Melissa joined Natural Justice in July 2019 and is based in South Africa. She works as a Programme Manager under the Defending Rights programmatic stream, working across southern African countries. Previously she was a programme officer for climate change.
Melissa is an attorney of the High Court of South Africa, specialising in environmental and planning law for nine years. She holds a Bachelor of Science (Environmental Science) degree and a Bachelor of Laws degree from Rhodes University. She also completed the coursework component of a Master of Laws with modules in Land Use & planning, Natural Resource Law, International Environmental Law and Pollution Control Law.
Before joining Natural Justice, Melissa worked as an attorney at Cullinan and Associates. For some years, she worked part-time at both, before being provided with a full-time contract at Natural Justice in 2022. She has also worked with Enact International and Shepstone and Wylie Attorneys.
Her experience includes drafting legislation from local to national level, contributions to several publications, administrative law and legal review processes and their relationship to the constitution, environmental licencing and compliance, due diligence and legal compliance auditing, legal research into environmental laws in 17 African countries, access to information applications, training on environmental law for non-lawyers, litigation (including High Court and Supreme Court of Appeal Applications) and submissions in response to government legislative proposals.