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Rachida Dati

In office
18 May 2007 – 23 June 2009
President Nicolas Sarkozy
Prime Minister Francois Fillon
Preceded by Pascal Clément
Succeeded by Michèle Alliot-Marie

Born 27 November 1965 (1965-11-27) (age 44)
Saint-Rémy, Burgundy, France
Nationality French
Political party UMP
Children Zohra (b.2009)

Rachida Dati (November 27, 1965 in Saint-Rémy, France) is a French politician and Member of the European Parliament, representing Île-de-France. Before her election, she held the cabinet post of Keeper of the Seals, Minister of Justice. She was a spokesperson for Nicolas Sarkozy during the french presidential election of 2007. After his victory, Sarkozy appointed her to his Government on 18 May 2007.

Dati was the first woman from a non-European immigrant background to occupy a key ministerial position in the French Cabinet.[1]

She was elected mayor of the 7th arrondissement of Paris on 29 March 2008.



Dati was born to a Moroccan father, a bricklayer named Mbarek, and an Algerian mother, named Fatima-Zohra. Rachida Dati is the second child of a family of 12. She spent her childhood in Chalon-sur-Saône in Bourgogne.

After attending Catholic school, she began work at 16 as a paramedical assistant. She then worked for three years as an accountant at Elf Aquitaine while continuing her studies in economics and business management.

After meeting Jean-Luc Lagardère in 1990, she entered the audit management team of Matra Nortel communication. She later spent a year in London at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, in the records management and archiving department. In 1994, she was an auditing supervisor and secretary-general of the bureau of urban development studies at Suez (then Lyonnaise des Eaux). From 1995 to 1997, she worked as a technical advisor at the legal management division of the Ministry of Education.

In 1997, she was admitted to the École nationale de la magistrature, a public educational institution which offers courses necessary to become a magistrate. Upon leaving in 1999, she became a legal auditor at the Bobigny tribunal de grande instance (high court).

She went on to become judge for collective procedures[2] at the tribunal de grande instance in Péronne and eventually an assistant to the attorney general of the Évry tribunal.

In 2002, she became Nicolas Sarkozy's advisor, working for him on an anti-delinquency project. In 2006, she joined the Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) party. On 14 January 2007, she was named spokesperson for Sarkozy on the day he was chosen as UMP candidate for the presidential elections of April 2007.

After Sarkozy's victory on 6 May 2007, she was appointed Minister of Justice. Her first changes were received coldly by professionals, with public demonstrations.[3]

On 23 January 2009 Nicolas Sarkozy announced that Dati would take the second position on the UMP list for Ile-de-France constituency in the European Parliament election in June 2009, to which she was elected.[4]


Dati has been criticized by the satirical weekly Le Canard enchaîné for her methods (perceived as rushed and uninsightful) and her demeanour (seen as excessively authoritarian), and for her alleged tendency to show off in costly clothes, mostly Christian Dior.[5]


In September 2008, Dati announced that she was pregnant and would be a single mother. She revealed her pregnancy to a group of reporters who questioned her about mounting rumours. "I want to remain careful, because . . . I am still in the risky stage. I am 42," she was quoted as saying.[6] [7]

Rachida Dati gave birth to a baby girl, Zohra, on 2 January 2009. [8] She courted controversy by returning to work at a cabinet meeting the following Wednesday, just 5 days after the birth of baby Zohra. She has refused to make public the identity of the father.

Political career

Governmental functions

Minister of Justice, Keeper of the Seals : 2007-2009 (Resignation, became member of European Parliament in 2009).

Electoral mandates

European Parliament

Member of European Parliament : Since 2009.

Municipal Council

Mayor of the 7th arrondissement of Paris : Since 2008.

Councillor of Paris : Since 2008.



  1. ^ Profile: Rachida Dati, BBC News 18 May 2007
  2. ^ Equivalent to bankruptcy courts in the U.S.
  3. ^ Kerdreux, Gilles "Mme Dati affronte un mécontentement croissant sur la carte judiciaire", 11 November 2007
  4. ^ France's Dati to quit government, BBC News Retrieved on 23 January 2009
  5. ^ Rachida Dati : fashion victim?
  6. ^ "Sarkozys Liebling Rachida Dati ist schwanger", Die Welt. 3 September 2008.
  7. ^ « Rachida Dati : "En janvier, il y aura une grosse surprise" »,, Retrieved on 1 January 2009
  8. ^ « Rachida Dati a accouché d'une petite fille Zohra »,, 2 January 2009.

External links

Official sites
Political offices
Preceded by
Pascal Clément
Minister of Justice
Succeeded by
Michèle Alliot-Marie


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