Decision by highest court
France’s highest administrative court suspended a ban on the burkini by a French Riviera town after it was challenged by rights groups.
The State Council ruled that local authorities could only restrict individual liberties if wearing the Islamic swimsuit was a “proven risk” to public order.
In a judgement expected to lead to bans being overturned in around 30 towns, the State Council ruled the measure was a "serious and clearly illegal violation of fundamental freedoms".
Police have fined Muslim women for wearing burkinis on beaches in several towns, including in the popular tourist resorts of Nice and Cannes, sparking controversy in France and abroad.
The bans have triggered a fierce debate about women's rights and the French state's strictly-guarded secularism.
France was the first European country to ban the wearing of the Islamic face veil in public in 2010.