Position Available

Environmental Justice Legal Fellowship – Nairobi and Isiolo Counties, Kenya

Who is Natural Justice?

Natural Justice is an African non-profit organisation specialising in environmental justice. Natural Justice uses the law to support communities participate in decisions that affect their land, culture and environment. We are a close-knit and nurturing collective that places emphasis on facilitating opportunities for the professional and personal growth of its members.

Natural Justice has been working with communities, NGOs and government agencies in Kenya since 2009. Together with our partners, we conduct comprehensive research on environmental and human rights law, use community legal empowerment approaches, including community paralegals, to support communities protect their access to lands, resources and traditional knowledge, provide legal advice and training project partners, comment on environmental impact assessments, and make submissions on law and policy. Our projects are carried out in Kenya under the Climate Change, Extractives and Infrastructure, Traditional Knowledge and Benefit Sharing, and Conservation and Customary Use Programmes. To learn more about the work of Natural Justice please refer to naturaljustice.org.

What does the Environmental Justice (EJ) Fellowship offer?

The EJ Legal Fellowship offers an exciting opportunity to young, up and coming Kenyan legal professionals who are passionate about supporting communities in securing rights to their lands, resources and knowledge. The legal fellows will be introduced to a broad spectrum of issues within environmental and human rights law and provided hands on experience and training in research, legal empowerment, data collection and analysis, public interest litigation, analysis on laws and regulations, and advocacy. Over the duration of the Legal Fellowship, the fellows will have the opportunity to spend time and work directly with communities, community-based organizations and community paralegals. At the completion of the Legal Fellowship, each fellow will submit a research report on a topic of interest within the environmental justice area.

The Legal Fellowship will provide the successful applicants a stronger understanding
of/in:

  • The principles of environmental and human rights law and citizenry participation in environmental decision-making
  • The realities of communities facing environmental injustices
  • Community-centred legal empowerment methodologies
  • The environmental decision-making processes of key institutions and bodies, such as the National Environmental Management Authority, Water Resources Authority, Kenya Wildlife Service, Kenya Forest Service and county governments
  • Analysing and evaluating environmental and human rights laws, regulations and policies
  • Analysing and commenting on environmental impact assessments (EIA), environmental audits and strategic impact assessments (SEA)
  • Environmental justice litigation
  • Evidenced based environmental justice advocacy and research
  • The civil society organizations and individuals in Kenya working towards environmental justice

One of the Legal Fellows will be based in Isiolo and two others in Nairobi. The Legal Fellowship will be for a period of up to 10 months full time. A modest salary will be offered. The successful applicants will be required to begin immediately. Candidates from Isiolo County are encouraged to apply for the Legal Fellowship in Isiolo.

Selection Criteria

Qualifications and Personal Profile:

  • A Bachelor of Laws
  • Fluency in English and Kiswahili
  • Ability to engage in research, draft reports and legal documents
  • Excellent writing skills with the ability to critically analyse relevant environmental laws and policy issues
  • A passion for learning and a commitment to environmental justice
  • Ability to work productively and to deadlines
  • Reliability and attention to detail
  • Ability to work both independently and as a team member
  • A willingness to travel on a regular basis on short notice and sometimes for extended periods
  • An awareness of and sensitivity to the needs and concerns of individuals from diverse cultures, backgrounds and orientations
  • Committed to continuous learning and to self-development with a focus on professionally promoting organizational interests, objectives and values
  • Excellent knowledge of spoken and written English, Kiswahili and a local language of Isiolo County (for those applying for the Legal Fellowship in Isiolo.

How to Apply

Applications should be submitted via email to emmanuel@naturaljustice.org with ‘EJ Legal Fellowship’ as the subject line

Applications must include:
1) A cover letter that indicates: a) why you believe environmental justice is important in Kenya and b) why you’re interested in the EJ Fellowship;
2) A detailed CV with three references; and
3) One sample of your written work (for example, articles or research reports written by you (not jointly written or edited by other people)

Applications Deadline

All applications to be sent on or before Friday, 24/01/2020  at 5:30pm East African Time.

Only shortlisted applicants will be contacted.

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