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France and Death Penalty

Abolition in France

The death penalty in France was abolished under the Act of 9 October 1981 (in French), which was born of the commitment of Robert Badinter, Minister of Justice at the time, and his speech before the National Assembly (in French). This Act was a step forward in France’s long-standing campaign to promote human dignity. Under French law, it is forbidden to remove people to a country where they would face the death penalty.

The abolition of the death penalty was incorporated into the Constitution of the Fifth Republic by the Constitutional Act of 23 February 2007. The Constitution now stipulates, in Article66-1, that “no one shall be sentenced to death”.

France has adhered to all international commitments on abolition of the death penalty :
- Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
- Protocol No.6 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms
- Protocol No.13 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms

Updated on 20.02.15

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