Roland Dumas in the 1980s
|French Minister of Foreign Affairs|
10 May 1988 – 28 March 1993
|Preceded by||Jean-Bernard Raimond|
|Succeeded by||Alain Juppé|
|President of the Constitutional Council|
|Preceded by||Robert Badinter|
|Succeeded by||Yves Guéna|
23 August 1922|
|Political party||Socialist Party|
|Alma mater||Sciences Po|
Roland Dumas (born 23 August 1922 in Limoges, Haute-Vienne) is a lawyer and French Socialist politician who served notably as Foreign Minister under President François Mitterrand from 1984 to 1986 and from 1988 to 1993. He was also President of the Constitutional Council from 1995 to 1999.
Son of Georges Dumas, a civil servant in Limoges's region and Socialist resistant to the German Occupation during the Second World War, shot at by the Gestapo, he conveyed weapons for the Resistance. He was arrested after the boycott of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra by French students. After the war, he completed his law and political science studies in the Ecole libre des sciences politiques and the London School of Economics.
Journalist and lawyer, he defended Jean Mons, Secretary-General of the Defense Committee, from charges of negligence in a case where Mons's assistant was accused of passing secrets of national security to communists. In this, he became close to François Mitterrand, president of the Democratic and Socialist Union of the Resistance (UDSR) party, himself suspected in the same scandal.
In 1956, he was elected deputy for Haute-Vienne département, under the UDSR banner, but he lost his seat in the 1958 legislative election, which followed the return of General Charles de Gaulle to power. He came back into the French National Assembly between 1967 and 1968 as representative of Corrèze département. Member of the renewed Socialist Party (PS) led by Mitterrand, he became deputy for Gironde département in 1973, then for Dordogne département on the occasion of the "pink wave" of 1981. In 1974 he acted as defense lawyer for Hilarion Capucci who was prosecuted in Israel with charges of smuggling weapons into Israel, for the PLO.
When President Mitterrand appointed Laurent Fabius as Prime Minister in July 1984, he joined the cabinet as Minister of European Affairs. Five months later, he replaced Foreign Minister Claude Cheysson. He remained in this function until the Socialist defeat in the March 1986 legislative election. Nevertheless, he returned to the Quai d'Orsay after the re-election of Mitterrand in May 1988, until the PS defeat in the March 1993 legislative elections. Indeed, he was the French Foreign Minister during the collapse of the Soviet Block, the Gulf War, and the negotiations of the Maastricht Treaty.
Not re-elected to the French National Assembly in 1993, he was nominated President of the Constitutional Council in 1995. This was one of the last decisions of President Mitterrand. Under his presidency, the body argued in favour of complete judicial immunity for the French President.
M. Dumas is a member of the Emergency Committee for Iraq.
Accused in the Elf affair, he resigned from the Presidency of the Constitutional Council in January 1999.
Dumas' conviction for criticising a public prosecutor in his book was found unlawful by the European Court of Human Rights in 2010, by five votes to two.
In May 2007, Dumas received a 12-month jail sentence (suspended) for funds he mis-appropriated acting as executor of the will of the widow of Alberto Giacometti.
Controversial Comments on Valls
In February 2015, Dumas suggested Prime Minister Manuel Valls was probably acting under Jewish "influence". During an interview on BFM-TV, Dumas stated that the prime minister "has personal alliances that mean he has prejudices...Everyone knows he is married to someone really good but who has an influence on him," an apparent reference to Valls' wife, Anne Gravoin, who is Jewish. When directly asked by a reporter if Valls "[was] under a Jewish influence?" Dumas responded, "Probably, I would think so." The French Socialist party subsequently released a statement declaring that Dumas' claims were "unworthy of a Socialist decorated by the Republic". Valls declined to comment on Dumas's claims, except to say that Dumas was "a man with a known past and his remarks which have done no credit to the Republic for a long time."
President of the Constitutional Council of France : 1995–2000 (Resignation).
Minister for European Affairs : 1983–1984.
Minister of External Relations : 1984–1986.
Government spokesman : June–December 1984.
Minister of Foreign Affairs : 1988–1993.
National Assembly of France
|Minister of European Affairs
| Succeeded by|
|Minister of External Affairs
| Succeeded by|
|Minister of Foreign Affairs
| Succeeded by|
|President of the Constitutional Council
| Succeeded by|