French President Emmanuel Macron has defended his new counterterrorism law against critics who say it infringes individual freedoms.

Speaking at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France, Macron said the law "protects our citizens and human rights as well."

The law comes into effect Wednesday to replace the state of emergency that's been in place since the Nov. 2015 Paris attacks. It gives authorities greater power to conduct searches, close religious facilities and restrict the movements of people suspected of extremist ties.

Human rights groups fear it could permanently harm citizens' rights to liberty, freedom of assembly and freedom of religion.

The pro-European leader also defended the 58-year-old European court, whose rulings have been strongly criticized by some of its 47 member states like Britain, Russia and Turkey.