Supreme Court Rules that Being Born in the Western Sahara When It Was Under Spain’s Colonial Rule Does Not Justify Nationality Privileges

Spain’s Supreme Court has ruled that if an individual was born in the Western Sahara during Spain’s colonial rule this does not justify their right to demand Spanish nationality.

THIS conclusion was reached by the First Chamber of the Supreme Court after an appeal was filed by the General Directorate of the Registries and Notaries against the sentence of a Provincial who declared a plaintiff to be of Spanish nationality when he was born in Western Sahara in 1973.

The Supreme Court considers that Western Sahara was not a part of Spain “for the purposes of said rule.”

However, the Royal Decree of 1976, for its part, gave the opportunity for the natives of the Sahara, who met certain requirements, to have the option to choose Spanish nationality within a maximum period of one year.

The sentence had a private vote signed by three magistrates who consider that the recognition of the Spanish nationality of origin under Article 17.1.c) CC is not contrary to the doctrine of the Supreme Court and that the appeal should have been dismissed.

Written by

Laura Kemp

Originally from UK, Laura is based in Axarquia and is a writer for the Euro Weekly News covering news and features. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at