The Council of State has closed the door to burkinis in municipal swimming pools proving right tuesday to the prefecture of Isère which opposed a new controversial provision of the commune of Grenoble.
In its decision, the highest administrative court confirmed the decision rendered at the end of May by the administrative court of Grenoble, considering that the new swimming pool regulations imposed by the Grenoble municipality constituted a “very targeted derogation” intended to “satisfy a religious claim”. .
Grenoble had authorized the burkini in mid-May
The Grenoble city council had authorized the use of burkini-type swimsuits in mid-May, as well as topless bathing for women, in the swimming pools of the Isère city. But a few days later, the administrative court of Grenoble had ordered the suspension of this measure following the filing by the prefect of Isère of a “secular referral”.
The judges considered that article 10 of the new Grenoble swimming pool regulations would allow users to derogate “from the general rule of the obligation to wear close-fitting outfits to allow certain users to free themselves from this rule in a religious purpose”, and that its authors had thereby “seriously undermined the principle of neutrality of the public service”. The environmental mayor of Grenoble Eric Piolle immediately announced his intention to appeal the suspension to the Council of State.
Not the first case
The new regulations for swimming pools in Grenoble had been adopted by the municipal council by a narrow majority. Some allies of the environmentalist mayor had disassociated themselves from the project. Eric Piolle defended him a “choice of simplicity”.
This is not the first time the wearing of the burkini has sparked a national political storm. A few years ago, dozens of French cities had issued “anti-burkini orders”. If some had been canceled following a decision of the Council of State, others had been validated by justice.
Source: Le Progrès : info et actu nationale et régionale – Rhône, Loire, Ain, Haute-Loire et Jura | Le Progrès by www.leprogres.fr.
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