Andrew commenced the LPAB course in 1992 and worked full-time in Naval roles for the five years it took to complete. On completion, he was promoted to Lieutenant Commander and commenced working in the Directorate of Naval Legal Services. Early in his Naval legal career Andrew was appointed as Aide-de-Camp to the Judge Advocate General of the ADF, Major General the Honourable K.P. Duggan, known to all in the South Australian profession in his role as a Justice of the Supreme Court of SA. Living in Canberra at the time, Andrew split his time between Adelaide and Canberra. This role lead to a posting to Adelaide in 1998 as the Chief Legal Officer Central Region. Based at Keswick Barracks, Andrew was responsible for legal issues affecting the military units based at Keswick Barracks. Whilst in this posting, Andrew was seconded to East Timor for his first operational posting as a lawyer. For five

MILITARY LAW months he worked in the UN Transitional Administration East Timor (UNTAET) in Dili and environs, assisting the new government to create its own Defence Force. This was a nation building exercise and provided his first taste of practicing law at the international level. The work was varied and included drafting defence related legislation for consideration by the new East Timor Parliament. Returning to Adelaide, Andrew was advised he was posting back to Sydney in late 2001. For family stability reasons Andrew transferred back to the Navy reserve to remain in Adelaide and secured employment with Lempriere Abbott McLeod. He practised for four and a half years at the firm in insurance, criminal and wills and estates. During that time he was fortunate enough to be released by the firm to deploy to Gulf War 2 in HMAS Sydney during March – July 2003 as an active Naval Reservist. His role was to advise the Commanding Officer of Sydney on operations law matters whilst the ship patrolled the North Arabian Gulf (NAG) in the vicinity of Kuwait, Iraq and Iran. Operations Law is the practice of the Law of Armed Conflict (LOAC) and is a particularly specialised field only practised in the Defence Force or by International Institutions like the United Nations and NATO. Sydney was part of a coalition of ships and was moved around the NAG as required, working solo and in company with other ships. Sydney was Guard Ship for the Khawr Abd Allah and Shatt Al Arab (major waterways in Iraq), involved in surveillance and, when required, interdiction of merchant traffic. She conducted 82 boardings in 82 days and conducted port visits to Bahrain, Mina Jebel Ali in the UAE and Kuwait City. A highlight was supporting the US Navy aircraft carrier USS Nimitz. The tempo of operational flying and the sorties flown daily was phenomenal and a clear indication of the value of these ships. Eventually, the call of returning to the Navy became too great and after four and a half years at Lempriere, Andrew commenced Naval service again in Adelaide in May, 2005 with the Air Warfare Destroyer program in a non-legal role. He was there until May, 2010 when he posted to Canberra as the legal officer at the Australian Defence Force Academy where he trained the cadets in Defence legal matters and managed legal issues for the Commandant. Next he posted to Border Protection Command (BPC) as the Command Legal Officer. He was there from December, STEP UP TO THE BAR PROGRAM An equal opportunity initiative of the Chief Justice of South Australia and the South Australian Bar Association The Step Up to the Bar Program is an 18-month full-time opportunity for female legal practitioners to gain experience within the higher court jurisdictions prior to pursuing admission to the Independent Bar of South Australia. The successful applicant will be appointed within Chambers of the Supreme Court of South Australia. They will gain experience and exposure to complex legal cases and will work closely with the judiciary and an appointed Judicial Mentor. To be eligible the applicant must be a female legal practitioner* with legal competence, expertise and post-admission experience of approximately five years. You must be admitted to the Supreme Court of South Australia and have a current and unrestricted practicing certificate. A current child-related criminal history clearance will be required. The successful applicant will be appointed on a temporary contract with the Courts Administration Authority and remunerated commensurate with years of service in the legal profession and within the SA Public Sector Classification Standards and salary rates for Legal Officers. Applications are now open for the 2019 Program. To apply, email your cover letter, resume and a copy of your practising certificate to by 6 April, 2018. For more information, contact Dianne Mifsud, Executive Assistant to the Chief Justice on 8204 0390. For information on the program, go to the CAA Website. *An exemption from Section 30 of the Equal Opportunity Act 1984 has been granted for this program. See Courts Administration Authority [2018] SAET 30

Platform July 2018