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Centre for Environmental Rights – Advancing Environmental Rights in South Africa

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Vacancy at the CER: Staff Attorney

9 December 2011 at 10:38 am

As part of a National Lottery-funded collaborative project with partner organisation Lawyers for Human Rights (, the Centre hereby calls for applications by suitably qualified and experienced candidates to take up a three-year contract as staff attorney at the Centre, specialising in the regulation of the environmental impacts of mining and other industrial developments. The staff attorney will be based at the Centre’s offices in Cape Town, though he or she will be required to travel regularly to Gauteng and other parts of the country.

The Centre for Environmental Rights strives to reflect South Africa’s racial, cultural and gender diversity within its staff complement. All suitably qualified candidates are encouraged to apply.

Qualifications, skills and experience

  • An LLB or equivalent qualification
  • An appropriate tertiary qualification, such as in environmental or mining law
  • Admission as attorney of the High Court of South Africa
  • At least two years’ post-qualification experience in High Court litigation, particularly Constitutional and administrative law (experience in environmental litigation, particularly focused on mining, pollution, waste and land use will be an advantage)
  • A sound understanding of legal and procedural requirements for environmental decision-making and legal challenges, particularly decisions around mining, pollution, waste and land use
  • A sensitivity to social issues and needs
  • A commitment to high quality client service

Key responsibilities

  • Providing hands-on expert legal advice and support, including training on applicable legal provisions, to communities, community and civil society organisations who qualify for the Centre’s assistance
  • Providing legal representation to the Centre’s clients, including conducting High Court public interest litigation on behalf of the Centre’s clients
  • Legal advocacy for improved environmental governance of mining and other industrial developments
  • Providing expert input into draft environmental policies and legislation on mining, pollution, waste and land use matters
  • Ensuring information-sharing and networking with the Centre’s partner organisations
  • Facilitating the upload of available resources onto the Centre’s Virtual Environmental Law Library and other news items on our website
  • Training and overseeing the work of legal interns at the Centre
  • Maintaining a close working relationship with the Centre’s project implementation partner, Lawyers for Human Rights, including strategic planning, information-sharing, reporting and financial management

To apply, please send a cover letter motivating why you have the necessary qualifications, skills and experience for this position, as well as a comprehensive CV, to [email protected].

Closing date: 9 January 2012