Inspector Javert was a character in Victor Hugo's novel Les Misérables. In the novel, he pursued the main character, Jean Valjean, across France for twenty years for several crimes, including breaking parole, and stealing a loaf of bread. He later committed suicide, due to his inability to reconcile the goodness of Humans with their actions against the law.
Michael Eddington compared Benjamin Sisko to Javert, and himself to Jean Valjean, during Sisko's pursuit of the former Starfleet officer in 2373. Eddington would also call Sisko "Javert" when they talked. (DS9: "For the Uniform")