MJustice Minister of Socialist President François Mitterrand (1981-1986), introduced the law of October 9, 1981 that abolished the death penalty, in a France where the majority was in favor of this maximum punishment. Subsequently, he committed himself, until his “last breath of life”, to the universal abolition of capital punishment.
Born in Paris on March 30, 1928, into a Jewish family emigrated from Bessarabia (now Moldova), he became a lawyer at the Paris Bar Association, after studying literature and law, and simultaneously pursued a career as a teacher. university.
Co-founder, with Jean-Denis Bredin, of a prestigious law firm, he defended celebrities, big names in the press and business world and, occasionally, advocated at hearings.
In 1977, he managed to prevent Patrick Henry, a child killer, from being sentenced to life in prison.
Divorced from an actress he married in the 1950s, he was married since 1966 to the philosopher Elisabeth Badinter, born Bleustein-Blanchet, with whom he had three children.
After leaving the government, he presided over the Constitutional Council for nine years (1986-95). A socialist senator from 1995 to 2011, he was pleased to see the abolition of the death penalty enshrined in the Constitution in 2007.
Always very active, he worked on the reform of the UN in the 2000s and on the reform of the Labor Code during the five years of François Hollande’s mandate.
He was also a member of the Arbitration Commission for Peace in Yugoslavia, created in August 1991 by the European Commission to prepare legal opinions on the conflict in that country.
On Friday, French President Emmanuel Macron hailed on X (formerly Twitter) “a figure of the century, a republican conscience, the French spirit”.
“He dedicated every second of his life to fighting for what was right, to fighting for fundamental freedoms. The abolition of the death penalty will forever be his legacy for France,” said French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal, also at the X.
On the same social network, the current director of Justice, Éric Dupond-Moretti, who has also been a criminal lawyer for many years, said that Badinter was a “visionary and courageous” minister who “embodied the Republic and the values” of France.
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