Loyola University Chicago

Rule of Law for Development Institute

School of Law

Lesle Jansen (2011-12)

Natural Justice, South Africa

I am a South African attorney currently working for an international organization called Natural Justice based in Cape Town. I've been with Natural Justice since May 2012 after completing the PROLAW program. My work involves working with indigenous and local communities around their relationship with natural resources. Natural Justice uses the international environmental law context to protect and advocate for the rights of these communities. I am responsible for implementing Natural Justice's work in the Southern Africa region which includes Namibia; South Africa and Botswana.

I was also recently appointed to the position of Expert Member to the African Commission's Working Group on Indigenous Populations/Communities (ACHPR). This Working Group is a Special Mechanism of the ACHPR and works around the indigenous peoples question in Africa. This mechanism have done mission visits to several African countries: released seminal work around resolving the indigenous peoples question in Africa; and they also conduct seminars and workshops with key bodies within the region. You can find more information on the ACHPR's Working Group here:


My recent appointment to the ACHPR'S Working Group on Indigenous Populations/Communities will require of me to understand how to analyze the complexities of discrimination the indigenous peoples within their respective countries goes through. This work will further involve identifying opportunities and challenges within a particular country that would assist indigenous people to overcome structural marginalization.

PROLAW through its different classes gave me confidence to access any part of Africa notwithstanding its legal system. PROLAW showed me how to understand the context and to approach a solution. With my training and the wealth of resources I received in the Program, I know how to navigate through any situation that I have to face through my work.

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