Defence of Australia: applicable laws and career opportunities for lawyers

Defence of Australia: applicable laws and career opportunities for lawyers

Join the Military Law Committee for presentations from Lieutenant Commander Elena Cho, RAN and Dr Kate Chetty on the vast range of domestic and international laws applicable to Australia's military and the Department of Defence and their legal journey in Defence. Hear from the panel members about their experiences and work, as civilian and uniformed legal officers within Defence, and the range of full and part time and both military and civilian career pathways and other opportunities for lawyers, in or with Defence.

The presentation will be of interest to those interested in Defence generally, and for those open to legal work for Defence, as a civilian or military lawyer, with or in Defence.


Dr Kate Chetty is the Director of the Office of the Chief Counsel in the Department of Defence. She is responsible for providing high quality and strategic legal advice on complex and sensitive matters, mostly involving administrative and government law. In parallel, Kate is involved in the maintenance of the Defence legislation program, provides advice on legislative reform proposals across Government, and has been part of several reform teams within the Department. Kate is a Squadron Leader in the Air Force Reserves and provides advice on operations and intelligence law matters. Prior to her current role, Kate worked for the Department of Finance in various policy advisor roles, and was seconded to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. For the past 12 years, she has also worked as a sessional academic at the University of Canberra, including as a lecturer, unit convenor and post graduate research supervisor. 

Lieutenant Commander Elena Cho was born in Korea and immigrated to Australia in 1991 with her family. Elena joined the Royal Australian Navy as an undergraduate legal officer in 2008. Elena underwent initial officer training at HMAS Creswell in 2009 and was posted to Canberra as the Deputy Legal Adviser to Head Navy People and Reputation. After spending two years in the nation’s capital, Elena moved to Darwin as the Deputy Fleet Legal Officer–Northern Australia, working with Patrol Boat Group Headquarters and HMAS Coonawarra. A four year posting in Fleet Headquarters in Sydney followed, during which time she worked as the Assistant, then Senior Assistant Fleet Legal Officer. Elena took part in a number of international military exercises, including instructing at the US Defense Institute of International Legal Studies. Elena has deployed on Operation MANITOU as the Deputy Legal Adviser to the Combined Maritime Forces in Bahrain, and earned a Master of Laws at the Australian National University in 2015. She posted to the Australian Embassy in Seoul, Republic of Korea, in 2019 as the Assistant Defence Attaché. After a 3-year stint overseas, Elena has returned to Canberra to take up a posting as the Deputy Director at Defence Counsel Services.


  • When: Thursday 14 July 2022
  • Where: Crema room, East Hotel, 69 Canberra Avenue, Kingston
  • Cost: $88 per person, $25 for students or CLC members
  • Registrations close Wednesday 6 July 2022

Event registration terms and conditions

The Law Society is enforcing covid-safe measures as set out by ACT Health at all our face-to-face events. 

If you have been to an active Covid-19 hotspot as listed by the ACT Government, are a close contact of an active case, or feel unwell in the lead up to the event, we kindly ask you not to attend. 

In these circumstances, please advise us by email prior to the event start time and we will issue you a full refund. Contact us on

Fees are payable upon registration. 30 days payment invoices are available to members at the discretion of the Law Society. A 1.2% surcharge may be incurred on payments processed via credit/debit card. The Society reserves the right to cancel or alter events at its discretion, and in such circumstances, attendees will be notified via email. 

Definitions — 'Registration' means any booking given to the Society in writing, on our website, or by phone. 'Member' means any member of the ACT Law Society, including associate members and honorary members. 'New Lawyer' means any member who has held a practising certificate for five years or less. 'CLC' means any member working for a recognised community legal centre, or holding a volunteer practising certificate. 'Student' means any member holding a student membership.

All cancellations must be made in writing, and all cancellations will incur a fee, however, no charge will be incurred for substituting another person. Outside of the cancellation periods given below, a $10 administration fee will be incurred for any cancellation made. If a registered attendee fails to attend without notifying the Society in writing, no credit or refund will be offered and 100% of the total cost will be retained by the Society. 

CPD Events — In the case of CPD events held at an venue other than the Law Society, no refund can be made after the RSVP date of the event. In the case of CPD events held at the Law Society, for cancellations made within two working days of the event, 50% of the total cost will be retained by the Society as a cancellation fee and the balance may be used as a credit towards other CPD events or be refunded. If you choose to keep a credit it will remain valid for 12 months from the event date, after which time it will expire. 

Webinars — In the case of live or on-demand webinars, as connection details are sent when registration is completed, no refund or cancellation is available. 

Social events — In the case of social events, no refund can be made after the RSVP date of the event.




Single Ticket $88.00(GST incl.) Register
Student & CLC ticket $25.00(GST incl.) Register
Committee Member $25.00(GST incl.) Register
Non-member ticket $115.00(GST incl.) Register



Sponsors & Supporters

The Law Society is proud to recognise legalsuper as the sponsor of the Law Society CPD Program.

legalsuper is the industry super fund for Australia’s legal community. With personal service for every member, we can help you to maximise your super, consolidate accounts, adjust insurance or investments, plan for retirement and more. Contact Guy Mahony on 0477 401 151 or to book your free appointment today — meetings can be conducted by phone or on Zoom.