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Call for Applications: Lawyer/ Legal Expert – South Africa

Natural Justice: Lawyers for Communities and the Environment, is a pioneering international team of legal practitioners. We conduct comprehensive research on environmental and human rights law, support communities and local organisations, provide technical advice to governments and intergovernmental organisations, and engage in key international processes in pursuit of environmental and social justice. Natural Justice currently works in Africa, Asia and Latin America and has offices in South Africa, Malaysia, India, and New York.
What are we looking for?
Natural Justice has been working with communities, NGOs and government agencies in South Africa since 2007. Due to increasing demand from our partners, we are seeking a full-time lawyer or legal expert to support our work with communities impacted by extractive industries and infrastructure projects across the continent. The successful candidate will be expected to begin work immediately and be based in Cape Town for an initial period of at least six months, with the possibility of extension.
The key roles and responsibilities will include (amongst other things): working closely with team members in the Africa office; developing strategies, workplans and reports for activities within Africa; providing advice to indigenous and/or marginalised communities and their supporting local organisations; supporting communities and community partners in strategizing and addressing infrastructure or extractive industry projects, community land and resource laws; conducting research and developing community-friendly legal empowerment materials; providing legal support to communities and local organisations (including in the context of developing and using community protocols); providing technical advice to government agencies; further developing partnerships civil society organisations and networks; and organising and attending relevant meetings and workshops within Southern Africa and internationally.
Minimum skills and experience required
  • Degree in law and/or demonstrated expertise in human rights, environmental and/or land law;
  • Understanding of domestic legal system and institutional arrangements in South Africa, Zimbabwe and/or another African country;
  • Experience or a keen interest in advancing the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities to govern their territories and resources, especially in the context of extractive industries;
  • At least three to five years experience working with communities, civil society organisations or networks;
  • Experience or keen interest in some aspect of international law or policy (for example, multilateral environmental agreements, human rights, or grievance;
  • Experience with organising and facilitating community and multi-stakeholder workshops or events;
  • At least two years experience with project management;
  • Proven experience with financial management and fundraising;
  • Strong oral and written communication skills, including through online platforms, and experience with conducting primary and/or desktop research and preparing clear and analytical reports;
  • Professionalism, strong work ethic, personal initiative (“self-starter”) and a demonstrated ability to lead projects.
  • Fluency in English;

Desirable attributes

  • Familiarity with interdisciplinary and/or participatory approaches and tools;
  • Critical and analytical thinking;
  • Reliability and attention to detail;
  • Ability to work both in teams and independently with little supervision;
  • Ability to work effectively in multicultural and international settings;
  • Sensitivity to nuances and dynamics of engaging with tribal and traditional communities;
  • Ability to engage with a range of stakeholders;
  • Willingness to travel on a regular basis and work with local organisations and communities in remote areas;
  • Fluency in at least one African language relevant to a Southern African country.

What’s on offer?

Natural Justice is a close-knit and nurturing collective that places emphasis on facilitating opportunities for the professional and personal growth of its members. Natural Justice will offer a competitive salary commensurate with skill and experience. Joining Natural Justice will also give the successful candidate a chance to work with a passionate and highly professional global team in a fast-paced environment and gain valuable international experience.
Application process
Deadline: Close of Business, 31 May 2014
Please email your application to Stephanie Booker (steph(at)naturaljustice(dot)org) with the job title in the subject line. Include a motivation letter that indicates why you feel you are the best candidate for this position, a detailed CV with three references, and at least three samples of your past work (for example, articles or research reports).
Please ensure that your application as a whole speaks to the required skills and experience and desirable traits and attributes listed above.
Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted in early June.
The Natural Justice Team
For more information see:

13 May 2014


South Africa

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