Legal sea-eagle at home on the waves

Published on LCDR Helen Ward (author), LSIS Peter Thompson (photographer)

Topic(s): HMAS Adelaide (L01), Indo-Pacific Endeavour

Lieutenant Tim Quadrio is aboard HMAS Adelaide during Indo Pacific Endeavour 2017. (photo: LSIS Peter Thompson)
Lieutenant Tim Quadrio is aboard HMAS Adelaide during Indo Pacific Endeavour 2017.

For a maritime task group to deploy across the Indo-Pacific region it takes considerable contingency planning across all aspects of modern maritime operations. Included in the deployed complement is a range of specialists to provide advice to the task group command.

Lieutenant Tim Quadrio is the Navy Legal Officer embarked in HMAS Adelaide in support of the Indo-Pacific Endeavour task group, the biggest naval task group Australia has deployed in three decades and he believes he is the luckiest lawyer in Australia.

“My office is a warship and I am part of a team representing Australia internationally,” he said.

“My primary task is to make sure the warships in our task group comply with international law, particularly the law of the sea.

“Australia has always strongly advocated for a rules-based international legal order, and while the Australian Government does this through international institutions like the United Nations, the Royal Australian Navy does it at sea every day of the year.

“In exercising our rights in accordance with international law, this task group is reinforcing the rules that underpin the security and prosperity of our region.”

Three years ago Tim Quadrio was a commercial lawyer working high above the streets of Sydney.

Since joining the Navy, now Lieutenant Quadrio has undertaken significant training to convert him from a civilian solicitor into a seagoing Legal Officer.

After initial officer training at HMAS Creswell in Jervis Bay, New South Wales, he commenced on-the-job training at Fleet Headquarters in Sydney.

This was supplemented by a graduate diploma of military law at the Australian National University in Canberra.

On finishing the Joint Legal Operations Training course at the Military Law Centre in Sydney earlier this year, Lieutenant Quadrio ready to serve as a legal officer on overseas operations.

And three weeks later he deployed to sea.

“This is the first time Australia has deployed a task group of this size in my lifetime,” Lieutenant Quadrio said.

“Navy has made a big investment in my training as an officer and a lawyer, so it is great to put my training into practice at sea.

“In addition to advising on international law, I also support command with legal advice on service discipline and administrative matters.

“These fundamental processes help ensure that we maintain a disciplined and ready force.”

Sea service is a family affair for Lieutenant Quadrio. His father, a Navy Chaplain, is also deployed on Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2017 and his brother is due to start initial training as a Navy Reserve Maritime Trade Operations Officer later this month.

More information about careers as a Navy Legal Officer can be found on the Navy jobs website.