Bernard Collaery has been awarded an international accolade for his role as whistleblower.
The lawyer and former ACT attorney-general was awarded the Blueprint for Free Speech Whistleblowing Prize for his advocacy for the rights of Timorese people and fair access to their natural resources.
Mr Collaery is currently awaiting trial after pleading not guilty to five charges alleging he breached national security laws and conspired with former spy Witness K to do so.
He is accused of sharing protected information about an operation in which Australian spies bugged a government building in East Timor during negotiations over oil and gas reserves.
The decision for parts of Mr Collaery's trial to be conducted partly in secret for national security reasons is under appeal.
Speaking to UK journalist Jon Snow about the award, Mr Collaery said "it was like a bad dream" as he has faced the Supreme Court in 42 appearances over two years awaiting trial.
"I spent my career in the Supreme Court here in Canberra," he said
"I'll be in the dock that I've spent my career facing, defending people. There's some Shakespearean tragedy evolving probably.
"It's inconceivable that it's happening in Australia, and it's happening at a time when there's widespread revulsion in terms of other issues about rule of law in our nation.
"There's a widespread call for an anti-corruption body to be established to deal with issue in the Australian Federal Parliament."
One of the Blueprint judges, Lady Hollick OBE, said Mr Collaery's situation highlighted the threat for whistleblowers had extended to the lawyers who represent them.
"Bernard Collaery's story is an extraordinary one. It spans five countries, the birth of a new nation and billions of dollars worth of oil and gas. It's a story of spies, international espionage and corporate greed," she said.
"Today the tiny nation of Timor-Leste has finally achieved a better outcome. Australia has been forced to give it a fairer proportion of the oil and gas revenues.
"However, those who have told the truth about the case are still in a dangerous situation due to retaliation.
"Bernard Collaery's story highlights that those under threat no longer include only whistleblowers and the journalists who work with them in the public interest. Increasingly, whistleblowers' lawyers are now being targeted," she said.
Mr Collaery will share a $20,000 prize with the UK award winner, Sally Masterton, who won the prize for her role in bringing alleged fraud at a UK bank to light.