Top French court suspends burkini ban
FRENCH resorts were defiant after a ban on the burkini in a Riviera town was overturned, vowing to keep the restrictions in place and continue imposing fines on women who wear the full-body swimsuit.
In a judgement expected to lead to bans being overturned in around 30 coastal towns, the State Council, France’s highest administrative court, ruled on August 26 the measure was a “serious and clearly illegal violation of fundamental freedoms”.
The suspension of the ban on the Islamic swimsuit, which has triggered a fierce debate in France and sparked critical headlines around the world, was welcomed by the UN, and a French Muslim group said it was a “victory for common sense”.
But the ruling, which only applied to the ban imposed by Villeneuve-Loubet, was quickly dismissed by several other towns, including Nice, which vowed to keep the restrictions in place and continue imposing fines on women who wear the burkini.
In its decision, the court said local authorities could only introduce measures restricting individual freedoms if wearing the swimsuit on beaches represented a “proven risk” to public order. –