French justice minister resigns over controversial reforms | News | DW | 27.01.2016
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French justice minister resigns over controversial reforms

The French justice minister has resigned over contentious legal reforms designed to strengthen security following the Paris terror attacks. President Hollande named a new justice minister who supports the reforms.

Justice Minister Christiane Taubira resigned on Wednesday over her opposition to a controversial constitutional change the government is pushing to strip French-born terrorists of their nationality.

Taubira, a prominent figure in the governing Socialists of President Francois Hollande, has been at odds with some within her party and right-wing Republicans over issues of law and order.

"Sometimes to resist means staying, sometimes resisting means leaving," she said on Twitter.

Hollande called for the constitutional changes in the wake of the November terrorist attacks in Paris, in which French-born jihadists were involved.

Hundreds of French-born jihadists have gone to Syria and Iraq to fight alongside the so-called "Islamic State" - some later returning to France.

"Removing French nationality from those who blindly kill other French in the name of an ideology of terror is a strong symbolic act against those who have excluded themselves from the national community," Prime Minister Manuel Valls said after the reform was announced.

The so-called "loss of nationality" measure is part of a series of controversial security steps taken following the Paris attacks, including reforms aimed at extending a state of emergency and powers to raid homes and place people under house arrest with little judicial oversight.

Taubira had come out against the harsh measures, putting her in conflict with Hollande and Valls.

Hollande named Jean-Jacques Urvoas, a figure more supportive of the reforms, as the new justice minister to "carry out... the constitutional reform," a statement from the ministry said.

Frankreich Jean Jacques Urvoas Nachfolger Justizministerin Taubira

Jean-Jacques Urvoas

Parliament is set to debate the changes in early February.

Born in French Guiana, Taubira is best known for her efforts to legalize same-sex marriage in France.

cw/jil (AFP, dpa, Reuters)

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