On Thursday, the Constitutional Council, France’s top legal authority, approved a law forbidding full-face veils in public.
The council said that the law was constitutional, but that it could not be enforced in public worship places because of the freedom of religion. The decision is the last hurdle for the ban, which has been criticized as stigmatising Muslim women and going against individual freedom.
The law, which will be implemented next year, sets fines for women who cover their faces in public and criminal penalties for those who force women to wear the full veil. The law is expected to be challenged in the European Court of Justice for violating European human rights law.