Robert Badinter, who helped abolish loss of life penalty in France, dies at 95 | EUROtoday

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Robert Badinter, who spearheaded the drive to abolish France’s loss of life penalty, campaigned towards antisemitism and Holocaust denial, and led a European physique coping with the authorized fallout of Yugoslavia’s breakup, has died. He was 95.

The French Justice Ministry on Feb. 9 confirmed Mr. Badinter’s loss of life, with out offering different particulars. French President Emmanuel Macron hailed him as a “figure of the century” who “never ceased to advocate for the ideas of the Enlightenment.”

A former lawyer and justice minister who was an impassioned champion of human rights, Mr. Badinter was greatest identified for his sustained push to finish capital punishment. He described seeing certainly one of his purchasers lose his head to a guillotine, which was employed for executions in France via the Seventies.

As justice minister beneath then-President François Mitterrand, Mr. Badinter overcame public opposition and gained parliamentary assist for abolishing the loss of life penalty in 1981.

Mr. Badinter was born to a Jewish household in Paris on March 30, 1928. He noticed firsthand Nazi horrors in addition to France’s collaboration with the Germans throughout World War II, and misplaced his father at Sobibor, a Nazi loss of life camp in occupied Poland, based on Macron’s workplace. As a lawyer, Mr. Badinter later pursued a infamous Holocaust denier in courtroom.

Mr. Badinter went on to steer France’s Constitutional Council, served as a senator for 16 years, and was seen as an ethical compass for a lot of in France for his protection of human rights.

In 1991, Mr. Badinter led an arbitration physique arrange by the European Economic Community to supply the Peace Conference on Yugoslavia with authorized recommendation after two of the nation’s six republics — Slovenia and Croatia — had declared independence. The Badinter Commission, because the physique turned identified, was made up of presidents of constitutional courts of the member nations of the EEC, a precursor to the European Union.

The Badinter Commission issued 15 authorized opinions between 1991 and 1993, together with one saying that the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia had dissolved. That paved the way in which for worldwide recognition of Slovenia and Croatia as sovereign international locations in 1992.

The Badinter Commission additionally declared the borders between former Yugoslav republics as worldwide frontiers between newly unbiased international locations that could possibly be modified solely via diplomacy, and never by pressure. Despite the authorized pronouncements, wars raged within the Nineteen Nineties in Croatia and later Bosnia and Kosovo, claiming lots of of 1000’s of lives and displacing the biggest variety of refugees in Europe since World War II.

Macron will preside over a nationwide tribute to Mr. Badinter, the president’s workplace mentioned.

Mr. Badinter’s marriage to actress Anne Vernon led to divorce. He was married to Elisabeth Badinter, a feminist thinker, and had three kids, however an entire record of survivors was not instantly out there.