French laïcité, public services and use of "burkini" in municipal swimming pools
Art. 1 of the French Constitution
Law no. 2021-1109 of 24 August 2021
1) A municipal regulation allowing the use of the "burkini" in public swimming pools exempts a specific category of users from a rule of general and common application that, by providing for the use of close-fitting garments, satisfies hygiene and safety requirements.
2) The proper functioning of public services does not allow for exceptions to the generally applicable law except for concrete and compelling interests: moreover, Art. 1 of the French Constitution prohibits invoking religious convictions to circumvent the application of rules governing relations between public authorities and private individuals.
3) It is legitimate to suspend a municipal regulation that allows the use of non-close-fitting swimsuits to accommodate a purely religious requirement: this is detrimental to the proper functioning of public services and the equal treatment of users.
(Case in which the city of Grenoble had issued a new regulation containing certain provisions relating to the management of municipal swimming pools, providing an exemption from the obligation to wear close-fitting swimsuits, thus allowing the use of the so-called "burkini")