June 2018 – Centre for Environmental Rights New Job Position [2 Positions]

The Centre for Environmental Rights is a non-profit organisation and law clinic based in Cape Town, South Africa. We are activist lawyers who help communities and civil society organisations in South Africa realise our Constitutional right to a healthy environment by advocating and litigating for environmental justice.

Job Title: Attorney [2 Positions]

Job Location: Johannesburg or Cape Town

These positions are for admitted attorneys with at least 3 years’ litigation experience, and who have a passion for environmental rights and justice. The successful candidates will have a particular interest in using the law on behalf of affected communities and civil society organisations to ensure their protection from polluting industrial activities, and to ensure their equal and long-term access to natural resources like land, soil and water.

Qualifications, skills and experience

  • An LLB or equivalent qualification. An LLM, particularly in environmental law, would be an added 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 a perfectionist’s 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

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 for 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 a 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.

The salary range for these positions is between R332 457 and R501 307 (total cost to company), and 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.

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 use our expertise and commitment to fight for environmental justice and advance the right to a healthy environment for all. We take on the big environmental battles: cases in which we can empower local communities, have an enduring impact, 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, and strategic communications. In all of our work, we work closely with partners in affected communities, with other civil society organisations in the environmental and social justice sector, and with other public interest law organisations.

We work across the following core themes: Biodiversity, Mining, Water, Pollution and Climate Change, and Corporate Accountability. We have our main office in Observatory, Cape Town, with a smaller office in Braamfontein, Johannesburg.

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.

How to Apply

Please send the following documents to: nicola@ndrlaw.co.za by 25 July 2018, with the email subject line: “CER Application”:

  • A cover letter setting out your skills and relevant experience, as well as why you want to work at the CER;
  • A copy of your CV;
  • Two recent written references.

Application Deadline:  25th July, 2018




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