Rober Badinter, born 1928 in Paris, has been a long-time activist for the abolition of the death penalty. He studied Law at the University of Paris I, Panthéon Sorbonne. After receiving a M. A. in Law of the Columbia University in New York, he returned to the University of Paris where he obtained L. L. D. in 1954. In 1965, he was appointed Professor of Law at the Sorbonne (Emeretus since 1996). Furthermore, Badinter has been a member of the Paris Bar from 1951 until 1981. In 1981 he became Minister of Justice, a high political responsibility which he held until 1986. Among the merits of Badinters period as Minister of Justice figures the abolition of the death penalty in France. From 1986 until 1991, Badinter was appointed President of the Constitutional Council.
Robert Badinter held several positions in the area of international cooperation. He was, i. a., President of the Arbitration Commission for former Yugoslavia (1992-1995) and member of the Brussels Convention for the European Constitution 2003 of the High Level Panel appointed by S. G. Kofi Annan (2003-2004).
In the present, Robert Badinter is a member of the Senate of France and holds office of the Presidency of its Ethic Committee. He is furthermore the President of the OSCE Court of Conciliation and Arbitration (since 1995).
Throughout his academic and professional career, Robert Badinter authored various books and articles on the death penalty, such as « The Execution » (Grasset 1973, Fayard 1998) « The Abolition » (Fayard, 2000), or « Against Death Penalty» (Fayard 2006).