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French Council of State (Conseil d’Etat), No. 464648, 21 June 2022

Type Judgment
Case number 464648


French laïcité, public services and use of "burkini" in municipal swimming pools

Normative references

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")