Defender of the Rights – Honorary member
Le Défenseur des droits 7 rue saint Florentin 75049 Paris Cedex 08

The institution

The Defender of the Rights is an independent constitutional authority. Unique, it is in charge for ensuring the protection of your rights and your freedoms and promoting the equality.Registered in the Constitution since July 23rd, 2008 and established by the organic law and the ordinary law of March 29th, 2011, it includes the missions of the Mediator, the Defender of the children, the High Authority against Discrimination and for the Equality (HALDE) and the The National Security Ethics Committee
The term ” Defender of the rights ” refers both the institution and the person who chairs it : Dominique Baudis is the Defender of the rights since June 22nd, 2011


The Defender of the rights is appointed by the President of the Republic for a of 6 non- renewable and non- revocable 6 years term. His appointment is submitted to the vote of the National Assembly and the Senate. This mode of appointment naming guarantees the independence of the Defender of the rights.Autonomy and independenceThe autonomy and the independence of the Defender of the rights are insured by several legal measures:

  • his fonctions cannot be prématuraly ended, except impeachment noticed by a college composed by the head of three higher French jurisdictions,
  • he can not be prosecuted, investigated, arrested, detained or judged for opinions or actions related to the exercise of its attributions;
  • he receives no instruction of any authority, person or pressure group.

His missions are not combinable with an elective mandate, another public service or a professional activity.The Defender of the rights enforces your rights and freedoms and promotes the equality.Specifically, he performs four missions:- The Defender of the rights defends individual rights and the freedoms within the framework of the relations with the administrations;

  • He défends and promotes the highest interests and rights of the children;
  • He fights against discrimination prohibited by the law and promotes the equality;
  • Finally, he watches the respect of ethics by the persons exercising security activities

Their means of action to enforce your rights

They make use of their investigative powers to demand any necessary documents, but also, if necessary, to audition people, or even carry out spot checks.

They may choose to favour one particular method for amicable resolution of the conflict with recommendations for a settlement in law, an amicable settlement through mediation or, in certain circumstances, a settlement in equity.

Who may request the Defender of the rights?

Anyone can request the Defender of the rights, directly and free of charge, by sending a motivated mail.

In which circumstances can you appeal on the Defender of the rights?

  • As soon as you consider yourselves hurt by the functioning of an administration or a public service,
  • as soon as you consider yourselves as victim of a discrimination, direct or indirect, prohibited by the law or by an international commitment, regardless the presumed author of this discrimination is a private or public person;
  • As soon as you consider yourselves a victim or witness, on the territory of the Republic, of events which constitute a breach of ethics by persons exercising security activities;
  • As soon as you consider that the fundamental rights of a child are not respected, or a situation weakens his interest.

In these cases, the persons authorized to request the Defender of the rights are: the child or the minor under age 18, his legal representative, a member of his family, a medical or social service or an association of defense of children rights.The Defender of the rights and his team are submitted to the professional secrecy.Only in case he is requested by a child, the Defender of the rights can inform his legal representatives as well as the authorities susceptible to intervene in its interest.

The recourse to the Defender of the rights is free.The Defender of the rights cannot reopen a judicial decision.His referral does not interrupt either does not suspend the limitation periods of the civil, administrative or penal actions or those of the administrative or contentious appeals.He appréciâtes if the facts which are submitted to him justify an intervention from him. His decision is not subject to appeal.


  • By electronic way
    To request the Defender of the rights on-line, you may complete the form
  • By the delegates of the Defender of the rights,
    To request the Defender of the rights, you can contact one of the delegates of the Defender of the rights : they are on duty in diverse points of reception distributed as closely as possible to your place (prefectures, sub-prefectures, houses of justice and legal advices).
  • By mail
    To request the Defender of the rights, you can send a mail to the following address:
    Le Défendeur des Droits
    7 rue saint Florentin75049 Paris Cedex 08
    You have to join to your mail the photocopies of documents relative to your referral.