Manuel Achille Baudoin (1846 - 1917)

Manuel Baudoin

Dreyfusard

Judges & lawyers

Manuel Baudoin was born in Tours on 26 June 1846. He was the public prosecutor for the second trial that ended in Dreyfus's rehabilitation.

A doctor of law who was married to the daughter of a councilor at the Rennes Court of Appeal, Baudoin was called to the Rennes bar in 1868, and then joined the magistracy in 1869, as an deputy public prosecutor. He held the same post in Quimper in 1871, and then in Rennes, where he was named assistant to the attorney general in 1878. As a prosecuting attorney in Lyon in 1880, he attracted attention by being "endowed with exceptional abilities" and "an intelligence that was both lively and penetrating."

Baudoin was public prosecutor in Limoges in 1885, and was appointed prosecuting attorney to the Court of Cassation for three years starting in September 1890. It was there that he celebrated, in 1892, the centennial of the Republic, and stated that the Court's judges should, with their decrees, contribute "to facilitating the glorious work that is the Republic and its rising path towards progress and freedom."

As president of the La Seine civil court, he was noted for his "passionate character, industrious almost to excess." Public prosecutor at the Court of Cassation starting in July 1901, he asserted in January 1904 that the forged and falsified pieces of evidence were created in 1899, and that none of the charges by which Dreyfus was convicted "seemed to hold up to scrutiny." Dreyfus judged his written brief to be lacking emotion, but remarkably well done. The Court's decree authorizing the case's review complied with his pleading; it was he who prepared "the triumph of truth and justice, which, though at times veiled and unknown due to weakness of the human spirit, nonetheless never dies."

In March 1905, his 800-page summing-up requesting that the verdict be overturned without appeal; it was voted in July 1906. He was appointed president of the Court in September 1911, and died in office on 23 January 1917. "Military funeral honors" were paid to this Grand Officer of the Legion of Honor at the request of the Minister of Justice René Viviani, who paid homage to his long career and "to the services rendered to Justice by this high magistrate."