France’s highest administrative court has ruled against a contentious government plan for law enforcement measures, which critics have branded an attempt to crack down on demonstrators and freedom of the press.

The Council of State, which advises the French government on the preparation of legislation, said on Thursday it was “canceling” four elements of a government proposal published in September, including measures against journalists and demonstrators.

It is “illegal” for French law enforcement to encircle a group of protesters, the Council said in its ruling against the government’s ‘national law enforcement plan’.

“While this technique may be necessary in certain specific circumstances, it is likely to significantly affect the freedom to demonstrate,” the Council said. (RT)