On July 23, 2011, Belgium implemented a law banning women from wearing burqas, the Islamic head scarves, in public. Earlier that week, the Council of Europe Commissioner of Human Rights Thomas Hammarberg denounced the legislation. In April 2010, the Belgian House of Representatives had approved the bill by a vote of 136-0 to ban the burqa and other full face veils in public. In April 2011, France enacted a similar law after its Constitutional Court ruled the legislation constitutional.
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.