French court to decide on legality of burkini ban

The full-body swimsuit is currently banned in around 30 different French towns

French court to decide on legality of burkini ban

An activist protests outside the French embassy during, the "wear what you want beach party" in London. Image: Frank Augstein / AP/Press Association Images

A court in France will decide today whether to overturn the controversial ban on women wearing a burkini on beaches.

The ruling follows the release of photos appearing to show French armed police forcing a woman who was wearing the full-body swimsuit to undress on a beach.

A court in Nice upheld the ban earlier this week, but France's highest administrative court will make a final decision today.

The burkini is currently banned in around 30 different French towns.

Sales of the swimsuit have reportedly been boosted as a result of the ban.

Elaine Cobb, CBS News correspondent in Paris, spoke to Newstalk Breakfast about what the court is due to rule on today.

"The court is ruling on the legality of the ban," she explained. "It was specifically brought for one town along the French Rivera, but it will set a precedent legally for all the others.

"Authorities are allowed to introduce their own bans, but there is nothing actually in French law that bans wearing a burkini. The laws that were brought in about the headscarf and about the full-veil burqa were specifically aimed at any garment where the face is covered."

She said that the debate over the issue has been "huge".

"It's driving a wedge between the very secular French population and Muslim immigrants," she added.