Centre for Environmental Rights (CER)
Ref No. 5/2019: Attorneys
Based in Cape Town or Johannesburg
The Centre for Environmental Rights is looking for two attorneys to join our team. Based in Johannesburg or Cape Town, these positions are for admitted attorneys with at least 3 years’ litigation experience, and who have a passion for environmental justice and working for the right to a healthy and protected environment to be realised. The successful candidates will have a particular interest in advocating for better environmental laws and improved implementation of laws, litigating on behalf of affected communities and civil society organisations, facilitating networking among relevant stakeholders and supporting activists.
Qualifications, skills and experience:
- An LLB or equivalent qualification. An LLM, particularly in environmental law, would be an advantage.
- Admission as attorney of the High Court of South Africa, and at least 3 years’ post-qualification experience in High Court litigation, particularly Constitutional and administrative law (experience in environmental litigation will be an advantage).
- A sound knowledge of environmental laws and excellent legal research skills.
- A sound understanding of legal and procedural requirements for environmental decision-making and legal challenges.
- Excellent writing skills with an eye for detail.
- A sensitivity to social issues and the experiences and needs of marginalised communities.
- Excellent networking skills, and strong capabilities in building support amongst a wide range of stakeholders.
- A commitment to high-quality client service.
- A passion for social and environmental justice.
- A commitment to diversity, inclusion, and transformation.
Key responsibilities of these positions currently include the following (although we require flexibility from all our staff as our strategic imperatives change and develop over time):
- Strategic litigation: Providing legal advice to and undertaking litigation on behalf of communities and civil society organisations in line with CER’s litigation strategy and priorities;
- Legal advocacy: Advocacy and engagement with regulators, corporates, and other stakeholders that impact corporate accountability, in order to achieve strategic change and improved practice; providing expert input into draft environmental, social, governance and related policies and legislation, and making submissions in Parliament and in other key forums;
- Strategic communications: Building the profile of the CER and its programmes by participating in communications plans, which include writing editorials and media releases, and giving media interviews;
- Human resources: Mentoring, training, and overseeing the work of junior attorneys and candidate attorneys;
- Networking and empowerment: Building, training, and supporting networks of partners and clients, including affected communities and community organisations.
Working for the CER
The Centre for Environmental Rights is a non-profit organisation and law clinic of environmental rights lawyers that helps communities defend their right to a healthy environment. We do this by advocating and litigating for transparency, accountability, and compliance with environmental laws. As South Africa’s largest public interest environmental law organisation, we leverage our expertise and commitment to fight for environmental justice for all. We take on the big environmental fights – high-stakes cases where we can empower local communities to defend their rights to a healthy environment, clean air and mitigate the impacts of climate change and set powerful precedents for other cases, and help improve policy and practice across the country.
Winning the legal case is only part of the battle. CER’s litigation work is strengthened by local empowerment, dedicated policy and advocacy work as well as strategic communications. We work closely with partners in affected communities and with other civil society and public interest law organisations particularly in the environmental and social justice sectors.
We work across the following core themes: Biodiversity, Mining, Water, Pollution and Climate Change, Corporate Accountability, and Activist Support and Training. Our main office is in Observatory, Cape Town.
At CER, we value our staff and regard their wellbeing as a priority. We are committed to a work environment that is inclusive and empathetic, and in which diversity is celebrated and supported.
The salary range for these positions is between R350 000 and R622 623 (total cost to company). The salary offered will be dependent on factors that include the qualifications, level of expertise, and experience of the successful candidate.
The Centre for Environmental Rights strives to reflect South Africa’s racial, cultural, sex and gender diversity within its staff complement. All suitably-qualified candidates are encouraged to apply.
How to Apply
Please send the following documents to: email@example.com with the email subject line: “CER Attorney”:
- A cover letter setting out your skills and relevant experience, and motivating why you want to work at the CER;
- Your CV; and
- Two recent written references.
Please note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. The CER reserves the right not to appoint should there be no suitable candidate.