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the Mixed Courts. This part of the project, however, fell to the ground owing to the strong opposition which it encountered at Constantinople, and perhaps it was as well that it did so, for the complete realisation of Nubar Pasha's idea would have entailed the internationalisation of the whole judicial system of the country.
Nubar Pasha's first object was, however, attained. From 1875 onwards, any European who has had a claim either against an Egyptian or against the Egyptian Government, has no longer been under the necessity of seeking diplomatic support. He has been referred both by the Egyptian Government and by the diplomatic agent of his country to a properly constituted law-court in which it was competent for him to make good his claim, if it was a just one. From every point of view, the result has been beneficial. The claimant, with the Egyptian code before him, has been able to form a fair idea of what he might expect from the law-courts. The Egyptian Government have, on the one hand, been obliged to acknowledge their legal and contractual obligations; on the other hand, they have been relieved from capricious diplomatic pressure on behalf of individuals, and they have not unfrequently invoked the law with success in order to be saved from the exorbitant demands of contractors and others. The diplomatic agent has been relieved from the unpleasant obligation of supporting claims, which were often of doubtful validity from a technical, and of more than doubtful morality from an equitable point of view.
By the irony of fate, the institution to which Ismail Pasha was induced to assent, probably with only a half knowledge of what it meant, was the instrument which dealt him his political deathblow. When the law-courts, to whose creation the Powers of Europe had been parties, condemned
him to pay certain sums of money, and when he found himself unable to pay them, the cup of his iniquity overflowed, and Europe—legally outraged, and politically timorous of what the future might bring forth-spoke out and said, “You must pay or go. Ismail Pasha could not pay. After a few ineffectual struggles, he went.
It is unnecessary to describe at length the attributes and composition of the Mixed Courts. It will be sufficient to say that a Court of Appeal sits at Alexandria, and that three Courts of First Instance exist, one at Cairo, one at Alexandria, and one at Mansourah. Egyptian judges sit on all these Courts, but most of the real work is done by Europeans. The European judges of the Court of Appeal are for the most part chosen from amongst the subjects of the Great Powers. All the Powers, without distinction, are represented on the Courts of First Instance. The choice of judges rests nominally with the Egyptian Government. In reality, the judges have until quite recently been nominated by their respective Governments. The jurisdiction of the Mixed Courts extends over all civil cases between Europeans and Egyptians, whether the European appears as plaintiff or defendant; also, over civil cases between Europeans of different nationalities.
The 'principal defect of the Mixed Courts is that the judges are not merely interpreters of the law; they are also to a great extent makers of it. They are not under the effective control of any legislature. If, as is both natural and occasionally almost unavoidable, they attempt, by a somewhat strained interpretation of their charter, to usurp functions which do not belong to them, there is no one to restrain them. In order that any new law should be recognised by the Mixed Courts, it must receive the assent of all the
Powers, and experience has shown that it is generally impossible, and always difficult and tedious, to ensure the required unanimity. Legislation by diplomacy is probably the worst and most cumbersome form of legislation in the world. Under these circumstances, it is easy to understand that the judges of the Mixed Courts are practically a law unto themselves.
When the Indian code was framed, some of the most acute intellects of the time devoted themselves to a lengthy examination of the subject with a view to deciding what provisions of European law and procedure, whether British or Roman, could be adapted to the circumstances and requirements of India. The result was the
production of an admirable code, which was essentially Indian. No such care was taken in Egypt. The Egyptian code was originally little more than a textual copy of the French code, and, moreover, it was applied by judges who, although in some instances men of ability, were necessarily ignorant of Egyptian manners and customs. The result was that great hardship was at times inflicted, more especially in respect to the application of the laws regulating the relations between debtor and creditor. The ignorant Egyptian debtor found himself, before he was aware of it, gripped in the iron hand of the law, which was mercilessly applied by his Levantine creditor. Eventually, some modifications were made, but even now the law and procedure are too European for the country.
The Mixed Courts only exercise criminal jurisdiction over Europeans in a certain number of specified cases, most of which are of rare occurrence. For the most part, any European resident in Egypt who is accused of crime is tried by his Consul according to the laws of his own country.
The Native Tribunals instituted under Lord
Dufferin's auspices exercise civil and criminal jurisdiction over Ottoman subjects, save in respect to matters relating to personal status, which are decided by the Kadi according to the system of ecclesiastical jurisprudence embodied in the Sacred Law of Islam. The working of these Tribunals will be discussed at a later period of this work.
To sum up, if an Egyptian and a European wish some civil cause of dispute between them to be decided, they go to the Mixed Courts. If an European commits a criminal offence against an Egyptian, he is tried by his Consul, with an appeal possibly to Aix, Ancona, Odessa, or elsewhere, according to the nationality of the accused. If an Egyptian brings a civil suit against another Egyptian, or if he commits any criminal offence whether against a European or another Egyptian, he comes under the jurisdiction of the Native Tribunals, which administer the French code, modified in some respects to suit Egypt. If an Egyptian wishes to prove a will or to dispute a succession, he has to go to the Kadi, who will decide according to the Sheriat.
Enough has now been said to give an idea of the main features of the judicial labyrinth which time and international rivalry have built up in Egypt. .
THE WORKERS OF THE MACHINE
Iinportance of persons rather than of systems—The British Consul
General — Tewfik Pasha-The Prime Ministers-Chérif Pasba -
An endeavour has been made in the four preceding chapters to give_some idea of the machinery of Government in Egypt in so far as the different parts of the machine can be described by reference to documents setting forth the official functions which are assigned to the various individuals and corporations who collectively make or, at one time, made up the governing body. This description is, however, incomplete ; indeed, in some respects it is almost misleading; for allusion has so far only been made to those portions of the State machinery whose functions can be described with some degree of precision There are, however, other portions of that machinery whose functions are incapable of exact definition, but whose existence is none the less real. Whether, in fact, the whole machine works well or ill depends in no small degree upon the action of those parts of the machinery which, to a superficial observer, might appear unnecessary, if not detrimental to its efficient working. In the Egyptian body politic, the unseen is often more important than the seen. Notably, of late years a vague but preponderant power has been vested in the hands of the British Consul-General. The