On 18 September 1981, after two days of debate, the National Assembly adopted, by 363 votes to 117, the bill abolishing the death penalty presented on behalf of the Government by Robert Badinter, Minister of Justice and current Honorary President of ECPM.  Twelve days later, the text was voted on the same grounds by the Senate, by 160 votes to 126. On 10 October 1981, after two centuries of abolitionist struggle, the law was published in the Journal Officiel (official journal), and France became the 35th State to abolish capital punishment officially.

Forty years later, 149 states are now abolitionist in law or practice. Trigger events such as the conviction of France's leading abolitionist, Robert Badinter, reflected and participated in the progressive evolution of morals worldwide. Today, France has a crucial role in promoting the universal abolition of the death penalty.

This anniversary is an event not to be missed: it is both an opportunity to remember the importance of maintaining the values of abolition in France while continuing to raise public awareness around the work that remains to be done so that we live, at last, in a world without executions. It is also an opportunity to recall that France must continue to assert this position internationally.

Abolition of the death penalty, drawing by ©Plantu published in the French newspaper Le Monde, September 20-21, 1981

You will find below our explanatory videos, the schedule of activities programmed this year, chronological references, as well as the message of our honorary president, Robert Badinter.




Date: from October 9 to October 31, 2021.
Location: Outside the City Hall of Paris and online

The exhibition "The Faces of Abolition in France and the world" will be composed of 30 boards dedicated to the main actors of abolition in France and the world. The Digital version of the exhibition will allow the general audience to access an enriched version of the exhibition's content.



Date: September 21, 2021. 8:30 pm.
Place: Paris

The world premiere of a choral creation for the abolition of the death penalty, by the International Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra, UNESCO artist for peace. Composers from every continent will express their desire to support the universal abolition of the death penalty in five languages.



Date: October 9, 2021. 10 am - 7 pm.
Place: Place de la Bastille, Paris

Several information stands will highlight the actions of the main partners of the event and direct the public to different arguments against the death penalty in the world.

Read also: our arguments



Date: September 15, 2021.
Place: National Assembly, Paris
With : National Assembly, in collaboration with ECPM and the Barreau de Paris

Event details will be updated soon  



Date: from October 1st,  2021.
Location: France

As part of its activities with middle and high schools, ECPM will organise a series of lectures on the history of abolition in France. This event will put the international situation into perspective and former and present actors of the abolitionist struggle.



Date: October, 2021.
Location: Paris 

Several Parisian spots that represent the history of the death penalty and its abolition in France (Place de la Bastille, Concorde, Victor Hugo's house, Square de la Roquette, National Assembly, etc.) will host educational tools and offer activities for school groups and the general public.




Date: October 10, 2021. 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm.
Place: Panthéon, Paris
With: Barreau de Paris

In the context of the 19th World Day Against the Death Penalty with the theme "Women and the death penalty, an invisible reality", a former death row inmate, the wife of a former death row inmate in the USA, and a family member of a french citizen condemned to the capital punishment in Iraq, will share their eloquent testimonies. 



Date: October 14,  2021. 
Location: Panthéon, Paris

The play Le dernier jour d'un(e) condamné(e), staged by the company L'Embellie Turquoise and interpreted by Lucilla Sebastiani has been adapted from the novel The Last Day of a Condemned Man. With his novel, Victor Hugo holds a true indictment against the death penalty and tells a poignant story, taking up a burning topic that thrust us into the heart of a moral and ethical reflection. Do humans have the right to judge and decide the fate of one of their own?



Date: October 17, 2021. 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm.
Location: Panthéon, Paris

In the context of a public debate, ECPM welcomes Mohamed Mkhaitir, former death row inmate in Mauritania, François Croquette, former French Ambassador for Human Rights, and the mauritanian artist, producer and musician Monza. 

ECPM will organise these activities subject to the final agreement of the partners, notably the city of Paris, the National Assembly and UNESCO.
Many other activities are being planned in other French cities, including Metz, Caen, Dieppe and Valenton.


Chronological guide



Robert Badinter's word

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