Townsend, Dina Lupin

Dina is a research consultant specialising in international environmental law, indigenous peoples’ rights and legal theory. She is also a visiting researcher at the University of the Witwatersrand and she has recently joined the team at Dignity Rights International as the Research and Outreach Coordinator. Dina‘s current research is on silencing and epistemic injustice in the context of consultation processes with indigenous peoples and her latest article on this subject can be found here. In 2020, Dina joined the team of Expert Reviewers for the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report and her new book, “Human Dignity and the Adjudication of Environmental Rights” will be released in June. Dina is also the Book Review Editor for the Journal of Human Rights and the Environment and she manages the GNHRE’s community page and blog.

Previously Dina worked as a Post-doctoral researcher at the Faculty of Law of the University of Tilburg researching civil society organisations working on sustainable development in Ethiopia. You can read more about the research project here.

Dina was awarded her PhD in 2017 by the Department of Public and International Law at the University of Oslo. Her PhD was on the concept of human dignity in the context of environmental law and governance.

Dina completed her BA and LLB at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and her Master of Laws, with honours, at the University of Auckland, New Zealand.

Dina previously worked as a Senior Attorney at the Centre for Environmental Rights ( in Cape Town. At the Centre, Dina represented a range of communities and activists in their battles for more transparent, accountable environmental and water management in the mining sector. She worked on the
legal aspects of acid mine drainage, hydraulic fracturing and was
instrumental in the facilitation of a community activist network in the field of mining and environmental justice. Dina also led the Centre’s work on improving transparency in environmental governance. As a result of her work at the Centre, Dina was included in the 2013 list of 200 Young South Africans published by the Mail and Guardian .

Dina has also worked in the Mining and Natural Resources team at Webber Wentzel, a South African law firm.

A list of Dina’s recent publications can be found here.