Thijs Bouwknegt (1979) is a historian, jurist and former journalist specialised in African Affairs, War Crimes Trials, Transitional Justice and Mass Violence. He studied Non-Western Contemporary History and International Law at the University of Groningen and Holocaust and Genocide Studies at the University of Amsterdam.
Currently, he is a Researcher at NIOD and Lecturer in Genocide Studies at the University of Amsterdam (UvA). Thijs’ main research focus is on legal and historical truth finding and fact-ascertainment in Sub-Saharan Africa. For his dissertation, he analysed international criminal trials concerning the 1991-2002 civil war in Sierra Leone, the 1994 genocide in Rwanda and the post-2002 conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Currently, he is working on a project on the ICC prosecution of Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Blé Goudé for crimes against humanity in Côte d'Ivoire
Between 2007 and 2012, Thijs worked as Editor, Correspondent and Investigative Journalist for the International Justice Tribune magazine and Radio Netherlands Worldwide (International Justice Desk & Africa Desk).
Prior to his journalistic work, Thijs was a researcher on West Africa (Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ghana) and a trial monitor at the Special Court for Sierra Leone for Amnesty International. Thijs also worked as a researcher United Nations’ International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) and on the Uganda (LRA) and Sudan (Darfur) cases at the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Since 2003 until present, Thijs attended, covered and monitored the trials at the international tribunals for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), Rwanda (ICTR), Sierra Leone (SCSL), Cambodia (ECCC), Lebanon (STL), the International Criminal Court (#ICC), a range of national jurisdictions in Europe and Africa and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for Liberia.