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France

French Justice Minister Christiane Taubira quits

media Former Minister for Justice Christiane Taubira.

The French minister of Justice, Christiane Taubira has tendered her resignation to the President Francois Hollande. She will be replaced by the Socialist deputy Jean-Jacques Urvoas.

Taubira stepped down from one of the French government’s top jobs after disagreeing with President François Hollande and Prime Minister Manuel Valls over a constitutional amendment to strip French nationality from dual citizens convicted of terrorism offences.

Earlier this month she told French television that the bill – part of a package of reforms intended to help fight home-grown terrorism – was “completely useless” in avoiding future attacks on French soil.

A statement from the Elysee Palais said that François Hollande et Christiane Taubira decided that it was best for her to step down as the debate on the revision of the constitution starts in the National Assembly.

“The president of the Republic has formally thanked Christiane Taubira for her efforts in Cabinet]. She has consistently worked for the reform of our justice system and played a major role in having the ‘marriage-for-all’ legislation enacted,” the Elysee statement reads.

Taubira, a popular figure among the governing Socialists of President Francois Hollande but a target of criticism for the right-wing Republicans, tweeted: "Sometimes to resist means staying, sometimes resisting means leaving."

The French president called for the "loss of nationality" measure to be written into the constitution in the aftermath of the November jihadist attacks in Paris which left 130 people dead.

It is part of a string of measures meant to boost security as hundreds of French citizens -- many holding dual nationality -- leave to fight alongside the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria, and in the case of the attackers, return to wreak devastation in France.

Just a day before the reforms were presented, Taubira announced the citizenship measure would be dropped because it was discriminatory, only to be overruled at the last minute by Hollande.

The reforms also aim to inscribe the right to declare a state of emergency into the constitution, including powers to raid homes and place people under house arrest without judicial oversight.

Parliament will start debating the reforms in early February.

Government's plans to extend a current three-month state of emergency -- which expires on February 26 -- have been criticised by rights activists.
 

 

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