On July 14, 2011, Belgium's interim cabinet announced via the Belgian Official Journal that the nation would be officially banning the burqa. The Belgian House of Representatives voted 136-0 to approve the law instituting the ban in April 2010; the Senate approved it in May 2010, but the law's implementation was delayed. Council of Europe Commissioner of Human Rights Thomas Hammarberg denounced the legislation, stating that "the banning may run counter to European human rights standards, in particular the right to respect for one's private life and personal identity." The law went into effect on July 23, 2011.
Coat of arms of Belgium
Learn more about Belgium and burqas from the JURIST news archive, and read a critique of the legal arguments in favor of burqa bans by JURIST Guest Columnist Maurits Berger in Forum.