Court Overturns Cannes Burkini Ban

Burkini in France
A Muslim woman wears a burkini, a swimsuit that leaves only the face, hands and feet exposed, on a beach in France, August 17. A court has overturned a ban on the garments in Cannes. Stringer/Reuters

A ban on the "burkini" in the French town of Cannes has been overturned by a court.

France's highest court on Friday ruled that a similar ban in the town of Villeneuve-Loubet breached citizens' basic rights and should be scrapped.

That ruling set a legal precedent, but the Cannes decision, made in a Nice courtroom, is significant as the town was the first to put a ban on the garment in place.

The bans, made on the basis that the full-cover swimwear breaches French standards of secularism in public places, have been internationally condemned.

The French government has ruled out a national ban, but Republican presidential candidate Nicolas Sarkozy has said that he would amend the constitution to bar women from wearing the Burkini.