A national tribute will be paid to the former Minister of Justice and lawyer Robert Badinter, initiator of the abolition of capital punishment in France, Wednesday February 14 at noon, Place Vendôme, in Paris, where the Ministry of Justice is located , announced the Elysée, Saturday February 10.
The disappearance of Robert Badinter, on the night of Thursday to Friday at the age of 95, sparked numerous tributes. The President of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron, welcomed on “a figure of the century, a republican conscience, the French spirit”. He then announced, during a trip to Bordeaux, that a “national tribute” would be returned to him.
Questioned by the press during this trip, the Head of State specified that he would speak, during this tribute, on the question of a possible entry into the Pantheon of the former president of the Constitutional Council. “These things take time”he nevertheless affirmed.
Collection of condolences Place Vendôme
“He will have devoted 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”wrote on the Prime Minister, Gabriel Attal.
The Minister of Justice, Eric Dupond-Moretti, lawyer, spoke of a “visionary keeper of the seals” Who “leaves a void worthy of his legacy: immeasurable”. The latter decided to open, from Friday evening until Sunday evening, the doors of the Ministry of Justice (1er district), where a collection of condolences was made available to the public.
Minister of Justice and Keeper of the Seals (1981-1986) under François Mitterrand, Robert Badinter introduced the law of October 9, 1981 which abolished the death penalty in a France then predominantly in favor of this punishment. He invests himself subsequently, until his “last breath of life”in his own words, for the universal abolition of capital punishment.
His fight against the death penalty began on the morning of November 28, 1972: one of his clients, Roger Bontems, an accomplice in a deadly hostage-taking, had just been guillotined. “I swore to myself, as I left the Court of Health that morning at dawn, that all my life I would fight the death penalty”he declared to Agence France-Presse in 2021.
In 1977, he spared the death penalty for child murderer Patrick Henry, who was sentenced to life imprisonment. After that, five other men escaped the scaffold thanks to him. Which earned him hatred for a long time for his supposed laxity towards criminals.
In August 1982, he voted for the decriminalization of homosexuality. To his credit also, the abolition of high security districts, access for French litigants to the European Court of Human Rights and a law on compensation for victims of traffic accidents.
After his departure from the government, he chaired the Constitutional Council for nine years (1986-1995).
Socialist senator from 1995 to 2011, he had the satisfaction of seeing the abolition of the death penalty included in the Constitution in 2007.