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Two CER attorneys on Mail & Guardian’s 2018 List of 200 Young South Africans

29 June 2018 at 9:00 am

Each year, the Mail & Guardian publishes a list of 200 exceptional and notable South Africans under the age of 35 in its “200 Young South Africans” list. This year, the Centre is proud to have two of our attorneys among the leading young South Africans featured in the Environmental category of this prestigious list. They are Nicole Loser, attorney in the CER’s Pollution & Climate Change Programme; and Christine Reddell, attorney in the our Corporate Accountability and Transparency Programme.

Nicole Loser (30) is already one of the country’s leading experts in public interest climate law. A meticulous and dedicated lawyer, she has been at the forefront of a number of key environmental justice legal battles, including a 2017 court victory in the landmark Thabametsi case which was South Africa’s first climate change litigation. Watch Nicole talking about this case shortly after the judgment was handed down.

As a key legal expert on the Life After Coal campaign, Nicole is currently involved in a number of new court challenges aimed at ensuring that climate change is given adequate consideration in decisions to authorise new coal developments. Listen to Nicole speak on Radio Today’s Pro Bono Law a few weeks ago about about the Constitutional rights implications of energy generation, and why phasing out coal for electricity generation is a Constitutional imperative.

Originally from Empangeni in KwaZulu-Natal, Nicole completed her LLB degree at Stellenbosch University. She also holds a Masters in Environmental Law from the University of Cape Town, and spent a semester abroad at the University of Bern in Switzerland where she studied International and European Law of Climate Change. Nicole completed her articles of clerkship at Edward Nathan Sonnenbergs, where she continued to work as an associate after her admission as an attorney. In 2014, she took a year off to travel, during which time she explored parts of Asia, South America, and Europe and spent time doing conservation volunteer work in the Napo River Basin in Ecuador, before joining the CER in 2015.

Christine Reddell (30) plays an integral role in the Centre’s efforts to hold corporate SA accountable for violations of environmental laws. She is part of the team that produces the Centre’s Full Disclosure reports, which expose the truth about violations of environmental laws by many of SA’s listed companies, and misrepresentations of environmental impacts to shareholders. Listen to Christine recently speaking on PowerFM about the latest Full Disclosure report on disclosure about mine rehabilitation funds.

Christine is also one of SA’s leading access to information experts, and on behalf of civil society and community organisations has achieved the release of many records essential for protecting environmental rights held by government, state-owned enterprises, and companies.

A brave and dedicated advocate for environmental justice, Christine is one of two CER attorneys being sued for defamation by mining company Mineral Sands Resources, the local subsidiary of Australian Mineral Commodities Ltd, for statements they made during a UCT Summer School lecture about the company’s compliance with environmental laws. She and her co-defendants are vigorously defending their right to freedom of expression and academic freedom.

Christine is an admitted attorney and holds BA, LLB and LLM (Marine and Environmental Law) degrees from the University of Cape Town, where she graduated with distinction. Before joining the CER in 2015, Christine practised at dedicated marine, and environmental, law firms.

Read more about Nicole and Christine’s work, what motivates them, their key achievements, and plans for the future.

Christine and Nicole follow in the footsteps of Robyn Hugo, attorney and head of the CER’s Pollution & Climate Change Programme, who was a Mail and Guardian “200 Young South Africans” award winner in 2015.