ACT Law Society recognises government law trailblazers in awards shortlist

One finalist was key to launching the first in-house legal line-up in an ACT Government directorate

ACT Law Society recognises government law trailblazers in awards shortlist

The ACT Law Society has announced the candidates shortlisted for its Government Law Award this year.

The three finalists for the accolade are Adrian D’Amico, Patrick Hornby and Kristine Scheul. D’Amico is the chief counsel for the Department of Defence, Hornby is the Australian Transport Safety Bureau’s (ATSB) GC, and Scheul is the manager of the legal branch at the ACT Transport Canberra and City Services Directorate.

D’Amico heads up a team with around 250 permanent staff and 380 Reserve Legal Officers. The team operates in more than 50 sites, both in Australia and overseas, and in his role, D’Amico has tackled international and humanitarian law on military and peacekeeping operations, military discipline, law of the sea, the law of armed conflict, litigation, legislation, commercial and international law. With him at the helm, the Defence Legal Division has been top ranked for customer service for a number of years.

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Hornby helped develop the legal arrangements with Malaysian and Chinese counterparts to launch the Australian-led search for flight MH370. He has acted for the ATSB in tripartite discussions and coronial investigations into fatalities linked to transport.

He negotiated and drafted the Casualty Investigation Code for Maritime Investigations, which is annexed to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea. Moreover, he has worked with senior officials from the Australian government, and crafted the mandatory transport safety legislation training program used by investigators.

Hornby also conducts specialist training on coronial witness processes and evidentiary matters for domestic and international investigators at RMIT.

Scheul led the establishment of the first in-house legal team in an ACT Government directorate through the reformation and restructure of the legal and contracts area from a legal policy team to an in-house legal advisory team “that triages all legal matters and provides customised legal advice to all parts of the diverse TCCS directorate,” the ACT Law Society said. She crafted a centralised legal triage system to address high volumes of legal requests, as well as a streamlined procurement and contract management compliance framework geared towards identifying potential fraud.

The winner of the 2022 Government Law Award is set to be announced on 4 November at the ACT Law Society’s Annual Dinner & Awards Night.

The Government Law Award spotlights the achievements of government law practitioners in the ACT, spurring their active participation in the legal profession in “activities beyond their core employment duties,” the Law Society explained.

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