Michael is an Attorney of the High Court of South Africa (with Right of Appearance) and a Director and Co-founder of Power & Associates. Michael holds B.A., LL.B. (with Distinction), and LL.M. in Public International Law (with Distinction) degrees from the University of Witwatersrand, and a Certificate in International Trade Regulation from the World Trade Institute, University of Bern. He is also an Executive M.B.A. candidate at the Graduate School of Business, University of Cape Town.
Michael focuses on constitutional and administrative law, public international and regional law, information rights and media law, and environmental and sustainability law, with a particular interest in strategic and test case litigation, the development and implementation of international law, and advising on rights-based tools and strategies to achieve public interest outcomes. He is also a Director and Co-founder of ALT Advisory (2017-), a public interest advisory and research firm which works in association with Power & Associates, and currently acts as an adviser to the International Network of Civil Liberties Organisations (INCLO) in its Democratic Participation thematic area.
Before forming Power & Associates, Michael practised constitutional and international law at the Legal Resources Centre (2012-14; 2015-17), and he clerked at the Constitutional Court of South Africa (2014, Justice Bess Nkabinde) and the Gauteng Local Division of the High Court, Johannesburg (2011, Justice Kathleen Satchwell).
Michael has represented and advised individuals, activists, journalists, civil society organisations, social movements, socially responsible organisations, and international institutions, which include various agencies of the United Nations and organs of the African Union. He has appeared before multiple courts and tribunals in South Africa, including the Constitutional Court, and he has engaged with the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, and the United Nations Human Rights Committee and Council. He has also supported litigation at the European Court of Human Rights.
Case involvements (reported judgments)
Law Society of South Africa and Others v President of the Republic of South Africa and Others  ZAGPPHC 4 – constitutional law, international law, amicus curiae
Democratic Alliance v Minister of International Relations and Cooperation and Others  ZAGPPHC 53 – constitutional law, international law, amicus curiae
SOS Support Public Broadcasting Coalition and Another v South African Broadcasting Corporation ICASA CCC 214/2016 – constitutional law, public participation
South African Human Rights Commission and Others v Minister of Home Affairs: Naledi Pandor and Others  ZAGPJHC 198 – constitutional law, immigration law, unlawful detention (supported as a candidate legal practitioner)
Magidiwana and Others v President of the Republic of South Africa and Others  ZACC 27 – constitutional law (supported as a candidate legal practitioner)
Federation for Sustainable Environment and Others v Minister of Water Affairs and Others  ZAGPPHC – constitutional law, environmental law, right to water (supported as a candidate legal practitioner)
Sikuola v Minister of Home Affairs and Others  ZAGPJHC 98 – constitutional law, immigration law, unlawful detention (supported as a candidate legal practitioner)
Commissions of Inquiry
Treaty Body Mechanisms