Christiane Taubira

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Christiane Taubira
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Minister of Justice - Keeper of the Seals
In office
16 May 2012 – 27 January 2016
Prime MinisterJean-Marc Ayrault
Manuel Valls
Preceded byMichel Mercier
Succeeded byJean-Jacques Urvoas
Regional councilor for French Guiana
In office
26 March 2010 – 23 December 2015
Member of the National Assembly
for the 1st constituency of French Guiana
In office
2 April 1993 – 16 June 2012
Preceded byÉlie Castor
Succeeded byGabriel Serville
Member of the European Parliament
In office
19 July 1994 – 19 July 1999
Personal details
Christiane Marie Taubira

(1952-02-02) 2 February 1952 (age 69)
Cayenne, French Guiana
Political partyWalwari
Other political
Radical Party of the Left
Alma materPanthéon-Assas University
Paris-Sorbonne University

Christiane Marie Taubira (French: [kʁistjan maʁi tobiʁa]; born 2 February 1952, in Cayenne, French Guiana) is a French politician who served as Minister of Justice of France in the government of Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault under President François Hollande from 2012 until 2016.[1] She was a member of the National Assembly of France for French Guiana (1993-2012) and of the European Parliament (1994-1999).

Early life[edit]

Taubira was born on 2 February 1952 in Cayenne, French Guiana, France. She studied economics at Panthéon-Assas University, African Americans ethnology, sociology at Paris-Sorbonne University and food industry at the French Center for Agricultural Cooperation.[2][3] Taubira is the sister of French politician Jean-Marie Taubira, who is Secretary General of the Guianese Progressive Party.

Political career[edit]

Early beginnings[edit]

Having served as President of the Walwari Party, Taubira from 1993 served as a Deputy to the French National Assembly, being re-elected in 1997. Non-affiliated in 1993, she then voted in favour of the conservative Prime Minister Edouard Balladur to form a Cabinet of ministers in 1993.

Member of the European Parliament, 1994–1999[edit]

In the 1994 European elections, Taubira became a Member of the European Parliament (MEP),[4][5] being the fourth on the Énergie Radicale list led by Bernard Tapie. In parliament, she served on the Committee on Development (1994-1997) and the Committee on Culture, Youth, Education and the Media (1997-1999). In addition to her committee assignments, she was part of the parliament's delegation for relations with the countries of South America.[6]

In June 1997, Taubira joined the Socialist Party (PS), and then-Prime Minister Lionel Jospin appointed her to head a government commission into gold mining in Guiana.[citation needed]

Career in national politics[edit]

Taubira was the driving force behind a 21 May 2001 law that recognises the Atlantic slave trade and slavery as a crime against humanity.[7]

In 2002, Taubira was a Left Radical Party (PRG) candidate for the Presidency, although she did not belong to the Party; she won 2.32% of the votes. After 2002, she became the party's vice-president. She was elected as its Deputy in the 2002 elections, and chose to join the Socialists' group in the Assembly.

In addition to her work in national politics, Taubira served as a Regional Councillor of French Guiana from 2010 until 2012.

Minister of Justice, 2012–2016[edit]

Taubira was nominated Minister of Justice by Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, following the victory of François Hollande in the 2012 elections. At the time, she was one of the few black, female politicians within a prominent ministry in the French government.[8] She soon emerged as one of the most outspoken and progressive voices in the government.[8]

Taubira was initially supposed to work with Junior Minister Delphine Batho. However, their relationship quickly broke down being unable to share responsibilities. After the June 2012 Legislative elections, Batho was moved to become Minister of Ecology replacing Nicole Bricq, leaving Taubira in charge of the Ministry of Justice. She resigned her position as Minister of Justice on 27 January 2016 after a disagreement with President Hollande over policies related to the treatment of French Nationals convicted of terrorism.[9]

In 2013, Taubira voiced her support for land reforms in France's Caribbean territories as compensation for slavery.[10] She also formally implemented an important electoral promise of François Hollande[11] and introduced Law 2013-404, which legalised same-sex marriage in France.

In 2014, Taubira successfully defied opposition parties' calls for her to quit after it emerged that she knew former President Nicolas Sarkozy's phone was being tapped, apparently contradicting an earlier statement from her.[12] She reportedly considered resigning in August 2014, along with other left-wing cabinet members such as Arnaud Montebourg, in protest against Hollande's economic policies.[13]

Taubira resigned in January 2016 after openly disagreeing with the French president's proposal to strip French nationality from dual-citizens who are convicted of terrorism, a measure championed by Hollande in the wake of the terrorist attacks that shook Paris on 13 November;[9] Minister of the Interior Manuel Valls had taken charge of the constitutional reform draft law which would normally have been part of her portfolio.[14] One week later, she published Murmures à la jeunesse, a book about this proposal.[15]

Later career[edit]

Despite being urged to join the race by supporters, Taubira chose not to run in the Socialist Party's primary,[16] and remained neutral in the contest; following his nomination, Taubira later endorsed Benoît Hamon as the party's candidate for the 2017 French presidential election.[17] In the second round of the presidential election, she called on voters to rally behind Emmanuel Macron.[18]

Taubira has been speculated to be a potential candidate in the 2022 presidential election.[19]

Victim of racist attacks[edit]

Like other female ministers, Taubira has faced many racist and sexist insults.[20]

Taubira allowed the Guyanese political party Walwari to make a direct citation in the Cayenne criminal court against Anne-Sophie Leclère, a candidate for the Front National who in October 2013 shared a racist cartoon comparing Taubira to a monkey on her Facebook page. Leclère was sentenced to nine months in prison and five years of ineligibility by the court, before the judgement was quashed on appeal, as Walwari's actions were deemed invalid.[21]

In September 2016, the Paris criminal court, which had opened an investigation when the facts were revealed, found Leclère guilty of the crime of public insult, and sentenced her to a suspended fine of 3,000 euros.

In November 2013, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights condemned the comments, which it considered as racist attacks against Taubira, in particular those on the cover of the extreme right-wing weekly Minute, which featured her photo with the caption: "Clever as a monkey, Taubira finds the banana". The weekly rejected the accusation of racism, arguing that it merely used two French expressions, "the second of which - the part about the banana - is familiarly used to describe a person in good shape". The minister denounced comments of "extreme violence", denying her "belonging to the human race". The weekly's editor was sentenced to a fine of 10,000 euros for its front page on 30 October 2014. The public prosecutor's office appealed against the fine, saying that it was too lenient.


Taubira holds a Dr. Sc. (honorary doctorate degree) in law and human rights from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Personal life[edit]

Christiane Taubira at Festival America [fr] 2018, in Vincennes.

Taubira was married twice.[22] She has four children with her second husband, Roland Delannon.[22][23][24] They are divorced.[22][24] Delannon is a separatist politician who founded the Decolonization and Social Emancipation Movement; he was jailed for 18 months for planning to blow up an oil and gas facility in the 1980s.[23][24]


  • (in French) L'Esclavage raconté à ma fille ("Slavery explained to my daughter"),Paris, Bibliophane, coll. « Les mots à coeur », 2002 (réimpr. 2006), 165 p. (ISBN 2-86970-064-4 et 2-86970-122-5).
  • (in French) Codes noirs : de l'esclavage aux abolitions, Paris, Dalloz, coll. « A savoir », 2006, 150 p. (ISBN 2-247-06857-X) (introduction).
  • (in French) Rendez-vous avec la République ("Meeting with the Republic"), Paris, La Découverte, coll. « Cahiers libres », 2006, 195 p. (ISBN 978-2-7071-5091-2).
  • (in French) Égalité pour les exclus : le politique face à l'histoire et à la mémoire coloniales, Paris, Temps Présent, 2009, 93 p. (ISBN 978-2-916842-01-1).
  • (in French) Mes météores : combats politiques au long cours, Paris, Flammarion, 2012, 551 p. (ISBN 978-2-08-127895-0).
  • (in French) Paroles de liberté ("Words of Freedom"), Paris, Flammarion, coll. " Café Voltaire ", 2014, 138 p. (ISBN 978-2-08-133688-9).
  • (in French) Murmures à la jeunesse, 2016.
  • (in French) Nous habitons la Terre, 2017, REY, 128 p. (ISBN 978-2848766119).
  • (in French) Nuit d'épine ("Thorny Night"), Paris, Plon, 2019, 288 p. (ISBN 978-2259278652).
  • (in French) Gran Balan, Paris, Plon, 2020, 480 p. (ISBN 978-2259305013).


  1. ^ "France - French Justice Minister Christiane Taubira resigns". France 24. 27 January 2016. Retrieved 27 January 2016.
  2. ^ "Votre députée". Taubira web site (in French). 2011. Archived from the original on 14 December 2011.
  3. ^ Faure, Sonya (13 June 2012). "La fusée Christiane". Libération (in French).
  4. ^ "Christiane TAUBIRA-DELANNON". Your MEPs. European Parliament. Retrieved 14 February 2011.
  5. ^ Tagliabue, John (3 April 2002). "France's First-Round Presidential Ballot Takes Shape". The New York Times. Retrieved 14 February 2011.
  6. ^ Christiane Taubira-Delannon European Parliament.
  7. ^ Martin Arnold (January 30, 2006), French to remember 'stain of slavery' Financial Times.
  8. ^ a b Aurelien Breeden (January 27, 2016), French Justice Minister Quits Over Plan to Strip Citizenship From Terrorists The New York Times.
  9. ^ a b "france 24 - French Justice Minister Christiane Taubira resigns after terror law row - France 24". France 24. 27 January 2016. Retrieved 15 February 2016.
  10. ^ "France - French minister wants land for slaves' descendants". France 24. Archived from the original on 26 April 2017. Retrieved 15 February 2016.
  11. ^ "Unpopular French President Nicolas Sarkozy Desperately Woos Les Gais". Retrieved 6 May 2012.
  12. ^ Mark John (March 12, 2014), French government on defensive over Sarkozy phone-taps Reuters.
  13. ^ Pierre Briançon (January 27, 2016), Justice minister's resignation exposes Hollande on the left
  14. ^ Brian Love (January 27, 2016), French justice minister resigns after uneasy term Reuters.
  15. ^ Wieder, Thomas (31 January 2016). "Le réquisitoire de Christiane Taubira contre la déchéance de nationalité". Le Monde. Retrieved 1 February 2016.
  16. ^ "French voters urge ex-minister Taubira to join left-wing presidential primary". France 24. 1 December 2016. Retrieved 30 March 2021.
  17. ^ Arthur Nazaret (February 5, 2017), Avec les écolos et les communistes, Hamon cherche sa gauche plurielle Le Journal du Dimanche.
  18. ^ Taubira appelle à voter Macron mais refuse de faire du «chantage» Le Parisien, May 2, 2017.
  19. ^ "Présidentielle 2022 : Christiane Taubira va-t-elle sauter le pas ?". (in French). Retrieved 17 August 2021.
  20. ^ Hélène Pillon, « Ces femmes politiques dans le viseur des racistes », sur, 13 novembre 2013 (consulté le 10 août 2015).
  21. ^ « Anne-Sophie Leclère, ex-candidate FN qui avait comparé Christiane Taubira à un singe, condamnée à une amende avec sursis » [archive],, 28 septembre 2016 (consulté le 14 février 2017).
  22. ^ a b c Giroudon, Baptiste (31 December 2013). "CHEZ LA MINISTRE DE LA JUSTICE, EN GUYANE: CHRISTIANE TAUBIRA, LA BLESSURE DERRIÈRE LE SOURIRE". Paris Match. Retrieved 1 February 2016.
  23. ^ a b "Roland Delannon, la "blessure" de Christiane Taubira". Le Figaro. 3 January 2014. Retrieved 1 February 2016.
  24. ^ a b c "Christiane Taubira "mariée" à un "terroriste" : l'intox de Marine Le Pen". Metro News. 14 March 2013. Retrieved 1 February 2016.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by Minister of Justice
Succeeded by