The Conseil d’État and the “burkini ban”

Until now, we have avoided commenting on the burkini ban on some French beaches, on the basis that there were several news reports but very little in the way of legal analysis. However, the urgent applications judge of the Conseil d’État has now suspended a ban imposed by the Mayor of Villeneuve-Loubet (Alpes-Maritimes) on wearing the burkini on the town’s beaches.


On 5 August, the Mayor decreed a new local ordinance regulating the use of public beaches in that city, which included an Article 4.3 forbidding swimmers from wearing clothes “obviously showing a religious affiliation” – thereby effectively banning them from the beaches. The ban appeared to be aimed in particular at Muslim women who wore whole-body swimsuits. Continue reading