Martien Schotsmans holds a Masters in Law, a Masters in Criminology and a Post-Graduate in International Politics. She has worked as a private practice lawyer in Belgium for about ten years, mainly in criminal law. In the following years, she was in Rwanda with Avocats Sans Frontières to provide legal assistance to accused and victims of genocide in domestic trials, in Chad with FIDH to conduct investigations in the Hissène Habré case and in Sierra Leone with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
After that she worked with Avocats Sans Frontières to organize legal assistance for defendants and victims of international crimes in domestic trials in the DRC and at the ICC. In between, Martien did consultancies on judicial reform, on GBV and transitional justice in Rwanda, DRC, Benin, Morocco, etc. More recently, she conducted research in the field of transitional justice in Sub-Saharan Africa and more in particular on the role of tradition-based justice.
She worked until 2013 at the Leuvens Institute of Criminology at KU Leuven (Belgium) where she provides research support and teaching assistance. She is also preparing a PhD (since 2010) on the topic of “Globalisation and Localisation in Transitional Justice and the challenges for tradition-based justice”. Since 2013 she is director of RCN Justice & Démocratie.