Up until 2020, applications for international protection could not be lodged at Spanish embassies or consular representations, despite the fact that Article 38 of the Asylum Act foresees that possibility. This was due to the absence of a Regulation to the 2009 Asylum Act, as a result of which the 1995 Regulation – which regulates the previous Spanish Asylum Act – is still being currently applied in practice. Yet, the latter does not foresee the possibility to apply for international protection at embassies or consulates.
However, through a landmark judgement of October 2020, the Supreme Court finally clarified that the loophole resulting from the lack of the Regulation does not impede the exercise of the right to apply for international protection at Spanish Embassies and Consulates. The Court specified that Ambassadors and Consuls have the duty to assess whether the integrity of the applicant is at risk, in which case he or she must be transferred to Spain accordingly. Thus, the judgement overturned previous practices and officially recognised the right to apply for asylum at embassies and consulates.
Despite more than one year having passed since the Supreme Court’s judgement, there are no reports of asylum applications being registered and processed at embassies, so it remains to be seen how this will be translated to practice.
 For an analysis of the previous practice on this regard, as well as relevant jurisprudence such as the N.D. and N.T.v.Spain judgement of the ECtHR, refer to the previous version of this report, available here: https://bit.ly/3j7X2b6, 17.