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Professor Tracy-Lynn Field

Professor Tracy-Lynn Field (formerly Humby) is an enrolled advocate and Professor in the Wits School of Law.

Her research areas and expertise include environmental law, human rights, mining law, climate change law, water law, extractives industry transparency, mineral property regimes, mineral taxation regimes, and open government. She served as the Chair of the Board of the Centre for Environmental Rights (CER) from 2017 – 2021 and undertakes work for the Open Government Partnership.

Her 17 years of academic experience and her position as an advocate lends strength to the work of the two Chairs as it gives her power to work with other organisations such as the Wits Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS) and the CER that are dealing with water and environmental matters. She has built relationships with high-ranking officials in African governments as well as with leaders in civil society.

The author of State Governance of Mining, Development and Sustainability and co-editor of a new volume titled Making a global just transition possible? A critical assessment of the fossil fuel and renewable energy, Professor Field developed the edX Massive Open Online Course titled Mining for Development: The Taxation Linkage, which attracted over 1 000 students from 70 countries. She also spearheaded a law student internship programme at the Wits Rural Facility.

An independent panel member of the South African Human Rights Commission hearings into the socio-economic rights of mining-affected communities, Professor Field was also part of a closed meeting of experts convened by the UN Special Rapporteur on the Environment to consider the global, formal recognition of the human right to environment. She was also short-listed as a UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment.

Through the proposed Chair in Earth Stewardship based at the Wits Mandela Institute and in addition to the work on Water Stewardship, she proposes to work on the Southern African Climate Law Laboratory.