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Centre for Environmental Rights – Advancing Environmental Rights in South Africa

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Reference No: CER 3/2014

The closing date (22 July 2014) has passed and applications for this position are now closed.

The Centre for Environmental Rights is now recruiting for a junior attorney to join its growing Environmental Rights programme. The ideal candidate is an admitted attorney with a passion for social and environmental justice, accountability and compliance, and empowerment of communities affected by activities that violate their environmental rights.

While this position is primarily focused on our transparency work, the Environmental Rights programme currently incorporates all of the following: our work on access to environmental information; business and environmental rights (corporate accountability and compliance) and also general defence of our national environmental management framework. We are keen for the successful candidate to be involved in all of these aspects of the programme.


Based in Cape Town

Qualifications, skills and experience

  • An LLB or equivalent qualification, and we prefer candidates with an LLM. While we prefer that LLM to be in environmental law, it is not a requirement for this position and we will consider applications from candidates with other relevant further qualifications.
  • Admission as attorney of the High Court of South Africa, plus at least one year’s post-qualification experience in legal practice, including High Court litigation, particularly Constitutional, administrative law and/or environmental law
  • Exposure to access to information work would be a definite advantage.
  • A sound understanding of legal and procedural requirements for environmental decision-making and legal challenges
  • A commitment to high quality client service, and a passion for social and environmental justice

Key responsibilities

  • Preparing, submitting and tracking access to information requests on behalf of the Centre’s clients, which include communities and civil society organisations.
  • Providing legal advice and representation to communities and civil society organisations affected by detrimental environmental impacts of industrial and other activities, including overseeing the advice given to clients through the Centre’s monthly Environmental Law Clinic;
  • Providing support in – and leading, where possible – both access to information and other litigation by and against the Centre’s clients, including researching, writing and filing pleadings, motions, briefs, and other court documents.
  • Providing support for the Centre’s advocacy around improved accountability of non-state actors for environmental rights violations, and greater transparency in environmental governance and management, including providing expert input into draft policies and legislation;
  • Facilitating the upload of available resources onto the Centre’s Virtual Environmental Law Library and other news items on our website, Facebook and Twitter.
  • Training, mentoring and overseeing the work of candidate attorneys and legal interns, where required.
  • Recording and sharing learning for systemic change.