Tribute to Robert Badinter, a man of science and conscience
Robert BADINTER passed away during the night of February 8-9. In March 2000, the University of Liège had the honor of welcoming the father of the French law abolishing the death penalty, on the occasion of the presentation of the insignia of doctor honoris causa.
obert Badinter was awarded an honorary doctorate by ULiège on March 22, 2000, at the initiative of the Faculty of Law and its Dean, Prof. Georges de Leval. It was an opportunity to honor the law professor (University of Paris 1), former Keeper of the Seals (Minister of Justice) and former President of the Constitutional Council, France's highest court.
Robert Badinter addressed the ULiège audience with his inspired, experienced and eloquent comments on the emergence of a common European law. These comments once again illustrated the ideals that have guided Robert Badinter's work for many years.
A man of science and conscience, Robert Badinter is best known to the general public as the father of the French law abolishing the death penalty, his "intimate enemy". Faithful to his commitments, Robert Badinter fought with others on behalf of American death row inmates with infamous names: Karla Tucker, Odell Barnes, Betty Lou Beets.
A key figure in French politics in the 80s, he is also one of its most atypical, described as an "intellectual in politics": we owe him an impressive list of scholarly treatises on the law as well as on the most diverse subjects (including a notable biography of Condorcet).
A leading expert and advocate of conciliation and international arbitration, Robert Badinter collaborated, after the fall of the Berlin Wall, on the drafting of several constitutions for former Eastern European countries. He was also President of the European Court of Conciliation and Arbitration in Geneva, as well as the European Community Arbitration Commission for the former Yugoslavia. He has never ceased to campaign for international criminal justice and the promotion of human rights.