Morocco: Report on Citizenship Law

Published: 1/Oct/2011
Source: GLOBALCIT, European University Institute

Delphine Perrin, “Country report: Morocco”, EUDO Citizenship Observatory, October 2011


Moroccan citizenship has evolved since the colonial period to reflect changing views of allegiance and belonging. Before 1880, the Sultan’s personal legitimacy derived mainly from his status as descendent of the Prophet. With the Madrid Convention of 1880 came the emergence of the idea of a de facto nationality linked to the territory of Morocco, while an incipient legal notion of nationality surfaced in 1912 via the Fes Treaty, which recognised distinctions between individuals based not only on religion but also “national” origin. The struggle for independence highlighted the significance of nationality as a source of political legitimacy, while in the immediate post-colonial period Hassan II resurrected the trans-historical idea of personal and perpetual allegiance to the sovereign based on divine right. Under the citizenship Code adopted in 1958 Moroccan citizenship was de-linked from religion and became political. It was based mainly on ius sanguinis, specifically paternal descent. This patriarchal emphasis resulted in numerous discriminatory effects against women, including the inability of a Moroccan woman to transmit her nationality to her foreign husband or children. Double ius soli was retained from the Protectorate, providing a way to become Moroccan with a paternal link. The 1958 Code also introduced several ways of forfeiting citizenship. Under the influence of regional struggles for women’s rights as well as the ascendance of Mohammed VI to the throne in 2000, the current citizenship regime is much more favourable to women and provides for the transmission of nationality by woman or man to children, though some discriminatory provisions remain.

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Themes: Acquisition of nationality, Loss and Deprivation of Nationality
Regions: Morocco
Year: 2011