On July 13, 2010, the French National Assembly approved a bill making it illegal to wear an Islamic burqa or full face veil in public. The bill, passed by a vote of 336-1, permits police to require women wearing the veil to show their face. If a woman refuses, she can be forced to attend citizenship classes or be charged a USD $185 fine. The French Senate approved the ban in September 2010. The ban officially took effect on April 11, 2011. Despite condemnation from human rights groups, other jurisdictions, including Belgium, the Netherlands and Italy, have also passed or considered similar legislation.
Learn more about burqa ban legislation from the JURIST news archive, and read commentary on this recent European trend from JURIST Guest Columnist Maurits Berger in Forum.