Lisa Chamberlain

Lisa Chamberlain has an enduring optimism about South Africa’s constitutional democracy. As a result of her work as a clerk at the Constitutional Court she was sponsored by its bursary trust to complete her LLM at the University of Michigan and now teaches Administrative Law, Sustainable Development and Human Rights in the Marketplace at the Wits School of Law. Her expertise in environmental justice saw her establish the first environmental programme at the Centre for Applied Legal Studies, where she serves as deputy director while she leads the Save Mapungubwe Coalition to protect the integrity of the Mapungubwe Heritage Site from nearby coal-mining activity. When 30-year-old Chamberlain isn’t using her voice to speak out for our human rights she is a member of the Wits Choir — an ensemble of races, demographies and nationalities, which sings in 27 languages, represents South Africa abroad “and looks like the South African democratic project in action”. — Rudi Benadé