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Legal Practitioner: Just Energy Transition

Natural Justice seeks a full-time legal practitioner to assist in the coordination, implementation, and further development of our new Just Energy Transition Africa initiative. The successful candidate will be based with the Natural Justice teams in either Cape Town or Nairobi, although an alternative arrangement may be made for exceptional candidates.

The legal practitioner will join a team of lawyers working to advance the just transition from dirty fossil fuels to clean energy solutions in key countries across Africa. The legal practitioner will work with non-governmental organizations and other allied institutions to develop regulatory frameworks for – and to remove obstacles to – the accelerated deployment of clean energy, and to support work on cases challenging fossil energy projects. The Just Energy Transition Africa initiative is a joint project of Natural Justice, the US-based non-profit law organization Earthjustice, and other partners.

Natural Justice is a pan-African non-profit organization specializing in environmental, human rights and energy law in Africa in pursuit of environmental justice. Natural Justice uses the law to support communities to participate in decisions that affect their land, culture, and environment, with programmatic focus areas on climate change, extractives (coal, oil, gas, and minerals), community rights, and conservation.

The Initiative

JETA aims to leverage the collective experience of Natural Justice, Earthjustice, and other civil society organizations to challenge fossil fuel projects and advocate for reforms in energy and electricity market regulation to advance the energy transition in Africa. Accelerating the clean energy transition is fundamental to fighting climate change and increasing access to electricity for poor and marginalized communities. We aim to inform the public and amplify community and civil society engagement in energy policy across the continent. We aim to grow the legal network across the continent to support communities, NGOs, and forward-leaning local governments in engaging in effective advocacy and litigation to accelerate the clean energy transition.

Responsibilities

  • Collaborate with the staff of Natural Justice and NGO partners in multiple countries, academic and government allies, technical experts, community-based movements to develop and implement legal advocacy and litigation strategies to fight fossil fuel projects and advance the clean energy transition.
  • Identify and engage in relevant policy, law, and regulatory reform, including for example on electricity market regulation, and environmental law as appropriate, with key partners and allies.
  • Identify, build, and maintain networks and/or partnerships with relevant stakeholders from government, civil society groups, the private sector, and academics, and build collaborative relationships with other initiative partners and allies.
  • Provide technical and legal advice to partners, affected communities and other relevant stakeholders.
  • Support litigation of relevant cases, including strategic case development, legal research and writing, and working with technical experts.
  • Organize, conduct, and present at workshops and meetings.

Qualifications

  • Bachelor of laws or juris doctor with a minimum of six years of litigation or legal advocacy experience and demonstrated work expertise in environmental and/or energy 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.
  • Understanding of, and proficiency in, the Kenyan and/or South African 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 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 applications@naturaljustice.org with “Application for position of Legal Practitioner, JETA Initiative” in the subject line.

Applications must include:
1) A motivation letter that indicates: a) why you are interested in this position and what inspires you about a just energy transition and environmental justice more broadly; 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 7th of May 2021. 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 is committed to employment and contracting practices that ensure that employees and applicants for employment are provided with equal opportunities.

Closing Date

7 May 2021

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