Robert Badinter, the man who marked the history of French justice with his fight against the death penalty, passed away on the night of February 8 to 9, 2024. In his tireless quest for justice, his life was marked by a relentless struggle for human rights.
From his early steps as a lawyer, Robert Badinter distinguished himself by his ability to defend difficult causes, often in favor of the most vulnerable. His commitment reached its peak when he became the Keeper of the Seals under the presidency of François Mitterrand.
In 1981, his determination paid off with the abolition of the death penalty in France. But this historic victory was not only legislative, it also represented the culmination of a moral battle against an institution that Badinter considered as "the ultimate denial of human rights".
Badinter was also known for his involvement in international causes. He held the position of special envoy for Unicef, which led him to visit children’s prisons in Eastern Europe. He was also involved in the establishment of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.
Beyond the politician and the jurist, Badinter was a committed intellectual. As an author, he knew how to use his pen in the service of his convictions. His works, such as The Execution and The Abolition, are not only accounts of his personal experience, but also pleas for human dignity. His commitments were notably shaped by the trials of his personal life, such as the death of his father during the Second World War.
The loss of this man with a remarkable career is a great loss for France and for all those who fight for justice and human rights around the world. His legacy will remain forever alive: a constant reminder for present and future generations, of the importance of defending equality. The President of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron, announced that a national tribute will be paid to the man who long shared his life with the illustrious philosopher Élisabeth Badinter.