French justice minister resigns amid row over terror laws

Christiane Taubira steps down ahead of debate of plans to strip terrorists of citizenship

French justice minister Christiane Taubira resigned and will be replaced by Jean-Jacques Urvoas. Photograph: Loic Venance/AFP/Getty Images

French justice minister Christiane Taubira resigned and will be replaced by Jean-Jacques Urvoas. Photograph: Loic Venance/AFP/Getty Images

 

French justice minister Christiane Taubira, a left-wing politician often considered at odds with her government on matters of law and order enforcement, resigned on Wednesday, president François Hollande’s office said in a statement.

The announcement came as parliament prepared to examine a controversial constitutional reform that would allow for people convicted of terrorism to be stripped of their citizenship in certain circumstances.

Ms Taubira, who expressed reservations about the plan, said on her Twitter account: “Sometimes you remain in place to resist. Sometimes resisting means you go.”

The statement from Mr Hollande’s office said Ms Taubira would be replaced by Jean-Jacques Urvoas, widely-regarded as more supportive of prime minister Manuel Valls and the president.

Ms Taubira was perhaps best known for shepherding legislation through parliament to legalise same-sex weddings in France.

While her active role on that major social policy change was widely recognised, she was often accused of advocating a softer touch on law and order than others in government.

That stance has looked even more problematic in the wake of the November 13th Islamic State attacks on Paris and the security clampdown they sparked, and as countries across Europe take a harder line on policing.

Her departure comes amid talk in French media of a possible broader shake-up of Mr Hollande’s team as it heads into its last full year before presidential and legislative elections in 2017.

Reuters