Helena Kennedy talks to the internationally renowned investigative judge Eva Joly who has devoted much of her life to fighting corruption in the upper echelons of French business and political life - relentlessly investigating and prosecuting people whom she believes consider themselves above the law.
The Norwegian-born judge talks about her seven year long investigation into a multi-billion euro fraud involving the state-owned Elf oil company. Thirty people were eventually convicted and senior members of former President Francois Mitterand's government implicated after Eva Joly revealed that company directors had siphoned off billions of francs to pay for bribes and luxurious lifestyles.
She tells Helena Kennedy about how she received death threats and was placed under 24 hour police protection, placing intolerable pressure on her family - eventually resulting in the break-up of her marriage.
The pressures of the investigation only re-enforced her determination to continue with the case, and bring the guilty to justice. She believes the conviction sent out a sign that power and wealth does not bring impunity from the law.
More recently she has switched careers and entered politics, becoming an MEP for the Green Party....but the fight against corruption, not just in France but throughout the world, remains her driving cause. She believes the crimes she has uncovered are merely the tip of an iceberg.
Producer: Matt Willis
An Above The Title production for BBC Radio 4.