The world is full of conflict and massive human rights abuses. Many societies have realized that abuses must be confronted and addressed, not swept under the carpet. They have turned to the concept of transitional justice, as the criminal justice system is not adequate to address the scale of the abuses, much less “get at” the root causes of conflict and repression. Transitional justice seeks not only to hold the most responsible perpetrators to account but also to give victims a voice through broadly inclusive processes, including truth commissions and reparations programs. David Tolbert, who has spent his career working on these issues in countries across the world, will discuss the importance of civil society in driving these processes, the impact on this work has on his life as well as the role that we all have to play to make respect for human rights a reality.  

David Tolbert, a Hendersonville native, is the President of the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ), a global non-profit human rights organization. He previously served as Assistant Secretary-General in the United Nations. Tolbert has written and published extensively on human rights, international criminal justice and rule of law issues.