[First published on June 15]
The Natural Justice Environmental Law Fellowship Program is designed for young lawyers and other committed individuals from different backgrounds to get a chance to engage in the exciting space of environmental law.
The Program introduces Fellows to a broad spectrum of issues within environmental law in India through fieldwork and research in several different areas of work.
The Fellowship offers an exciting opportunity to lawyers and others who are passionate about learning to use domestic and international environmental law to secure the rights of communities to their lands and resources.
The Fellows will be exposed to a range of innovative ways of effectively using environmental law, ranging from community-based legal support and training to written submissions and advocacy. Over the year, the Fellows will also benefit from networks community-based organizations, non-governmental organizations, legal practitioners, and others.
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Duration of Fellowship: One year
Honorarium: Twenty thousand rupees per month, in addition to a modest travel budget.
The selection process will involve two stages. At the first stage, applicants are required to send a letter of interest, a resume with two referees, and a writing sample.
A Natural Justice panel will interview shortlisted applicants at the second stage before a final decision is made. Interested candidates are invited to send their applications to arpitha(at)naturaljustice.org and revati(at)naturaljustice.org with the subject line “fellowship application” by Sept 30, 2014.
What Skills and Qualities are We Looking for in the Fellows?
Good research skills with the ability to critically analyse environmental law and policy issues;
Willingness to innovate and experiment with the creative use of different disciplines and methodologies;
A keen interest in advancing the rights of communities to their territories and natural resources;
A passion for learning, networking with partners, initiating new work, and innovating on existing research and fieldwork;
Good communication skills that can be used to effectively collaborate, share and exchange information with the extended Natural Justice team and its partners;
A degree in law, humanities or other relevant disciplines with a keen interest in the law and a basic understanding of the Indian legal system;
A willingness to travel on a regular basis and sometimes for extended periods;
Fluency in Hindi and any other Indian language with an ability to engage in discussions with communities and run workshops where necessary, as well as a strong command of written and spoken English;
Ability to engage in discussions and workshops with communities while being sensitive to the nuances of the local context; and
Ability to engage in research, draft reports and legal documents;
What We Do and Where We Work
Sariska Tiger Reserve: Working with the Gujjar community in securing their forest rights within the Reserve and investigating legal entitlements for relocated families.
Kutch: Working with a pastoral community called the Camel Maldharis to secure rights over their grazing route which has been restricted by industries and forest department policies.
Odisha: Working with the Paudi Bhuyan community with the aim of enabling them to assert their rights over the Khandadhar landscape.
Guftagu: An initiative to encourage narratives from the field to be written in an accessible manner online.
Environmental law education: Working with law colleges and students to expose and understand the complexity of enviro-legal contexts.
For more information on Natural Justice, see: