Researcher / University Lecturer
Mass Violence; Genocide; International Crimes; Africa; Transitional Justice; International Criminal Justice; Universal Jurisdiction
+31 (0)20-5233800

Twitter: @thijsbouwknegt

Overview publications

Thijs Bouwknegt (1979) studied non-western history, international and European law, and Holocaust and genocide studies. He specialises in transitional justice, international criminal justice, mass violence in Africa en comparative genocide studies. Bouwknegt is part of the NIOD’s research group Holocaust en Genocide Studies and the NIOD’s Transitional Justice Programme.

Bouwknegt’s research focuses on the work of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in Africa, Dutch prosecutions for international crimes, and mass violence in Ethiopia. Bouwknegt has published on various topics, including: transitional justice in Rwanda, Liberia, Sierra Leone, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, Chad and Ethiopia; perpetrators of international crimes; child soldiers; universal jurisdiction trials in the Netherlands; and transitional justice archives.

For his dissertation Bouwknegt investigated the process of legal-historical truth finding, the use of witness testimonies as historical sources, and the legacies of (international) criminal trials in the wake of the civil war in Sierra Leone (1991-2002), the genocide in Rwanda (1994), and the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (1996-2003).

Since 2003, Bouwknegt has attended – as trial monitor, journalist and researcher – the criminal trials at the International Criminal Court (ICC) en the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia (UNICTY), Rwanda (UNICTR), Sierra Leone (SCSL), Cambodia (ECCC) en Lebanon (STL).

Academic positions:

  • 2016-current: Assistant Professor, Leiden University College (LUC), The Hague Campus
  • 2015-current: Coordinator MA-track Holocaust and Genocide Studies at the University of Amsterdam (UvA)
  • 2014-current: Assistant Professor, University of Amsterdam (UvA)

Other professional activities:

  • 2015–current: Member, Editorial Board book series War, Conflict and Genocide Studies, Amsterdam University Press (AUP)
  • 2009–current: Trial Monitor, Independent
  • 2013-current: Member, Steering Committee Member, Africa - Low Countries Network (ALCN)
  • 2012-current: Member, Editorial Board, Newsletter Criminology and International Crimes (NCIC)
  • 2010-current: Member, Association of Journalists at the International Criminal Court (AJICC)
  • 2005-current: Member, Network of Concerned Historians (NCH)

Former positions:

  • 2016-2018: Assistant Professor, Utrecht University (UU)
  • 2010-2014: Correspondent (at International Criminal Court & The Hague District Court), Freelance (France24, Radio France Internationale, Hirondelle News Agency)
  • 2009-2012: Editor/Correspondent, International Justice Tribune (IJT)
  • 2007-2012: Editor/Correspondent/Producer, Radio Netherlands Worldwide (RNW) (desks: “International Justice” & “Africa”)
  • 2005-2007: Researcher, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Amnesty International (AI)
  • 2005-2007: Trial Monitor at Special Court for Sierra Leone, Amnesty International (AI)
  • 2006: Researcher, International Criminal Court (ICC)
  • 2004: Researcher, United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (UNICTR)


  • History, PhD, University of Amsterdam (UvA) (thesis: Cross-examining the past: Transitional justice, mass atrocity trials and history in Africa)
  • Holocaust and Genocide Studies, MA, University of Amsterdam (UvA)
  • International and European Law, Pre-MA, Groningen University (RuG)
  • Non-western History, “Doctoraal” (MA), Groningen University (RuG)