France's highest administrative court has suspended a controversial ban on full-body "burkini" swimsuits, pending a definitive ruling.

The Conseil d'Etat gave the ruling on Friday following a request from the League of Human Rights to overturn the ban in the Mediterranean town of Villeneuve-Loubet on the grounds it contravenes civil liberties.

The court said in a statement the decree to ban burkinis in Villeneuve-Loubet "seriously, and clearly illegally, breached the fundamental freedoms to come and go, the freedom of beliefs and individual freedom".

Under the French legal system, temporary decisions can be handed down before the court takes more time to prepare a judgement on the underlying legality of the case.

Source: Agencies