France's highest administrative court will decide Friday whether to overturn the ban on wearing the burkini which has sparked controversy at home and abroad.

The State Council began hearing arguments Thursday from the Human Rights League and an anti-Islamophobia group which are seeking to reverse a decision by the southern town of Villeneuve-Loubet, near Nice, to ban the Islamic swimsuit.

The ruling, due at 3:00 pm (1300 GMT) Friday, is likely to set a precedent for around 30 French towns which have banned the burkini, mostly in the southeast.

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