Jacques Toubon


Jacques Toubon

Jacques Toubon (born 29 June 1941 in Nice, France) is a right-wing French politician who held several major national and Parisian offices.

Career

Jacques Toubon began a career as a civil servant working in prefectoral, then as a political appointee in ministerial offices. He then held a variety of political functions:
* 1976–1978: delegate for elections of the RPR party.
* 1978–1981: he was deputy general secretary of the RPR.
* 1981–1986: deputy of the 19th circonscription of Paris (15th "arrondissement") to the French National Assembly
* 1983–2001: deputy mayor of Paris, mayor of the 13th "arrondissement".
* 1984–1988: general secretary of RPR
* 1986–1993: deputy of Paris (10th circonscription: 13th and 14th "arrondissements");
* 1986–1987: president of the commission of laws of the National Assembly;

Jacques Toubon, however, rose to national fame because of the two ministerial positions he held:
* 1993–1995: Minister of Culture in the Edouard Balladur government, while François Mitterrand was president (second "cohabitation" of the Fifth Republic);
* 1995–1997: Minister of Justice (France) under Prime Minister Alain Juppé (first term of Jacques Chirac's presidency).

In 2001, Jacques Toubon, embroiled in a judicial case, was not supported by his party in a reelection bid as mayor of the 13th arrondissement, Paris; he did not run. In 2002, he lost his seat as deputy to the French National Assembly.

He is now a Member of the European Parliament for the Île-de-France, and a member of the UMP party, heir to the RPR and part of the European People's Party.

Controversial actions

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 got frightened of the possible implications of such an investigation, and Jacques Toubon, then minister of justice, famously hired an helicopter to fetch the mountaineering prosecutor and convince him to rein his deputy in (Davenas refused). [http://www.denistouret.net/constit/Laurent_Davenas.html]

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").

External links

* [http://www.archives.premier-ministre.gouv.fr/juppe_version1/PMGVT/TOUBON.HTM Former official page] as Minister of Justice


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