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Renowned Human Rights Advocate and Former Justice Minister Robert Badinter Passes Away at 95

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Renowned Human Rights Advocate And Former Justice Minister Robert Badinter Passes Away At 95

Renowned French human rights advocate and former Justice Minister, Robert Badinter, passed away at the age of 95. Badinter, who played a pivotal role in abolishing the death penalty in France, was remembered by President Emmanuel Macron as a towering figure in the realm of social justice and enlightenment ideals.

Badinter, a Paris-born lawyer from a Jewish family with a personal connection to the Holocaust through the loss of his father in Sobibor, dedicated his life to fighting for justice and human rights. His tenure as Justice Minister under President Francois Mitterrand saw the historic abolition of the death penalty in 1981, a landmark achievement in a country deeply divided on the issue.

Macron announced a special national homage to Badinter, recognizing his enduring legacy as a champion of fundamental freedoms. Badinter’s wife, renowned philosopher Elisabeth Badinter, shared his life’s journey, along with their three children.

Badinter’s legal career was marked by high-profile cases, notably his defense that spared the convicted murderer Patrick Henry from the death penalty, igniting public debate and controversy. His unwavering commitment to opposing capital punishment often led to personal attacks and threats due to his defense of individuals facing the ultimate punishment.

Beyond his national impact, Badinter’s influence extended to the European stage, where he led the Badinter Commission, a key entity established by the European Economic Community to address pivotal legal issues during the breakup of Yugoslavia. The Commission’s legal opinions paved the way for the recognition of independent states like Slovenia and Croatia.

Badinter’s later years were characterized by continued advocacy for human rights, constitutional integrity, and legal reforms. His passing marks the end of an era for French jurisprudence and human rights activism, with figures across the political spectrum, including Marine Le Pen and Laurent Fabius, acknowledging his profound impact on legal and ethical discourse.

Rachel Adams

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