France's highest court suspends ban on burkini swimsuits

The full-body swimsuit has been banned in around 30 different French towns

France's highest court suspends ban on burkini swimsuits

File photo. Image: Chris Carlson / AP/Press Association Images

France's highest court has suspended a ban on the 'burkini'.

The State Council has overturned the ban in the coastal town of Villeneuve-Loubet.

However the ruling is only temporary, and will give the court enough time to prepare a longer judgement.

A court in Nice upheld the ban earlier this week, but the case advanced to France's highest administrative court.

The appeal was brought by the Human Rights League and a group campaigning against Islamophobia.

Prime minister Manuel Valls had earlier expressed support for the ban, saying the full-body swimsuit was part of "the enslavement of women".

Presidential candidate Nicolas Sarkozy has also supported the ban.

Elaine Cobb, CBS News correspondent in Paris, spoke to Newstalk Breakfast earlier today about the controversy.

"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."

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.