Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FOCUS

Campaigning against Bouteflika's re-election... in France

Read more

WEB NEWS

Chile: Online mobilization to help Valparaiso fire victims

Read more

ENCORE!

Art, sex, money, memory and manga

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Spat over Iran's UN ambassador hampers thawing relations with US

Read more

FOCUS

China trade deal: Is Taiwan's identity under threat?

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Call it a caretaker government'

Read more

DEBATE

Nigeria's Battles

Read more

DEBATE

Nigeria's Battles (part 2)

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Pornography without borders is key benefit of EU, says French MEP

Read more

  • US rolls out red carpet for French critic of capitalism

    Read more

  • Pro-Russia separatists ‘seize’ Ukrainian armoured vehicles

    Read more

  • Acclaimed Belgian conservationist shot in eastern Congo

    Read more

  • France's new PM targets welfare in drive to cut spending

    Read more

  • Rescue effort under way as ferry sinks off S. Korean coast

    Read more

  • Brazil club Mineiro cancel Anelka signing after no-show

    Read more

  • Syria 'torture' photos silence UN Security Council members

    Read more

  • Paris laboratory loses deadly SARS virus samples

    Read more

  • More than 100 schoolgirls kidnapped in northeast Nigeria

    Read more

  • New York police disband unit targeting Muslims

    Read more

  • 'Miracle girl' healthy after seven-organ transplant in Paris

    Read more

  • Paris police memo calling for Roma eviction ‘rectified’

    Read more

  • Burgundy digs into France's bureaucratic 'mille-feuille'

    Read more

  • French court drops ‘hate speech’ case against Bob Dylan

    Read more

  • Algeria rights crackdown slammed ahead of election

    Read more

  • Iraq closes notorious Abu Ghraib jail over security fears

    Read more

  • Berlusconi sentenced to community service for tax fraud

    Read more

  • In ‘Tom at the Farm’, Xavier Dolan blends Hitchcock and homoeroticism

    Read more

  • US to mark one year since Boston Marathon bombing

    Read more

  • India's Supreme Court establishes third gender category

    Read more

  • Paris hotel that hosted Holocaust survivors shuts for renovation

    Read more

France

Top legal body says law banning burqa could be challenged

©

Text by FRANCE 24 (with wires)

Latest update : 2010-04-02

France's top legal body said Tuesday that a ban on wearing the full Islamic veil would be vulnerable to legal challenge. President Nicolas Sarkozy's government had sought to ban full veils and had asked for legal advice before proposing legislation.

France’s top legal body warned the government Tuesday that a complete ban on the burqa in the home of Europe’s largest Muslim minority would be vulnerable to legal challenges.

"It appears to the State Council that a general and absolute ban on the full veil as such can have no incontestable judicial basis," the body said in a report submitted to Prime Minister Francois Fillon.

But it would be possible to “require that faces be uncovered in some places or for some procedures” involving interaction with the state or security officials, added the body.

The State Council, headed by Jean-Marc Sauve, is France’s top legal body that advises the government on proposed legislation.

‘Contrary to women’s dignity’

President Nicolas Sarkozy has described the burqa, as well as other full face veils such as the niqab, as “contrary to women’s dignity,” and has been pressing for a bill to ban it.

The government had asked the State Council for a legal opinion after a parliamentary report called for a ban on the garment in all schools, hospitals, government offices and public transport.

Supporters of the ban say that the burqa goes against French values and embodies a form of creeping religious fundamentalism. But its opponents say the legislation is unnecessary, with less than 2,000 women in France actually wearing one, according to police reports.

France, home to a large number of immigrants and an estimated Muslim population of five million, has recently been the stage of a controversial debate on “national identity”.

The country has a history of rigid secularism, with church and state kept firmly apart. In 2004, the government of then-President Jacques Chirac placed a ban on conspicuous religious symbols, including headscarves, in public schools.

Date created : 2010-03-30

  • FRANCE

    France plans bill banning burqa for spring

    Read more

  • BELGIUM

    French-speaking Belgium divided over burqa ban

    Read more

  • IMMIGRATION

    Man who forced wife to wear burqa is denied French citizenship

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)