Jacques Toubon graduated in public law from the Institute of Political Studies of Lyon and the National School of Administration (ENA). He began his career at the Ministry of Overseas, then joined the cabinet of Jacques Chirac, whom he followed successively to the Ministries of Relations with the Parliament, of Agriculture and the Interior. He notably prepared the 1975 law on divorce by joint motion and followed the reform of the government of Valéry Giscard d'Estaing granting the majority at 18 years of age.
Elected in Paris, he ran the town's 13th district from 1983 to 2001. In 1995, he was appointed Minister of Justice. Jacques Toubon was subsequently elected European deputy and sat in the Brussels Parliament from 2004 to 2009. He was also a member of the High Council for Integration and the High Authority for the dissemination of works and the protection of rights on the Internet (HADOPI). Jacques Toubon has been the Defender of Rights in France since July 17, 2014.