Natural Justice seeks a full-time legal practitioner to assist in the coordination, implementation, and further development of our new African Environmental Justice Lawyers Collective initiative. The successful candidate will be based with the Natural Justice teams in either Cape Town, Nairobi or Dakar, although an alternative arrangement may be made for exceptional candidates.
The legal practitioner will be the coordinator of an emergent African environmental lawyers collective that is currently housed under Natural Justice. This new collective will provide a platform where environmental lawyers can connect with one another, expand current lawyer networks, instill solidarity with African environmental lawyers and, assist and support African environmental lawyers undertaking strategic or impact litigation within the environmental or climate justice sector.
Natural Justice is an organisation rooted in the struggles of communities in Africa. As a team of pioneering lawyers and legal experts, we specialise in human rights and environmental law in pursuit of social and environmental justice.
Natural Justice strives to enhance the collective rights of people and protect the sacred relationships that indigenous peoples and local communities have with nature. Our work is informed by the values, knowledge and self-determination of the communities whom we stand in solidarity with.
Through legal empowerment, research, policy influencing and litigation, and as part of coalitions and campaigns, we support communities to know the law, use the law and shape the law.
Natural Justice has three main pillars: Affirming and Securing Rights to Lands, Resources and Knowledge; Defending Rights against Environmental and Social Impacts; and Standing with Communities.
To learn more about the work of Natural Justice please refer to www.naturaljustice.org
Purpose of position:
To lead on the growth and strategic development of the African environmental Justice Lawyers Collective in consultation with key stakeholders and with the steering committee.
To facilitate the effective operation of the African Environmental Justice Lawyers Collective which shall include facilitating participation from lawyers across Africa.
- Leading the ongoing strategic development of the African Environmental Justice Lawyers Collective, building on existing plans, and in line with the agreed objectives and purpose of the African Environmental Justice Lawyers Collective.
- Developing and maintaining trusting relationships with diverse stakeholders across the environmental and climate justice litigation ecosystem, including African climate change and environmental lawyers, senior academics, researchers, like minded NGOs, experts
- Collaborating with the staff of Natural Justice, NGO partners, steering committee, academics, technical experts, community-based movements to develop and coordinate.
- Maintaining and developing relationships with other networks and groups in the African environmental and climate change litigation and research communities.
- Assisting with the development of the quick response litigation fund that will be connected to Natural Justice and the African Environmental Justice Lawyers Collective.
- Providing technical and legal advice to partners, affected communities and other relevant stakeholders.
- Supporting litigation of relevant cases, including strategic case development, legal research and writing, and working with technical experts.
- Organizing, conducting, and presenting at workshops and meetings.
- Developing training sessions and tools for African environmental lawyers on litigation, law, policies and other relevant information.
- Connecting African environmental and climate change lawyers to potential opportunities for training and networking.
- Managing contact lists of networks.
- Managing database of networks.
- Providing scheduling of meetings with the steering committee and Natural Justice.
- Keeping circulating meeting minutes where needed.
- Developing a three year operational plan.
- Developing a resources portal.
- Bachelor of laws or juris doctor with a minimum of five years of litigation or legal advocacy experience and demonstrated work expertise in environmental and/or climate justice law. A post-graduate degree in law, political science or other relevant social science discipline is desirable.
- Registered to practice law in the country where the legal practitioner will be located, or a willingness and qualifications to apply for membership within one year of employment.
- Knowledge of and experience in clean energy issues, and environmental or energy law. Experience in energy policy advocacy and/or litigation is desirable.
- Experience of developing, managing, or leading networks – either in NGO sector, academia, commercial/corporate sector.
- Comfortable working independently and autonomously with minimal supervision.
- Understanding of, and proficiency in, the Kenyan and/or South African and/or Senegalese legal system and institutional arrangements.
- Experience communicating complex legal issues in an accessible way.
- Experience coordinating and supervising teams.
- Proficiency in working with technical experts.
- Excellent oral and written communication skills.
- Excellent litigation or legal advocacy skills, including legal research, writing and oral advocacy.
- Initiative, good judgment, ability to think critically and problem-solve, and a strong work ethic.
- Ability to work independently and in collaboration with clients, partners and staff, and to develop and maintain partnerships with community-based or other grassroots groups.
- Ability and willingness to travel internationally, post-Covid.
- Enthusiasm for researching local policy and legal contexts.
- Demonstrated awareness of and sensitivity to the needs and concerns of individuals from diverse cultures, backgrounds, and orientations.
- Citizen or permanent resident of Senegal, Kenya or South Africa is preferred although accommodations may be made for exceptional candidates.
- The ideal candidate will also have substantial experience working in several African countries, and professional fluency in English; fluency in French is desirable.
How to Apply:
Applications should be submitted via email to firstname.lastname@example.org under the heading of AEJLC/app/2023
Applications must include:
1) A motivation letter that indicates: a) why you are interested in this position and what inspires you about environmental and climate justice work; and b) aspects of your background that demonstrate the required competence for this role;
2) A detailed CV with three references; and
3) Two writing samples (for example, legal briefs, articles or research reports) that demonstrate your own legal analysis and writing.
Please ensure that your application as a whole speaks to the required qualifications, experience, personal profile and key roles and responsibilities. Please do not apply if you do not meet the required experience. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.
Applications close: All applications to be sent on or before 20 June 2023. Please note that applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.
Salary is commensurate with skill and experience. Contract length will be two years with the intention of a longer-term arrangement.
Natural Justice believes that a diversity of experiences and perspectives will help us build stronger strategies, teams and movements and strongly encourages applications from people of all cultures, backgrounds, and experiences, particularly those from under-represented or historically disadvantaged communities.