Robert Badinter, former Minister of Justice under François Mitterrand, died during the night from Thursday to Friday. Aged 95, he was particularly known for his fight against the death penalty in France and around the world.
Brilliant lawyer and former Minister of Justice, Robert Badinter embodied until his last breath the fight for the universal abolition of the death penalty. Initially criticized for having defended causes that went against the grain, he built a reputation as an independent humanist, to the point of being considered a moral authority.
Minister of Justice under socialist president François Mitterrand, he introduced the law of October 9, 1981 which abolished the death penalty, in a France then predominantly in favor of this supreme punishment.
Lawyer and teacher
Born in Paris on March 30, 1928 into a Jewish family who emigrated from Bessarabia (now Moldova), Robert Badinter became a lawyer at the Paris bar after studying literature and law and at the same time pursued a career as a university teacher.
Co-founder with Jean-Denis Bredin of a prestigious law firm, he defends personalities, big names in the press or business, and occasionally pleads in court. In 1977, he spared the death penalty for child murderer Patrick Henry, who was sentenced to life imprisonment.
President of the Constitutional Council
After his departure from the government, he chaired the Constitutional Council for nine years (1986-95). Socialist senator from 1995 to 2011, he had the satisfaction of seeing the abolition of the death penalty included in the Constitution in 2007.
Still very active, he is working on a reform of the UN in the 2000s and on the reform of the Labor Code during the five-year term of François Hollande.
>> The interview in Forum with Jean-Michel Aphatie, political journalist: Disappearance of the humanist Robert Badinter: interview with Jean-Michel Aphatie / Forum / 5 min. / today at 6:10 p.m.