In 2006, when he was working as a public defender with the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI), Shane Drumgold was asked to represent an English man charged with child sex offences.
The man had been accused of raping a 13-year-old Solomon Islands girl at a party he hosted for the girl and two other locals at his house in Auki, the capital of Malaita.
While the charges were ultimately proven false, the case made Drumgold, now a senior prosecutor with the ACT DPP, question the role RAMSI had to play in the strife-torn islands at that time.
''I got him acquitted, but underpinning that good news story are a number of questions - for instance, why is it that an Australian lawyer is getting paid Australian dollars to represent a British national?'' Mr Drumgold said.
''Secondly, underneath all of that was simply some abhorrent behaviour on his behalf.''
Mr Drumgold says the case forced him to consider the way RAMSI was viewed by the very people it was supposed to be helping.
''All they knew was that a girl said someone had raped her and another Westerner came over and got him off the charges,'' he said.
''What was left was a traumatised girl who, though she lied, was a victim of circumstances and ended up suffering more than anybody.''
That story occupies a full chapter in Palm Tree Justice, Drumgold's book about his 13 months working with the regional assistance mission in 2006 and 2007. Released two weeks ago, the book is described by the lawyer as an attempt to share some of the experiences he believes media coverage of the RAMSI ''juggernaut'' has missed.
Palm Tree Justice reconstructs 14 cases Drumgold worked on, but is largely a story about the people he met in the Solomon Islands during his time as a public defender there.
Drumgold said his ''humble'' intentions were for people to read about his experiences and form their own view on Australia's foreign policy and part in RAMSI. However, he said he had included his own criticism of the mission in the book's epilogue.
''My criticism is that the Solomon Islands had a civil war, Australia brokered two peace agreements on a promise of amnesty and then some years later RAMSI was set up and largely denied any of the militants the amnesty they promised them,'' he said.
For further information go to www.palmtreejustice.com