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Jacques Toubon

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Jacques Toubon
Toubon in 2023
Defender of Rights
In office
17 July 2014 – 16 July 2020
PresidentFrançois Hollande
Emmanuel Macron
Preceded byDominique Baudis
Succeeded byClaire Hédon
Minister of Culture
In office
PresidentFrançois Mitterrand
Prime MinisterÉdouard Balladur
Preceded byJack Lang
Succeeded byPhilippe Douste-Blazy
Keeper of the Seals, Minister of Justice
In office
PresidentJacques Chirac
Prime MinisterAlain Juppé
Preceded byPierre Méhaignerie
Succeeded byÉlisabeth Guigou
Mayor of the 13th arrondissement of Paris
In office
Preceded byNone
Succeeded bySerge Blisko
Member of the European Parliament
In office
Personal details
Born (1941-06-21) 21 June 1941 (age 83)
Nice, France
Political partyRPR
SpouseLise Weiler (died 2021)
Alma materSciences Po Lyon
École nationale d'administration

Jacques Toubon (born 21 June 1941[1]) is a right-wing French politician who held several major national and Parisian offices. He served as Defender of Rights (Ombudsman) between 2014 and 2020.[2]

Political career[edit]

Governmental functions

Minister of Culture : 1993–1995.[3]

Keeper of the Seals, Minister of Justice : 1995–1997.

Electoral mandates

European Parliament

Member of European Parliament : 2004–2009. Elected in 2004.

National Assembly of France

Member of the National Assembly for Paris : 1981–1993 (Became minister in 1993). Elected in 1981, reelected in 1986, 1988, 1993.

Municipal Council

Deputy-mayor of Paris : 1983–2001. Reelected in 1989, 1995.

Councillor of Paris : 1983–2008. Reelected in 1989, 1995, 2001.

Mayor of the 13th arrondissement of Paris : 1983–2001. Reelected in 1989, 1995.

Councillor of the 13th arrondissement of Paris : 1983–2001. Reelected in 1989, 1995.

Controversial actions[edit]

Jacques Toubon is known for the controversial so-called Toubon Law, enforcing the use of the French language in official French government publications, and advertisements published in France. Since the law can largely be described as being hostile to English, Jacques Toubon is sometimes referred to, jokingly, as "Mr Allgood" ("All Good" being a translation of "Tout bon").

Jacques Toubon is also remembered for the "helicopter affair". In 1996, an initial criminal enquiry had been opened by Laurent Davenas, then head prosecutor of Évry for alleged misuse of government funds, in which Xavière Tiberi, wife of then mayor of Paris Jean Tiberi (from Toubon's party) was involved. (See corruption scandals in the Paris region). However, this was not a full criminal investigation and no investigative magistrate had been named. Davenas then went on vacation in the Himalaya. His deputy then announced his decision to open a full investigation. The Rally for the Republic leaders were frightened by the possible implications of such an investigation, and Jacques Toubon, then minister of justice, famously hired a helicopter to fetch the mountaineering prosecutor and convince him to rein in his deputy (Davenas refused). [1]

Jacques Toubon has been the topic of much lampooning. In addition to "Mr Allgood", Les Guignols de l'info have referred to him as "M. Bouffon" ("Mr Buffoon").

Personal life[edit]

He was married to art expert Lise Toubon.[4]


  1. ^ "JACQUES TOUBON (1941- ) - Encyclopædia Universalis". www.universalis.fr. Retrieved 8 May 2023.
  2. ^ "Jacques Toubon has been elected as the new Ombudman of the Ombudsman-Institution "Le Défenseur des droits"". www.theioi.org (in German). Retrieved 26 March 2021.
  3. ^ Ball, Rodney (1997). The French-speaking world: a practical introduction to sociolinguistic issues. Psychology Press. p. 209. ISBN 978-0-415-12986-2.
  4. ^ "Lise Toubon, passionnée d'art contemporain et amie des artistes, est morte". Le Monde.fr (in French). 2 March 2021. Retrieved 26 March 2021.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by Minister of Culture
Succeeded by
Preceded by Minister of Justice
Succeeded by