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Colonial Cases

Newspaper commentary and minor cases, Egypt

The Standard (London, England) 2 August 1847

A curious and, in principle, a very important case is alluded to in a letter which has been received from Alexandria.  It appears that two English sailors had been proceeded against for the murder of a native in the usual form in the Consular Court, but had been acquitted, the evidence being entirely circumstantial; It further appears that the Pacha had expressed his dissatisfaction at this decision, and had forwarded a complaint to the Foreign office, and on this representation it is affirmed that Lord Palmerston has issued orders that in future all British subjects charged with such offences shall be tried by the Egyptian tribunals.  This report has very naturally and very properly excited great interest amongst the British residents in Egypt; for, as is well known that the evidence of a Christian is not admissible under the Mahommedan law, it is not easy to see how there can be any security for the lives of British subjects if such a principle is recognised.  It is scarcely to be credited, however, that the Foreign Secretary has been guilty of such an oversight; but, if he has done so, public attention cannot be too soon or too earnestly directed to the subject, in order that his lordship may rectify this error as soon as possible.


Morning Chronicle (London), 1 July 1850
  A man, named Mustapha, has been nominated as consular agent at Thebes by Lord Palmerstown. However desirable for English travellers in Upper Egypt to have the advantage of consular appeal, when exposed to the sanctions of the Arabs, it cannot, nevertheless, appear otherwise than extra-ordinary that a more eligible person could not have been discovered for the office. The appointment is remarked on both freely and severely by the British residents of this place.


Royal Cornwall Gazette, 5 July 1850
An Arab, of the name of Mustapha has been appointed British Consular Agent in Thebes. This man was originally a traveller's servant, after which he was made a Janizary in the British Consulate here, and for the last few years has been acting in various capacities, latterly as a purveyor of stores to the British shipping in the port.


The Ballarat Star (Victoria, Australia), 4 September 1868

Egypt is, we think, the last of the outlying regions on which we need say a word, and this concerns Englishmen.

The Egyptian Government wants to get rid of the present system of consular courts.  Under this some readers may not be aware, not only are disputes between foreigners tried before their own consuls, but disputes between Egyptians and foreigners.  No doubt this system is offensive to the pride of the nation, and it is also inconvenient for less creditable reasons.  If it is defended on the ground that it would be quite impossible to get justice from an Egyptian judge in any case in which his own government was on one side and a Christian on the other.  Some sort of mixed tribunal is proposed, and the subject is at present in course of ventilation. 


The Evening Post (NZ), 1 March 1869

The following letter, dated Alexandria, 4th December, was addressed by Mr. Francis, of H.B.M.'s Consular Court of Egypt, to Col. Stanton, C.B., at Cairo, and by him transmitted to Abyssinia:-

SIR - A swindler who calls himself Count Auersperg is supposed to have travelled to Abyssinia, with the object of fleecing the officers and others belonging to the expedition, as he has succeeded in robbing banks and private gentlemen here and at Constantinople.  His documents are forgeries, and his success in cheating prudent people very great.  There is an order from Vienna for his apprehension, and though it would be very desirable to catch him and send him to the care of his Consulate, yet my chief object is to ask you to take the necessary steps to warn the military authorities engaged in the Abyssinia Expedition, that they may guard the officers and others against the plausible villainies of this accomplished scoundrel.

The letter was transmitted to Abyssinia, and published there for the information of all who had dollars to lose, but the Count had determined upon proceeding to quite another field.  He had a run of luck, but the Java papers tell us he has got himself into trouble at last at Sourabaya.

At the outset of his career in the Netherlands this gentleman was known as the Count Von  Schlonborn, and his first recorded exploit was the forging of bills for 7000f on the Netherlands India Trading bank.  After a brief sojourn in Belgium under thr style of the Count de Sallis, he turned up as Count Auerperg, at Alexandria, where he again victimised a bank.  Taking Ceylon on his way, he went down to Australia, and after a series of daring and successful frauds, he purchased a yacht and sailed for the Eastern Archipelago.  After swindling several banks in Java, under the name of Count Attems, he has been arrested.


The Mercury (Hobart, Tasmania), 2 September 1869

The Law Journal of July 3rd says:- We understand that Nubar Pasha, the able minister of the Khedive, has at length succeed in his negotiations with France in regard to the abolition of the consular courts in Egypt, and the establishment of local international courts,  The concurrence of England, Austria, and Italy have already been secured.  The main features of his scheme are the repeal of the capitulations, the organisation of courts presided over by two European judges and one native judge, exercising complete jurisdiction, over all causes, civil and criminal, as well as between natives and Franks, as between the suitors of various nationalities, and administering an uniform system of jurisprudence based on the Code napoleon.  The only obstacle now to be overcome is the jealousy of the Porte, which, while ready to make concessions of this nature to Servia and Wallachia, is not equally well disposed towards the plans of Nubar Pasha, deeming that its suzerainty has been infringed by the direct diplomatic action of Egypt in this matter.  The close relations existing between Egypt and the Western Powers will probably enable the government of the Khedive to surmount this difficulty, and to take immediate steps for the formation of an international commission and the organisation of the new judicature.


The Sydney Morning Herald, 3 September 1869

The Viceroy's visits to the European Courts is believed here to be prompted by his wish to induce the Western Sovereigns to be present at the inauguration of the Suez Canal; to obtain a treaty guaranteeing the perpetual neutrality of the new highway; to procure the abolition of the various Consular Courts in Egypt, and the substituting in their place, of mixed tribunals which European residents in Egypt consider will be really a more efficacious protection for foreigners  than the Courts which it is proposed to abolish; ...


The Sunday Times, 31 October 1869

The International Commission on Jurisdiction; waiting for the Americans.


Bendigo Advertiser (Victoria, Australia), 22 January 1870

[Opening of the Suez Canal]  M. de Lesseps held a great banquet, at which, with his accustomed fearlessness, he chid his own Government for not falling in with his views in regard to the abolition of the consular courts, and it is feared that this may be remembered against him, ...


Empire (Sydney), 21 March 1870

England and the Suez Canal.

Those who have commercial transactions with Egypt will be interested in knowing that thenegociations for getting rid of the present vicious system of consular courts in Egypt are the first fruits of the sort of Congress held at the opening of the Suez Canal, and that the scheme of Nubar Pasha, apparently a fair one, has received the approbation of most of the Powers except France.  Possibly the new Foreign Minister of that country may see things in a new light.


The Sydney Morning Herald, 8 July 1873


A trustworthy correspondent gives us the following account of the British flag incident at Alexandria:-

The Khedive's daira and the Ramleh Railway Company had been for some time in dispute touching the right of the company to alter the direction of their line, so as to bring it closer to the palace built by the Khedive near the Mustapha Pasha Station, the Khedive contending that the company were encroaching on his property, the company that the land was theirs.  As the company persisted in carrying on the works for the new line, the English Consul-General, Colonel Staunton, was appealed to by the Governor of Alexandria, acting on behalf of the Khedive's daira, to interfere; but this he declined to do, explaining that the proper course to adopt was to obtain an injunction in the Consular Court restraining the Company from proceeding  further with the works until the question of ownership had been decided, an opinion in which he was backed up by the legal Vice-Consul, Mr. Lane.

This course the Governor agreed to pursue, but instead of doing so he quietly had a palisade prepared, and one Sunday morning put it up round the disputed piece of ground.  On this the company appealed to Judge Lane, who authorized them to hoist the British flag on the ground by way of protest, and this too without giving any previous notice of the act to the local authorities.  Of course the flag was hauled down by the Khedive's people; and on Monday morning Colonel Staunton was appealed to vindicate the honour of the British flag, which had been thus needlessly and unwarrantably introduced into the squabble.  He immediately telegraphed to Cherif Pasha, the Minister for the Interior, demanding redress; and though an answer was returned to the effect that proper reparation would be given for any illegal action on the part of the local authorities, and Risz Pasha was sent to Alexandria specially to investigate the affair, Colonel Staunton determined to go to Cairo on Tuesday an d see the khedive himself.

After an interview with Cherif Pasha that evening, he had an audience of the Khedive the following Wednesday morning, when his Highness utterly repudiated the action of his subordinates, and accepted the following terms:

That the palisade should be removed that evening; that the British flag should be hoisted on the ground the following morning, and remain up twelve hours; and that the right to the property in  dispute should be referred to arbitration, neither party in the meantime carrying out any works on the ground till a decision had been given.

Thus it appears that there is no truth in the statement that Colonel Staunton  did not interfere in the matter for three days, and that he obtained as speedily as possible satisfactory reparation for the insult to the British flag; an insult, be it said, most needlessly provoked. Pall Mall Gazette.


The Western Australian (Perth, W.A.), 16 October 1874

The Ottoman Government are making great exertions to reinstate the finances of Turkey, with, it is to be feared, but a very doubtful result.  In Egypt, the proposal of the British Government to abolish the Consular Courts, agreed to by all other nations, is opposed by France.


The Times, 5 June 1876


The event of this week is the departure of Mr. Rivers Wilson.  He and his private secretary, Mr. Fleetwood Wilson, left yesterday by the Southampton steamer.  The quiet repose of the English National Debt Office will be very pleasant after thr heat and excitement into which Cairo is thrown by the consolidation of the National Debt of Egypt.  It was, of course, impossible for Mr. Wilson to remain after the acceptance of scheme of conversion which he had strongly opposed, and of which the English Government so much disapproved that they have definitely refused to name a Financial Commissioner as requested. ...


Actions continue to be brought in the International Tribunal on the bills of exchange drawn by the Daira on the Treasury, which were not paid at maturity on account of the State Decrees.  The following is the substance of the judgment given on the question by the Court of First Instance:-


The English Consular Court of Alexandria has been crowded for the last two days.  Though being stripped of most of its civil jurisdiction by the establishment of the International tribunals, the Consulate retains its powers as a Criminal Court, and the number of Maltese in the town calls these powers into constant requisition.  It is not often, however, that Mr. Consul Cookson has to deal with such a murder as has lately engrossed the attention of the English public in Egypt.

It is needless to details the facts which were of an exceptionally brutal character.  The accused, two in number, were both found guilty - one of murder, the other of being accessory before the fact, and the verdict has been received with a feeling of relief and satisfaction.  Deeds of violence are on the increase, a time of distress is having its natural result on a lawless population, and a stern example was felt to be necessary to check the progress of crime. ... Much interest was taken by foreigners in the trial, which was, of course, conducted on the jury system, by an English Bar in wig and gown.  As the case lasted two days the jury were lodged at a hotel, and marched to and fro under the charge of constables to prevent communication with the public during the progress of the trial.  In fact, the working of the most English of English institutions was fully displayer for the advantage of a cosmopolitan audience.  The trial of the prisoner by his fellow citizens, under the direction of the Judge, the examination and cross-examination of witnesses by counsel, and the judicial summing up of the facts at the close elicited admiration, and inspired every one with a sense of strict impartiality.  But there was much adverse criticism of the rule which refuses the prisoner the right to give evidence, and denies to the Court the power to interrogate him.

... General Stanton leaves here on Tuesday next, and Mr. Consul Cookson holds the post of Acting Consul-General up to the arrival of Mr. Vivian, whose appointment was announced in the Times of last week.


The Times, 22 June 1877



In reply to Mr. ANDERSON,

Mr. A. EGERTON stated that on the 13th of March Commander Clayton, of Her Majesty's ship Rifleman, searched the British ship Rokeby, in the Red Sea, and found eight slaves on board, whom he released.  Subsequently he searched the British shop Koina, and found 12 slaves, who also were released.  In no case was there sufficient evidence to justify Commander Clayton in bringing the ship into the Consular Court or in prosecuting the captain.  Reports on the subject had been sent to the Foreign Office, and would be laid on the table by that Department.  The question what punishment could be awarded to captains or owners convicted of the offence of knowingly carrying slaves was one which ought to be addressed to the Law Officers rather than to the Admiralty.


The Times, 7 March 1878


On the 27th Feb. at Mentone, France, JAMES LANE, late H.B.M. Consul at Alexandria, and Judge of the Chief Consular Court for Egypt.


The Times, 7 June 1880


Sir, - The Egyptian Government has addressed a circular to the foreign representatives reminding them that the probationary period allowed to the International Tribunals expires on the 21st of January, 1881, and they further suggest the meeting of an international commission to decide upon any modifications that may be deemed necessary. ...



Western Star (Queensland, Australia) 3 December 1881

Finally, the Khedive in a weak moment sanctioned the formation of a combined consular court, and then created a jurisdiction outside of his control in the very heart of his dominions.  And this complicated position is filled by Tewfik, a weak, timid, well-meaning, religious and conscientious man.  It contains naturally sufficient elements of disorder and causes of general quarrel among the Powers interested in the future disposal of the Valley of the Nile and Isthmus of Suez.  But to make the trouble compete, a class of the Egyptians, including unhappily a number of officers of the army, have started a cry of Egypt for the Egyptians which menaces the whole complicated structure of the Government.  The Viceroy frightened by the mutinous attitude of his soldiers, has taken to changing his Ministry at their dictation and purchased a temporary respite in this manner a couple of months ago.  Now we are told that further mutinous movements are threatened, and that Mahommedan fanaticism is mingling in the intrigue. ..... for any serious eruption issuing from it might revive the Eastern question in a new and most dangerous form.


The Friend of India (Calcutta, India), 17 June 1882

CAIRO, June 11.

Serious riots have taken place in Alexandria today.  The disturbance originated with a fight between the natives and Maltese, twenty of the latter being killed and wounded.  The English and Italian Consuls were both badly wounded.  Order has been restored by the aid of the military.

LONDON, June 11, 10 P.M.

Serious riots have occurred in Alexandria to-day.  The natives attacked the Europeans. Several of whom were killed and wounded, and many houses were destroyed by the rioters.  Mr. Cookson, the British Consul and Judge of the Chief Consular Court was severely wounded, and the Engineer of H.M.S. ironclad Superb was shot dead.  The rioters were dispersed by the military after five hours, and order is again restored.

CAIRO, June 12.

The latest accounts of the disturbance at Alexandria, on Sunday, state that it originated in an Arab being stabbed by a Maltese, when a general fight ensued, in which sixty-seven Europeans were killed and many wounded.

M. Khangabe, the Greek Consul-General, was seriously maltreated by the Egyptian soldiers.

The latest reports respecting the condition of the British Consul at Alexandria state that he is progressing favourable.


The Times, 14 November 1883


A curious point here arose under the New Rules of the Judicature Act - whether a debt claimed under a foreign judgment is within them.  They provide that in actions for debt arising out of contracts, express or implied, the plaintiff may, on affidavit that there is no defence, have judgment summarily.  In this case there had been a judgment for £1,800 recovered by the plaintiff against the defendant in the Consular Court.  The defendant had come to this country, and the plaintiff, desiring to get his money, had sued him on the judgment, and applied under the well-known Order XIV for summary judgment.

The application was opposed, on the grounds that a judgment debt is not a "contract" of a debt "arising out of a contract" express or implied; whereas on the other side it was contended that a foreign judgment, like any other debt, implied a promise to pay it, as settled three centuries and a half ago, in the time of Lord Coke, in a case known as Slade's case (the "legal fiction" under which the notion of assumpsit was based) and applied in the last century to foreign judgments, and that therefore it was "a debt arising out of an implied contract."  The learned Judge doubter, but made the order (subject to the money being paid into court to await further order), and the defendant now applied by way of appeal to set it aside.

Mr. R. T. Reid, Q.C., and Mr. Rowland appeared for the defendant in support of the appeal; Mr. F. Turner appeared for the plaintiff, in support of the order made.

Mr. JUSTICE MATHEW cited a case in which, under similar words in the Common Law Procedure Act, a similar enactment was held to apply to an action on a foreign judgment.

Mr. JUSTICE GROVE said that, under the authority of the case, he yielded to what was obviously a "legal fiction," and so the appeal was dismissed.

Mr. F. TURNER asked that the money paid into court might be ordered to be paid out to his client, the plaintiff; but

The COURT, as in the previous case, said there must be a separate application for that.



The Argus (Melbourne, Australia), 27 April 1886

The recent disclosures of the grossest frauds perpetrated by high officials in the Ministry of Finance have been followed (says the Cairo correspondent of the Standard) by similar revelations in the department of the Daira Sanieh.  Last year it was discovered that the Government had paid away nearly a quarter of a million sterling in liquidation of claims which, if contested in a court of law, would all of them have been either rejected in toto or reduced by two-thirds.  The Crown lawyer's office (the Contentieux), whose business it is to defend the Government, had, in the course of less than six weeks, in the absence of Blum Pasha, compounded these claims, and paid over, perhaps, one third of the money to the claimants, dividing the remaining two-thirds amongst its own members.  No excuse whatever was offered, and the inquiry ordered by the Government came to a sudden stop when it was found who was implicated. Four of the minor officials were dismissed, all of whom called in vain for a regular examination.

Some of the most disgraceful facts were elicited before the French Consular Court, but every effort was used to throw a veil over the past, and the guilty escaped without the slightest punishment. The present scandal at the Ministry of Finance was disclosed, quite by accident, by one of the victims.  Several of the highest officials had formed an association with private agents in all the districts of Egypt.  One of these agents would go to a Sarraf, or revenue collector, and say that he had heard that grave complaints had been lodged against him at the Ministry, and that an inquiry would probably be shortly instituted into his conduct.  The unfortunate man would ask for proofs, where upon the agent would produce a letter with its official Number and docket, written upon Government paper, and signed by one of the ban d, saying that irregularities were being perpetrated in such and such a district, and a commission must be at once instituted to inquire into them.  The agent would then  hint darkly that he was a great friend of So-and-So at the Ministry and on payment of a sum varying from £100 to £300 he thought he could arrange matters. The sum was invariably paid and quietly divided amongst the officials.

Lately, however, one of the Sarrafs, with a mens sibi conscia recti, could not understand the agent's story, and thought that at any rate, if he had to pay £500, he had better pay it direct to Mr. Palmer, the accountant-general, than to the agent. Accordingly he quietly came up to Cairo, and presented himself to Mr. Palmer, with the money.  The cat was then, of course, out of the bag.  A commission of inquiry, or Conseil de Discipline, has been instituted to examine into the question.


The Times, 18 September 1886

In Her Britannic Majesty's Chief Consular Court for Egypt, at Alexandria.

In Bankruptcy.  - The Bankruptcy Act, 1883


Dixon, Alfred, Liverpool, and Threlfall, John Charles (trading together under the style ort Dixon Brothers and Co.) Alexandria, Egypt, merchants.


... Sept. 27, Her Britannic Majesty's Consulate.


The Times, 1 January 1887

Composition by the above.


The Times, 29 August 1890

EGYPT IN 1890.

... But the main judicial body should be native.  The questions are simple that arise in Egypt.  The codes are clear - so clear that even the peasants know the more ordinary provisions - and commonsense, honesty, and firmness are more necessary than a profound knowledge of the law.  At the same time it must be remembered that the native tribunals of Egypt will never have free play and a fair chance as long as they are checked by the consular immunities and by the privileges of the joint Consular Court known as the "Mixed Tribunals," which was established for the protection of foreigners and natives when the local Courts were in a disgraceful state of corruption.  The French have established one set of Courts for all people in Tunis.  Let is hope that some day the same simplicity may be attained in Egypt.


The Financial Times, 28 September 1889


... Whatever the ultimate fate of the Aboukir Bay Treasure Recovery Company may be, it is at present at a standstill, execution having been levied on its plant, which stands, by the way, in the name of Mr. Josolyne, for the sum of four hundred pounds money advanced and goods supplied, the creditors being Mr. John Ross and Mr. David Graham Ross, trading as John Ross & Co., of Alexandria.  I understand, however, that Mr. Josolyne has given notice to the British Consular Court to have the execution removed, on the ground that Mr. Thornton, who agreed to the judgment on his behalf, did so against his authority. ... [NOTE - It will be remembered that since writing the above letter our correspondent has cabled us to the effect that he has seen the Prime Minister of Egypt, and that that official denounces the statements made by Booth at the statutory meeting.  It will also be within the recollection of our readers that the appeal raised by Josolyne has since been dismissed by the Courts. - ED. FINANCIAL TIMES.]


The Morning Post (London), 14 September 1889


The works of the Aboukir Treasure Recovery Company have been suspended, consequent upon execution issued by a British Consular Court which has been levied upon their plant and property at the suit of a creditor for about £400.


The Financial Times, 30 September 1889

Mr. Josolyne's appeal was heard by the British Consular Court to-day and dismissed with costs, so that unless the money is forthcoming at once the plant will be sold under the execution of the Court.  Surely a company which boasts of such riches will not allow itself to be sold up for four hundred pounds?


San Francisco Call, 12 April 1891

Ismail Pasha and his law reforms; unexpected result.


The Times, 1 May 1894



Since January, 1893, when Mr. Fawcett ceased to act as Judge of the Supreme Consular Court of Constantinople, the Assistant-Judge, Mr. Tarring, has been sitting alone, and hearing appeals from the decisions of Sir C. Cookson, Judge of the Chief Consular Court of Egypt, a man considerably Mr. Tarring's senior.  As the Court of Appeal consists properly of a Judge of the Supreme Court, with an Assistant-Judge sitting as an Assessor, the anomaly is exciting much comment and dissatisfaction. - Our Correspondent.


The Brisbane Courier (Queensland, Australia), 17 April 1895


LONDON, April 16.

A case has been adjudicated upon by the French Consular Court at Cairo, in which the court held that the Suez Canal Company is absolutely a French company.  An appeal against this decision has been lodged.


The Mercury (Hobart, Australia), 17 April 1895



The French Consular Court at Cairo has adjudged the Suez Canal Co. to be absolutely French, and thus subject to French laws and restrictions.

Notice of appeal has been lodged on behalf of English shareholders.


The Times, 12 August 1891 (and Nottingham Evening Post, 12 August, 1891)


  Under a receiving order made by the High Court against Hubert G. Beaumont, described as late of an address in Piccadilly, gentleman, the observations of the Senior Official have been issued.  It appears that the debtor was in Egypt when the Court granted the order, being detained by proceedings in her Majesty's Consular Court at Alexandria, but he states that he was subsequently acquitted of the charges brought against him.  He attributes his insolvency to losses incurred by betting and gambling from January, 1885, to October, 1887, while residing in Oxford and London, also to loss by speculation in mining shares in 1889.  The liabilities are returned at L, 1,304, without available assets, and the debtor asserts that, he has had no regular income, but that his father has allowed him money from time to time.  An adjudication of bankruptcy has been made.


The Times, 1 May 1894



Since January, 1893, when Mr. Fawcett ceased to act as Judge of the Supreme Consular Court of Constantinople, the Assistant-Judge, Mr. Tarring, has been sitting alone, and hearing appeals from the decisions of Sir C. Cookson, Judge of the Chief Consular Court of Egypt, a man considerably Mr. Tarring's senior.  As the Court of Appeal consists properly of a Judge of the Supreme Court, with an Assistant-Judge sitting as an Assessor, the anomaly is exciting much comment and dissatisfaction. - Our Correspondent.


The Times, 22 February 1895



A Cairo telegram in the Debats denies that any importance attaches to the quarrel between three drunken marines of the Scout and seven Arabs.  The latter, adds the telegram, were condemned by the native Courts, whereas the Consular Court not long ago acquitted an Englishman who had killed a native policeman.


The Times, 16 April 1895



A recent decision of the French Consular Court in Cairo has caused great surprise.  A widow summoned the Suez Canal Company before that Court for payment of a trifling pension.  The company pleaded that the Consulate had no jurisdiction and that the case concerned the Mixed tribunals, giving the very flimsy motive of its own international character, but suppressing the fact of its being expressly constituted under Egyptian jurisdiction.  On the 5th inst. the French Court, presided over by the Consul, declared itself competent on the ground that elements of fact showed the company to be absolutely French.

The company intend to appeal to the Cour d'Appel of Aix, to which all appeals from the French Courts in Egypt must be referred, and whose decision will be awaited with great interest, as, should it take the same view as the French Consul in Cairo, exclusive French jurisdiction may be claimed for the Canal.  Yet Article 16 of the convention of February 22, 1866, between Ismail Pasha and the company states plainly that the company is Egyptian and that cases with subjects of any nationality must be judged by the Egyptian tribunals - a point upon  which no doubt has ever arisen  until now.  Ity is surmised that this case has only been instituted as a test with the object of usurping jurisdiction on the part of France in order to please the Colonial party. - Our Correspondent.


The Times, 10 July 1896


A correspondent writes: - Your Cairo correspondent telegraphed on April 15 last year that great surplice had been caused in Cairo by the French Consul declaring himself competent to try a suit brought against the Suez Canal Company in the French Consular Court by a widow of one of its employes, in order to obtain payment of a trifling pension.  As remarked at the time, the French Consul by this decision asserted exclusive jurisdiction over the Suez Canal Company, although Article 6 of the convection between Ismail Pasha and the company states plainly that the company is Egyptian and that all suits with subjects of whatever nationality must be brought before the Egyptian tribunals.

The company appealed to the Cour d'Appel of Aix, the superior Court in such cases, which has now entirely upset the French Consul's decision, declaring he had no jurisdiction in the matter.

This disposes satisfactorily of the question of principle, but one result is that the unfortunate widow, owing to the Consul's action, is condemned to pay all the expenses, not only of the original suit, but also of the appeal.


The Times, 9 July 1897


Sir Charles A. Cookson, K.C.M.G., C.B., who has been for nearly 23 years British Consul and Consul-General at Alexandria, and Judge of her Majesty's Consular Court for Egypt, has left for England. ...Sir Charles Cookson was the first sufferer on the day of the Alexandria massacre on June 11, 1882, when he was severely injured in the street by the mob.


The Times, 5 November 1897



Considerable feeling has been excited among the British community at the announcement that the sentence of death by hanging passed by a general Court-martial upon Private James Walker, of the Lincolnshire regiment, who deliberately shot a comrade, will be carried out to-morrow.  A protest, hurriedly drawn up as the time was short, with over 150 signatures, was presented to-day to Lord Cromer, who telegraphed the case to London.  The competence of the Court is contested on the ground that, Egypt not being a British possession, the Capitulations hold good for the protection of all Europeans, that the crime was a civil, not a military one, and that the army is not in active service in the usual sense of the term, and therefore the prisoner ought to have been tried in her Majesty's Consular Court.  There seems no doubt that in England the prisoner would have been handed over for trial to the civil authority.

Some amount of sentimental feeling has been raised because this is believed to be the first instance of an English or any European subject being executed in Egypt by the sentence of a local Court.  The British Consular Court cannot execute death sentences, although competent to record them, and in such cases the condemned are sent to be dealt with at Malta or some other British possession.


The Times, 6 November 1897



Lord Salisbury having telegraphed to Lord Cromer yesterday declining to interfere in the sentence of the Court-martial, Private Walker was hanged this morning at the citadel.  The execution was strictly private, only the necessary military officials being present.

The case has excited much comment on the distinction made between the treatment of soldiers and civilians convicted of wilful murder.  A civilian is tried in the British Consular Court before a jury, whose verdict must be unanimous, and the sentence of death can merely be recorded, the criminal being sent to Malta to undergo imprisonment, with or without hard labour, for a maximum term of 20 years.  A soldier charged with the same offence can be tried by Court-martial, whose members need not necessarily be unanimous, and be afterwards hanged.

In the present case, which was one of brutal murder, a conviction would have ensued if the case had been tried before any competent Judge and jury, and although in England it would have been judged by the civil authority, the Judge Advocate-General has pronounced that the army of occupation is entirely justified legally in trying a criminal by military law.

But the expediency of this course is much questioned, seeing that the British criminal law is administered by the Judge of the Consular Court.


The Times, 12 March 1898


... The necessity for British Consular Court presided over by a Judge of high-class legal attainments, is far greater now than on its first institution some 35 years ago, ...


The Times, 5 November 1898



The statement of a Rome newspaper that the investigations into the alleged plot at Alexandria against the life of the German Emperor had led to no result is semi-officially declared to be erroneous.  Not only are the proceedings before the Italian Consular Court still pending, but it is further announced that the German Consul at Alexandria has ascertained certain facts the purport of which cannot at present be made public.  On the same excellent authority it is announced that the Italian Government has now issued invitations for the Anarchist conference, which will meet in Rome on November 24.


The Evening Telegraph (Dundee), 4 February, 1899
  Telegraphing from Rome, the correspondent of the Daily Mail says:- I learn from a reliable source that Great Britain wishes to bring about a prorogation of the powers of the Egyptian Consular Courts during the present year. She wishes to transform them in such a manner that the powers of these Courts shall for the future virtually remain in abeyance. It is very probable that this proposal will be made the subject of negotiation, and that Great Britain will leave to Italy the initiative in this project of modification.


The Times, 31 March 1899



The Chamber of Indictments of Ancona, which has been considering the case against the Italians arrested at Alexandria at the time of the Emperor William's visit to Palestine on the charge of being engaged in an Anarchist plot, has quashed the indictment so far as it alleges the existence of a conspiracy to commit an outrage against the Emperor.  On the other hand, it has sustained the charge against Mario Bazzoni of placing bombs in the wineshop kept by one Parrini, with intent to simulate the existence of a plot.  Bazzoni will be tried at the Ancona Assizes.

Thirteen Anarchists will be committed for trial by the Consular Court of Alexandria for belonging to an illegal association.


The Daily News (Perth, Australia), 13 December 1898



London, December 12.

The Egyptian Government proposes that the system of Mixed Tribunals shall be renewed for a period of 12 months, instead of for five years, to enable the powers to consider the modifications which have been suggested.

[The judicial system of Egypt is somewhat complex.  The Mixed Tribunals, instituted in 1875, deal with civil actions between persons of different nationalities; the Consular Courts try cases of  crime brought against foreigners; the Native Courts, instituted in 1884 to 1889, are occupied with civil actions between natives, and crime by natives; and there are also courts of religious law for Mahometans.]


Evening News (Sydney, Australia), 27 December 1898



History of Egypt, problems of the Mixed Tribuinals.


South Australian Register, 30 January 1899



LONDON, January 28.

Persistent rumours are current to the effect that the British Government will shortly abolish Capitulations in Egypt.


The Catholic Press (Australia), 4 February 1899

Emboldened by her succcess in the Soudan it is cabled that England is now determined to strengthen her position in Egypt by abolishing the "capitulations" under which foreign subjects are free from Egyptian jurisdiction . ...


The Mercury (Hobart, Australia), 11 February 1899

This most notable declaration is the charter of the reconstituted Soudan.  Foreign nations are warned that the conflicting jurisdiction of consular Courts will not be allowed.  The fountain of justice is to be "the Sirdar alone," and the world will be the gainer for the change.


Sacramento Daily Union, 31 March 1899

No Conspiracy Against the Kaiser.

ANCONA (Italy), March 30.

The Chamber of Indictments, which has been investigating the case of the Italian anarchists who were arrested in Alexandria, Egypt, on the charge of plotting against Emperor William at the time of his recent visit to the Holy Land, finds that there was no conspiracy against the Emperor, but that the bombs found scattered with a view of creating a belief that a plot had been arranged.  The court, however, has committed thirteen anarchists for trial by the Consular Court at Alexandria, on a charge of belonging to an illegal association.


Launceston Examiner (Tasmania, Australia), 10 June 1899

... also the maintenance of consular courts and other expensive luxuries which have outlived their usefulness.


The Times, 19 July 1901



Dr. Curti-Gazoni was to-day condemned by the Italian Consular Court to 100 days' imprisonment, for referring to Bresci, the murder of King Humbert, as "a victim of the present era," while lecturing on chemistry at the "Universita Popuilare," a new international society, strongly suspected of anarchist tendencies.  Signor Torchia, who applauded Dr. Curti-Gazoni when he mentioned the name of Bresci, was condemned to three months' imprisonment.  This is the second occasion on which Dr. Curti-Gazoni has been condemned by the Italian authorities for using seditious language. Through Reuter's Agency.


Sunderland Daily Echo, 15 March 1902.
AWARD OF £500.
(From a Correspondent: by Last Mail.)
 Judgment was given yesterday by Judge O'Malley, in H.B.M.'s Supreme Court for the Ottoman Dominions, sitting at Alexandria, in an action brought by the owners and master of the Bell's Asia Minor's Antona, against the master and owners of the Aldworth of Sunderland, to recover the sum of £5,000, in consideration of salvage services rendered by the Antona and towage services.  On the defendants' side it was urged that the services rendered by the Antona were towage services.  In its judgment, however, the Court held that there had been no towage contract, and that the services rendered by the Antona were salvage services. It therefore awarded the plaintiffs the sum of £500 and costs.


The Times, 26 January 1903


A Reuter telegram dated Cairo, January 24, says: - MR. RAPHAEL BORG, C.M.G., the British Consul here, died yesterday.  [Account of career at Alexandria and Cairo.]


The Times, 7 January 1904

HEWITT WILSON MOXLEY, Deceased.  ... late of Ismailiah quarter, Cairo, Egypt, and of the Ministry of Finance, Cairo, (who died on the 6th day of October 1903) &c., &c.


The Times, 5 February 1906


Sir Charles Alfred Cookson, Constantinople, Cyprus and Egypt.


The Egyptian Gazette, 12 March 1907; 3 


The following is the "dispositif" of the judgment given at the Mixed Court, Cairo, yesterday, in the action bought by Mr. Henri de Vries against Mr. Paul Oziol as President of the Cairo Stockbrokers Association: 

Statuant contradictoirement sans s'arreter aux moyens invoques par le defenseur es.q lui donne acie de ce qu'il est pret a delivrerau demandeur copie du proves verbalde la séance de la corporation des Agents de Change du 21 Novembre 1906, sans frais, et a defaut de ce faire dans le delai du 5 jours a partir du prononce de ce jugement, fix d'ores et deja une amende de Lst 5, par chaque jour de retard. 

Comdamne le defendeur es-q. aux frais y compris les honoraitres taxes P.T. 300. 

[Translation: Ruling contradictorily without stopping at the means invoked by the defender es.q gives him acie of what he is ready to deliver to the plaintiff copy of the minutes of the meeting of the corporation of stockbrokers of November 21, 1906, free of charge, and failing to do so within the period of 5 days from the pronouncement of this judgment, already fix a fine of Lst 5, for each day of delay.    Condemns the defendant es-q. at costs including honorary taxes P.T. 300.] 



The Egyptian Gazette, 10 April 1907; 3 


MR. JOHN ROBERTSON. - To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, whether the procedure preliminary and incidental to trial in the recently constituted Criminal Courts of Assize in Egypt, which  consist of three judges from whose decision there is no appeal except on points of law, though thus far satisfactory on the score of expedition, does not afford sufficient safeguard against a miscarriage of justice; and, seeing that the marked tendency of European public opinion is in favour of granting an appeal upon the facts in all serious cases, will he advise the Egyptian Government to restore the right of appeal, such appeal to involve in every case a re-hearing. 

Sir EDWARD GREY. - The matter is principally one for the Egyptian Government in the first instance, and the new system appears to be working satisfactorily. It would probably also be desirable to settle the question of criminal appeals at home, which has given rise to some controversy, before giving advice elsewhere. 


The Egyptian Gazette, 12 April 1907; 3 


The closing prices today at the Alexandria and Cairo Bourses show a generally downward tendency and Buyers were conspicuous by their absence. 


The Egyptian Gazette, 16 April 1907; 3 




Many and various rumours were floating about here yesterday as to certain definite measures, which had been decided on with a view to alleviating the existing crisis. 

   All these rumours are untrue and the only steps that have as yet been taken are the exchange of views. Thee are still proceeding between the leading persons in the local financial world in order to relieve the situation. If mutual goodwill and cooperation be forthcoming, the situation may be materially improved. 

   Last night an extraordinary meeting was convened of the members of the Association des Courtiers en Valeur of the Alexandria Bourse in order to take decisive measures to prevent the continuous and fictitious fall in local shares. It was decided to prohibit access to the "corbeille" of all "remisiers" and "tenours des carnet." No exception is to be granted at all. Only authorised stock and shareholders of the "fondes de pouvoir" of the agencies will henceforth be permitted in the corbeille. These measures came in to force this morning and the results have been favourable for a noticeable firmness has taken place. 


The Egyptian Gazette, 17 April 1907; 3 


The position of affairs on the Bourse this morning was decidedly better.  There are the usual crop of rumours floating about as to the line of policy which the banks will collectively pursue, but all such rumours are entirely premature. 

   The fact is that the present pessimistic outlook is very much exaggerated, and although the outlook is by any means bright at the present moment, the position is by no means as bad as it is made out to be. 


The Egyptian Gazette, 18 April 1907; 3 



Yesterday an important meeting was held at Alexandria. Representatives of all the leading banks, private banks and Shareholders' Associations, and a number of local capitalists were present. Although no decision was arrived at, the general tone of the meeting was very satisfactory and all appeared to realise that the existing crisis had been much exaggerated and that all serious bankers and capitalists ought to join in discouraging the wild speculation that has of late been encouraged by some brokers and second rate banks who induce their clients to carry over their shares from one settlement to another at exorbitant rates of interest. All present expressed a wish that the banks would do everything that lies in their power for the purpose of facilitating their clients by extending their advances in good local securities. The outlook was not considered to be dangerous, but the genera opinion of the meeting was that new company flotations should be strictly discouraged for the time being,  as the enormous increase in the number of  recent issues was recognised on all sides as  being one of the main reasons for the present plight of the local bourses.  Unfortunately there is an impression prevalent among a certain  class of brokers that the banks are the natural enemies of the broking interest, and as long as this idea is persisted in, it will be difficult for any starting guiding influence, representing the various interests, to intervene in such crises on behalf of the general welfare. The direct result of the present situation will be to give great impetus to rigorous bourse regulations which should in great measure prevent a recurrence of such a state of affairs as has of late been prevailing. 

   The following is a summary of some of the views expressed. As the Press was not invited to attend, the report cannot be considered complete. 

  Mr. Michel Salvage, who spoke very well said that no definite measure could be imposed on the persons engaged in the "report" business, as no regulations existed.  Consequently. nobody would agree at the present time to submit to any constraint.  It wa certain that everybody recognised the gravity of the situation, and all persons interested in the question ought to be urged to facilitate matters as much as they could.  If the banks agreed to such a policy, he was certain we should see a sensible alleviation.  He added that for his part during the past two days he had discussed the situation with the leading financiers and all expressed themselves willing to come forward with help. 

  The great precautions to be taken were to hinder any more issues for at least some months to come until the existing new issues could be digested. 

  Mr. Richter, the Manager of the Deutsche Orientbank, said that undoubtedly the existing crisis had been greatly exaggerated. There was no need to fear, as they were all trembling at phantoms largely of their own imaginations. There really was no grounds for the slightest panic. He proposed that this was the moment to form regulations for the bourse and to name a committee, which should draw up some strict and binding rules. 

  It was clear, however, that the sensible proposition of Mr. Richter was not greatly to the fancy of the brokers, as they do not regard with favour the idea of a joint committee of brokers and bankers in such a case. 

  Mr. Nahmann made the suggestion that the banks ought to make advances on shares at the prices at which they actually stood. 

  Mr. Kingman, Manager of the Anglo-Egyptian Bank, said that the fault lay entirely with the brokers, and others, who by executing orders for people who were not in a position to take up shares, and then by carrying them forward, had brought on this state of affairs. The banks had warned them of the danger that was likely to arise from such proceedings and now that they had got into difficulties they could not demand the banks to help them. 

  The banks were willing to lend money on good securities to solvent parties up to the extent of the resources available for this branch of their business. They would naturally do everything that lay in their power by other means to prevent any unpleasant consequences arising out of the recent fall in values. 

Baron Jacques de Menasce proposed that a species of syndicate should be formed, which would make a thorough estimate of the real value of each share. Then the bank should be asked to keep the shares at this price in order to advance money on them.  He referred to the crisis in 1881 in Paris when the bourse obliged every agent de change to keep the shares at the same price for three months and not to ask for further margins. 

  The general tone of the meeting seemed to consider that such a policy was not possible as no such engagement could be entered with here. 

  Mr. Escoffietr, the Manager of the Credit Lyonnais, declared that the banks were in no sense at fault, as they had repeatedly urged the brokers not to egg on their clients to indulge in speculation. The banks cannot be expected to take up their positions.  All the shares now being carried forward should be continued to be carried forward at moderate rates so as to prevent these shares being thrown on the market. The "reporters" had made large profits and much depended on them. 


The Egyptian Gazette, 24 April 1907; 3 


In order to prevent the continuous fall of local securities the Committee of the Cairo Stock and Shareholders Association (Corporation des Agents de Change du Caire) has decided to fix prices below which nobody is allowed to sell. The Alexandria Stock and Shareholders Association yesterday evening at an extraordinary meeting decided to follow the example of the Cairo Bourse. The advocates of this step consider that the main tone shown this morning in the Alexandria Bourse justify this strong measure.  On the other hand, a number of competent financiers consider that these proceedings will not be of any permanent benefit and they are of so extraordinary a nature that discredit will be thrown on the Alexandria and Cairo Bourses in the opinion of the European financial centres.  It is objected that if there are any public auctions of shares the fixed price cannot be maintained and that in other cases sellers, who are unable to find a free market here, will be forced to sell in London. It is further urged that it is as impossible to stop the fall in shares as to prevent water reaching its proper level, and however strictly the remedial measures are en forced there will always be the means of evading them. At the same time it is acknowledged that Alexandria was obliged to follow the example of Cairo as otherwise an impossible situation would have arisen. 

   The latest failure at Alexandria is that of a broker in the share market, whose liabilities are estimated at £70,000. 


The Egyptian Gazette, 20 July 1907; 3 


The Committee pf the Alexandria Stock and Share Association has decided in compliance with a petition from a number of brokers, to reduce the hours for operation in the share market, which will, from Monday next, close at 11.30 a.m. instead of at midday. This decision will meet with general approval as the new timetable is amply sufficient for the little business now transacted. 


The Egyptian Gazette, 31 July 1907; 3 



Many circumstances point to the fact that the British Colony in Egypt is at last becoming awake to the necessity of action in a matter with which its interests are closely connected. Recently there has been some discussion in our columns of that fact that only 29 members of the British Colony at Alexandria showed sufficient interest in the question of Lord Cromer's memorial to answer Mr. R. J. Moss's circular on that subject, although no less than a thousand circulars were sent out. A correspondent suggested that one of the treasons may have been the manner in which the interests of the colony were neglected by Lord Cromer  for the sake of his "haute politique" and he specially instanced the abolition of the Court here as it existed in the days of  Sir Charles Cookson, inasmuch as that Court was abolished as a principal court and reduced to the status of a provincial Court because its existence supported the theory pf the capitulations, which were obnoxious to his Lordship. 

[Continues, full column article.] 

Indeed we may be permitted to doubt whether it is really sound "politique" to let these other nationalities see how the powers that be can unhesitatingly sacrifice the interests of those now directly within their grasp - when political necessity demands. 


The Egyptian Gazette, 7 August 1907; 3


The Belgian Consular Tribunal met yesterday at 5 pm under the presidency of the Consul M. Eid assisted by MM Erzbach and Naus in order to inquire into the charge against Vittorine Heureux. The evidence of the various witnesses was taken, the most important of which was that given by M. Nadel, who gave first aid to the victim, and who heard Vittorine Heureux cry "He has had what he deserves."

Captain Renda said that the excited state of the prisoner at the time of her arrest, confirmed her words, "I am the avenger." Mme Omad at whose house Heureux lodged, and worked, said that the prisoner declared that she had a child whose father was not M. Goldsmith. On the day of the crime she was extremely nervous, and after visiting her son in the hospital had returned in tears and later on went lout, murmuring words of vengeance. She returned at 9 pm and was incoherent in her sleep.

The accused said that the chemist at Shoubrah had refused to sell her the vitriol and that at length she had stolen som. She affirmed her desire for vengeance and contended that her lover had beaten her. Counsel for the defence, M. Edde, had demanded an inquiry into the mental state of Mr. Goldsmith. The Tribunal will meet again on Saturday at 4 pm.


The Egyptian Gazette, 18 September 1907; 3 


At the last hearing of the 60 latest cases brought in the Mixed Tribunals by landlords against their tenants for the non-payment of rents, and the counter appeals of unjustifiably increased rents, judgment was given in every case in favour of the landlord 


The Egyptian Gazette, 28 September 1907; 3 



Extensive coverage of this recovery of this ship in previous issues.] 

Yesterday afternoon and this morning the inquiry into the case of the stranding of the Olivemoor 4 miles south west of Agami was made by a special Court sitting at the British Consulate and consisting of H.B.M. Consul-General Gould (presiding), and Captains Muir (S.S. Kephn) and Jones (S.S. City of Cambridge.) 

The chief evidence taken was that of the chief officer of the Olivemoor who, after explaining how the vessel went ashore, stated that the charts had not been corrected since the vessel was launched. 

The Captain was next called and described the steps taken to refloat the vessel, prior to the arrival of the salvage steamer. 

The inquiry was adjourned until this afternoon.


The Times, 2 October 1907

A telegram from Alexandria states that at the Consular Court of Inquiry there the captain of the British streamer Olivemoor was found guilty of neglect of duty; his certificate has been suspended for six months.


The Egyptian Gazette, 14 October 1907; 3 


Actions will be heard on the reassembling of the Mix ed Court after the long vacation against local banks for calls made on shares of the last issue of the Cassa di Sconto e di Risparmio registered in their names.  

   The only defence which we can imagine to a Call for unpaid capital is fraudulent misrepresentation which certainly cannot be alleged in this case and it is inconceivable to us that any Bank should under the circumstances hesitate to meet its obligations. 

  At a period when every effort is being made to rehabilitate the credit of Egypt we cannot conceive that the syndicate of bankers who were implored to come to the rescue of the market and save the situation in the summer will exhibit any keenness again to assist men who have shewn themselves so indifferent to their obligations. 


The Egyptian Gazette, 18 October 1907; 3 



At tomorrow's sittings of the Mixed Court at Alexandria no less than 450 cases are down for hearing.  Judge Pruniere will preside. 

   During this week in one sitting of the Cairo Mixed Civil Court 2300 new cases were down for hearing. 

   "Al Mokattam" states that no less than 380 "protests" were handed in on Wednesday last at the Cairo Mixed Courts. The staff at the Tribunals were extraordinarily embarrassed owing to this unwonted amount of business. 


The Egyptian Gazette, 24 October 1907; 3 



Two Englishmen of the names of Cannon and King, employed as firemen aboard the oil tank S.S. Baku Standard, had a hot dispute at 1.30 this morning over a chank of tobacco, which resulted in murder.  Cannon losing all control over himself snatched up a knife and attacked King violently and after a few minutes struggle succeeded in drawing the knife across his companion's neck.  The officer on watch on arrival at the scene found that King was dead his head having been almost completely severed from the body and after communication with the Customs Police Cannon was placed under arrest and this morning was conveyed to the Government Hospital.  The Baku Standard arrived yesterday morning from Constanza and Kavak under the command of Captain Steward.  The local agents for the steamer are Messrs. Worms & Co. 


The Egyptian Gazette, 25 October 1907; 3 


Cannon was this morning brought before the British Consular Court on the charge of having murdered King, as reported in our issue of yesterday. Several witnesses from the Baku Standard were called and it was deposed by the Captain that when he was called and examined King he considered him sober. The case will be brought before the Supreme Consular Court next month. 

   At the Inquest which was held yesterday the jury found that King, a fireman of Australian nationality, of the S.S. Baku Standard had met his death by a knife wound inflicted by Cannon.  Dr. Morrison stated that death must have been almost instantaneous. 

The Egyptian Gazette, 4 December 1907; 3

The first case down for hearing at the Alexandria Sessions of the Supreme Consular Court is that of Montana v. the Anglo-Egyptian Bank Limited which is to be heard on the 6th instant. The last case to be heard on the list is that of Rex v. Cannon, which is down for the 16th inst. This is the case of a fireman murdering another om board a ship in Alexandria harbour. The other cases are Carasso v. Carasson, Rex v. Clayton, two applications re estates of Baker and Barker deceased, and two appeals against the judgment of the Consular Court by the Bourse and Banking Company of Egypt Limited. The civil case of Dalgleish v. Aden, adjourned in Cairo, will be heard here next Friday.


The Egyptian Gazette, 7 December 1907; 3



Yesterday afternoon and this morning the case of Mr. Montana v. the Anglo-Egyptian Bank was heard at the British C onsulate before Judge Cator of the Supreme Consular Court. Counsel for the plaintiff was Mr. Halford assisted by Mr. Moss, the Counsel for the

defence being Mr. A. W. Preston. Mr. Montana claims a sum of £3,000 (approximately) on the grounds of having instructed on July 3, 1907, the Anglo-Egyptian Bank to pau in London by telegram the sum of £11,016 due on July 16, 1907, and that his instructions were not carried out. The amount having been deposited at the Anglo-Egyptian Bank, Alexandria, the Bank telegraphed the same to their London office. But, it is alleged, neglected to insert in their telegram that the sum mentioned was domiciled at the Bank of Egypt; the complainant thus claims damages on the ground of loss of credit. During yesterday afternoon the witnesses heard were Mr. Ralli, Mr. E. Moss, Mr. Triandas and Mr. G. Morris. The case was adjourned at ten minutes to one this afternoon until 2 p.m.


The Egyptian Gazette, 10 December 1907; 3

The Supreme Consular Court did not sit today. The following cases are down for hearing on the following dates: Wednesday, 11th inst., Bourse and Banking Company of Egypt, Appeal Cases; 11th and 12th, Carasso v. Carasso; 13th, Estate of Balzan, Application by Dr. Rizzo at 11.30 a.m. 14th, Barkers Estate; 16th inst. Cannon's murder case.


Egyptian Gazette, 18 December 1907; 3


The trial of Thomas Cannon for the murder of Charles King did not conclude until yesterday evening. The accused was found guilty of murder, but no sentence was passed.

The Egyptian Gazette, 24 December 1907; 3 



At the conclusion of the hearing of the first list of cases before the Mixed Court on Saturday, Maitre Lusena arose amid silence to announce the sad loss to the Egyptian Bar had just sustained by the terrible death of Maitre Volpini at Alexandria and, expressing the general sympathy in a few well chosen phrases, asked for an adjournment  in token of respect. 

   The President (Judge Tuck) after consultation with his colleagues acceded to the request speaking in similar terms, and the court rose for a few moments. 

   On the resumption of the sitting certain applications in bankruptcy were heard and decided. The action brought by Altaras Silvras & Co., against Hadid Hanoui et Fils was deferred for a fortnight to allow three necessary signatures to be affixed to the concordat preventif previously entered into. 


This was a dispute concerning some goods purchased by the Defendants and sums of money alleged to be due therefor.  Maitre Morpurgo for the Plaintiffs claimed payment of £E 100 in lieu of the £E 7.500 submitted by the Defendants. A safe sold by the latter to his clients, to be paid for in monthly instalments, was still in the defendants' shop, the Plaintiffs having been unable to remove it as the door was too narrow. (Laughter.)  His clients were claiming the remaining instalment of the price of the sale.  Maitra Nahas, who appeared for the Defendants, contended that the safe was an old one and that his clients were willing to pay what was just, adding that certain other goods belonging to the Defendants and held "en depot"  by the Plaintiffs were amply sufficient to cover his indebtedness to M. M. Picard. 

   This Maitre Morpurgo disputed pointing out that the pledge aforesaid had already been forfeited and sold by the buissier of the Court. 

   Judgment deferred for a week. 


   In the matter of the Concordat Preventif sought by the above named debtor, Maitre Terrante representing Messrs. Schutz and Payer the principal creditors, alleged bad faith on the part of the applicant, pointing out as a curious circumstance that the register produced showed all the entries for two years past to have been written by the same hand, and further complaining of the delay in putting in the account. 

   Maitre Biggiavi said his client (the debtor) would require time in order to settle the account with Messrs. Schutz and Payer.  Dacrour was only a small trader and, although not legally entitled to a concordat, his bills having been protested, he appealed to the Court  to shew a little indulgence, as was usual both in Italy and in Egypt. Schutz in fact controlled the committee of creditors the other two being his nominees. The registers would be seen to be genuine on inspection, their age was apparent. Moreover, he added, the bills produced did not correspond with the bankrupt register, Schutz had only been a creditor since 1905. 



This was an action for compensation by the Plaintiff, who alleged that he had been dismissed from the Company's service with inadequate compensation. 

   Maitre Manusardi, for the Company, contended that the Plaintiff had been fairly treated by his clients, and that although he had given trouble in refusing to obey orders, and had caused a strike of employees, the Company had offered to retain him in its service on his signing a document and promising to conform to its wishes in future. This he refused to do unless the manager were dismissed. 

   So lately as last October the Company again offered to take back the Plaintiff if he would promise to obey orders as other employees did, with regard to the control of the entrance to the garage, in fact he was to conform to his original contract of February 1905.  Five days were allowed him in which to reply, failing which he as taken to have definitely resigned. 

  He, therefore, said Counsel, was only entitled to his salary for the three months ending in September 30, 1907, viz. LE 300, instead of the LE 500 now claimed. The work had to be carried on somehow and accordingly his post had been since filled up. 

   Maitre Oriel for the Plaintiff argued that the weakness of the Company's case was shown by  the fact that M. Galli, a director, had in July (while the dispute was pending) offered Mr. Corrier £E 20 out of his own pocket in addition to the £E 60 put forward by the Company as an indemnity.  His client might have been a little hasty in his language towards the Company, but certainly not impolite, as alleged.  On October 30 he was ready to make reparation if the Defendants would take him back. Corrier had resigned a good position in Paris to come to them, and he had now lost 6 months' work and salary amounting to £E 160. He was justified in asking for a large indemnity since two years' contract had been broken. 

   This closed the case, and judgment was deferred for a fortnight. 



The Times, 3 January 1908




The fact that the volume of liquidation proceeding in Egypt since March last has failed to carry off the flood of congestion is no doubt partly responsible for the report that the Foreign Office had called upon Sir Eldon Gorst to investigate the situation of companies in Egypt founded under English legislation.  The rumour, as thus stated, appears to be due to the disorders of the financial body.  Recent litigation, referring to alien boards of directors administering companies registered under the English Acts, turned largely on the Order in Council conferring judicial powers on the Supreme Court of the Levant.  Judge Cator has delivered a considered judgment in the appeal of the Bourse and Banking Company against the finding of the British Consular Court.  The issue of the judgment is to declare alien boards of English registered companies subject to the jurisdiction of British Courts of law, without possibility of appeal to the jurisdiction of their own Powers in their official capacity as directors.  Having, as shareholders' representatives, chosen the British nationality, they must abide by the responsibilities, as they enjoy the privileges, of their choice.


The Egyptian Gazette, 8 January 1908; 3


Some weeks ago an English sailor was murdered near St. Catherine's Square at Alexandria. Sourouyan, who is accused of the crime, will be tried at the May Sessions of the Hellenic Assize Court. The trial was to have taken place this week, but as some essential witnesses did not appear, it had to be postponed.

The enquiry held by the Italian Consular Court into the subject of the recent murder of the advocate Volpino shows that the murderer, Massiniliano, acted with premeditation. The man, who accompanied the assassin to the lawyer's chambers, is considered by the Consulate to have been an accomplice in the crime. The murderer and his accomplice, who are still at Hardra Prison, will shortly be sent to Ancona for trial. The "dossier" of the case has already been despatched to Italy.


The Egyptian Gazette, 28 January 1908; 3




This case is of interest in view of certain rumours which are being circulated as to the financial position of the defendant company. It appeared that a contract had been made between Mr. J. B. Caffari and the Plaintiffs, by which the latter were to receive £ 250 for advertising the prospects of the defendant company then in course of formation, and the question for decision was whether Mr. Caffari had contracted on his own behalf or as agent for the company. M. Fatica sought to show that his clients the defendants were not liable as the company was not then in existence, and objected to the seizure of his clients' property in August last by M.M. Spezzeropoulo and Koressios. The Court however found that the company was born before the date of the transaction, and that Mr. Caffari acted on its behalf, and condemned the defendants to pay the amount claimed together with costs, and fees amounting to £4. The saisie arrets of August 21, 1907, were converted into saisies excentoires.

A notable comment was evoked by our request that one of today's cases should be deferred. In reference to the dilatory tactics of Egyptian litigants and their legal advisers Judge Tuck observed that out of the 39 cases down for hearing last Wednesday only one was pleaded, the others being renvoyees for one reason or another. Counsel, he added, take longer to explain their reasons for the delay than is occupied by the actual hearing of the cases. On Counsel's urging that his case would only take 2 minutes, the President replied that it could not be pleaded in so short a time, and Me. Bacuni (for the other side) could not resist adding "especially in the case of my learned friend," whereupon he was rebuked, amid laughter.


On Saturday last the case brought by the Heluan Development Company Limited against the Egyptian Land and General Trust and the group, who purchased the Ghorbal Estate from the latter company, was down for hearing before the Alexandria Mixed Civil Court. The hearing was adjourned until the 8th February.

The Ghorbal Estate at Alexandria was sold by the Egyptian Land and General Trust Limited, a group consisting of Messrs. Rossano, Bondi, Funaroli Riches & Co., and Kamel Bey Teymour for £E 130,000 down and were to pay the remainder in three instalments of £E 26,769 each on May 24th and November 24th, 1907, and May 24th, 1908. Meanwhile the

group sold the estate to the Heluan Development Company with the instalments to be paid by the Heluan Development Company to the Egyptian Land and General Trust. The Heluan Development Company paid one of the instalments last May and in November asked for time to be granted for the payment of the other instalment. The Heluan Development Company at the same time made various offers, which were not accepted.

The Heluan Development Company, within one day of within the year of the expiration of their contract, went to law and objected to the measurements of the land, which was the subject of the sale, demanded back the money that had been paid and asked the court to grant that the contract should be resiliated.


The Egyptian Gazette, 1 February 1908; 3



Before the Mixed Court Judge Vasquez presiding, today the action was heard of Zakl Mikhail v. Elgar Suares Co., a somewhat curious case involving s claim for damages. It appeared that in 1903 the plaintiff was found guilty of falsifying certain figures in a lottery ticket to make it appear that he had won 1,000 francs payable by the defendants. The Native Court sentenced him to one year of imprisonment whereby he had lost a year of military service for which he ow sought to make Messrs Suares responsible.

The defendants admitted there had been a mistake on the part of themselves as well as the judges who had tried the case and such mistakes did not necessarily amount to culpable negligence. The matter had been well looked into, with the consent of the public prosecutor, by the Parquet, the juge d'instruction and the Tribunal.


A number of commercial cases came before Judge Tuck on Wednesday and were dealt with in the usual expeditious way, so much so indeed that the Court rose shortly after noon. One of the more interesting of these was Segre v. The Express Nile Steamer Limited and H. de Vries and Boutigny Ltd.

Segre as formal employee of Messrs. De Vries & Boutigny claimed a sum of £E 600 as damages for alleged wrongful dismissal. He was met by thee plea that as he had never been in the Company's service but only in that of De Vries and Boutigny the defendants were entitled to dismiss him and denied all responsibility in the matter. Further allusion will be made to his case at a later stage of the hearing. Counsel are M. Biggiavi for the Plaintiff and M. Pangalo for the responsive defendants.


The Times, 16 January 1912




In a judgment delivered in the Cairo Consular Court on December 30 Judge Cator, of the Supreme Court, animadverted strongly upon the interference of the Mixed Courts in what the judge held to be purely Consular jurisdiction.  He said: -

The declaration that I am making in this action is unfortunately in conflict with that of the Mixed Court, and that being the case I feel bound to say that in my opinion the Mixed Court has trenched upon the executive jurisdiction of the British Court in making an order for the administration of the deceased's estate and a declaration as to the rights of succession of the defendant therein.

Hitherto the Mixed Courts have, I believe, scrupulously respected the tights of the Consular Court to deal with all questions of succession.  I have never heard of any case in which such rights have been wittingly infringed, and all the more do I find it to be my duty to protest publicly and most empathically against what seems to be a totally new departure and one which may be quoted hereafter as a precedent detrimental to the rights of the consular Court of every Treaty Power in Egypt.


The Times, 24 May 1912




The attention of the public has recently been much directed to the Mixed Tribunals of Egypt, and the local newspapers have published articles and letters of a severe, and sometimes even of a violent, character containing very outspoken criticisms on the constitution of these Courts, the codes of law by which they are governed, and the rules of procedure therein obtaining.  There is undoubtedly a strong feeling in the financial and commercial community that these Courts by no means afford that effective, rational, and speedy administration of justice which the public have a right to demand.  It must be borne in mind that the efficiency or otherwise of the Mixed Courts in Egypt is a question of great and practical moment, not only to those who dwell in that country but also to the numerous and important houses, both financial and commercial, in Great Britain and on the continent of Europe who have large and vital interests in Egypt. There is perhaps no country in the world which depends more than Egypt does on European capital, without which its commercial and industrial affairs could not be carried on.  It is, therefore, of the highest importance that the decision of disputes, the enforcement of contracts, and the payments of debts should be assured by the existence of a reliable and efficacious judicial system.


£It has often come under the writer's notice that a large number of persons carrying on business in or with Egypt have little or no knowledge of what the Egyptian Mixed Courts really are.  It may be well, therefore, to give here a brief explanation on this point.  The International tribunals were founded by International Agreement in the year 1876, in order to put an end to the chaotic condition of things which had arisen in Egypt by reason of the restrictions and privileges imposed or granted under the treaties between the Sublime Porte and the Powers, generally termed the Capitulations.  They were established for a period of five years, which has from time to time been extended; the present extension expires in 1915.

These Courts consist of three Tribunals of First Instance, established in Cairo, Alexandria, and Mansourah respectively, and of a Court of Appeal sitting at Alexandria.  The Judges in all of them are appointed by the Egyptian Government, on the nomination of the Powers.  They have jurisdiction in all cases of disputes between litigants of different nationality, and even between litigants of one and the same nationality (not being local subjects) where the action relates to the ownership or possession of land.  They exercise no criminal jurisdiction except in relation to Bankruptcy offences, every foreign subject of whatsoever nationality accused of a criminal offence being entitled to be tried in the Consular Court of his own country.  When it is borne in mind that the vast majority of commercial or financial operations in Egypt involve contracts in which the lender or manufacturer is of one nationality and the borrower or purchaser of another, the importance and extent of the jurisdiction of the Mixed Courts will at once be appreciated.  No excuse, therefore, is required for bringing under the notice of the British public some of the principal points in which these Courts appear to fall short of that which should be considered essential in every well-regulated judicial system.


In forming a judgment upon the efficiency of Courts of Justice it is obvious that two distinct matters have to be considered - namely, in the first place, the system of law which is to govern the interpretation of the contract (express or implied) between the parties, their mutual rights and obligations, and the means of enforcing these rights and obligations; and in the second place, the rules of procedure in the Courts themselves, to which the parties must conform in order to obtain and enforce a judicial decision.

As to the first, the system of law adopted in the Mixed tribunals is contained in the Civil and Commercial Codes, which form part of the International Agreement above mentioned.  These codes are closely modelled upon the French law, familiarly known as the Code Napoleon, and they therefore are in many respects similar to the laws in force in most of the countries in Europe other than Great Britain.  That these codes are perfect no one would assert.  That they are not completely in harmony with the commercial requirements of to-day few would be disposed to deny.  But to attempt, as some would seek to do, to sweep away these codes in order to put in their place some new codes based upon English law, would in the writer's judgment be a difficult if not an impossible, task.

In a country where for upwards of 30 years the French system of law has been administered, where for the most part all the proceedings have been carried on in the French language and where but few of the Judges and practitioners can express themselves in English, one is driven to the conclusion that, whatever the constitution of these Courts may ultimately be or upon whomsoever the administration of justice may eventually devolve, the law to be administered must substantially be the Napoleonic Code, with such reforms and modifications therein as may from time to time be found desirable and practicable.  If, therefore, there are grounds for complaint against the Mixed Courts, these grounds must be sought elsewhere than in the provisions of the Civil and Commercial Law which they administer.


Apart from any question as to the personal qualifications and abilities of the Judges themselves, which may for the moment be set on one side, it is to the procedure of these Courts that attention may be usefully drawn.  The defects in this procedure and the nature of the reforms therein which it is desirable to attain form the subject of this article.  The two main points which impress themselves on the mind of the creditor who wishes to enforce his claim in the Mixed Tribunals are, first, the slowness of the procedure, even under the most favourable circumstances, and, secondly, the facilities given to the debtor to delay and even to defeat the proceedings.

A few examples will suffice to prove these two points: - Suppose an action brought by A against B, a non-trader, for £150, the price of goods sold.  The action must be called before the Civil Tribunal on the date for which the defendant is summoned to appear.  If the defendant does not appear the Court will a week late give judgment by default.  Two or even three weeks will elapse before the official copy of this judgment can be obtained from the Court.  It then has to be served on the defendant through the official process-server (huissier).  The defendant is then entitled to make opposition to the judgment.  This means that he can upon any alleged pretext, however frivolous or vexatious, cause the matter to be again brought before the Court, and again if he pleases make default with the same resulting delay.

But this is not all.  The defendant may appear when the case is first called on, and in that case the Court fixes a specific day for the hearing or sends it into the list to take its turn.  When the day for hearing (which may be weeks or months distant) arrives, the case may, for some reason or other (often enough on some pretext put forward by the defendant), be adjourned to another fixed day.  When the case finally comes on to be pleaded the defendant may raise any number of preliminary objections and, having argued them, he is then entitled to make default in pleading on the merits.  In three or four weeks' time the plaintiff will be in a position to have the judgment served upon the defendant, who may then again make "opposition," and begin all over again.  And when the final judgment of thr tribunal is at last served upon the defendant, he has two months in which to bring the matter before the Court of Appeal, and the same dilatory procedure will be repeated.

Thus, in such a simple case as this, experience shows that weeks run into months and months into years before the creditor can obtain his final judgment.  Even then he will be fortunate if he can make use of it, for, in the case supposed, the defendant is a non-trader, and therefore cannot be made a bankrupt, and if he is a Government official his salary is exempt from seizure.

In a case ageist a trader brought in the Commercial tribunal the creditor's position is somewhat better, as he may obtain execution of his judgment notwithstanding opposition or appeal, and may ultimately obtain or threaten the debtor with a declaration of bankruptcy.  But even in this case the delays are enormous, and extremely prejudicial to the general credit of the country.




... But however the object is to be achieved, there can be no two opinions as to the urgent need of reform in the procedure of the Mixed Tribunals, if the confidence and credit of the banking, insurance, manufacturing and mercantile community in Europe is to be preserved for Egypt.


The Times, 1 February 1913

WILLIAM THOMAS EMMENS deceased, late employee of the Bank of Egypt, Alexandria, PROBATE.


News and Courier, 11 February 1913


Will Practice at Bar of Mixed Courts at Cairo, Egypt.

Somewhat of a sensation was caused at the Mixed Courts by the application of a young Servian woman, Miss Sanieh Sayba, to be permitted to practice at the mixed Bar of Cairo, Egypt. Miss Sayba possesses all the necessary legal degrees, and her request will be granted.

Only one other woman barrister has obtained permission to practice in Cairo. She is Mme Bernard Michel, who had a terrible tussle with the members of the mixed Courts committee before she could convince them that they could legally refuse [sic] to admit her to the bar. Mme Michel has been practicing since 1908.

While there are now two woman barristers in the mixed Courts, there is one English barrister practicing in the native Courts. This is curious, as Arabic is the sole language employed in those Courts, and hitherto no European has ventured to appear at the native Bar. This solitary exception is Seldon Willmore, late councillor of the native Court of Appeal.

Mr Willmore is a noted Arabic scholar and his pleadings have filled the native Judges with the greatest admiration, for rarely have they listened to such fluent, classical Arabic, even from their fellow countrymen. Mr Willmore is meeting with conspicuous success.


The Times, 11 June 1913



MR. MORRELL (Burnley, Min.) asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he could give any further information as to the case of Mr. Adamovitz; whether he was still in Egypt; if so, where was he imprisoned; and what was the charge against him.

SIR E. GREY (Northumberland, Berwick). - I cannot give any more information than I have already given; we cannot interfere between foreign Consuls and their own nationals in Egypt.

MR. MORRELL. - Can my right hon. friend tell me whether this man is still in Egypt, or whether he has been deported?

SIR. E. GREY. - I cannot say at the moment.

MR. MORRELL. - Can the right hon. Gentleman use his influence to see that this man is not deported from Egypt until his case has been fully inquired into?

SIR E. GREY. - No, Sir; I am clear that we cannot extend our responsibilities to the point of interfering between Consuls and their nationals.  (Hear, hear.)

In reply to another question asked by MR. MORRELL,

SIR E. GREY said. - Article LXXII of the Convention of 1783 runs as follows:

"If Russian subjects commit among themselves a murder or any other offence, the examination of the case shall be the province of the Russian Minister or Consul, who will judge the case according to their laws and customs, and no Ottoman authority may intervene in any matter."

It is, however, to be observed that any privilege that one Power has under capitulations is equally enjoyed by ball.  I may add that the question of extradition does not arise in such a case as the present.  When the offender is under his own Consul he is already within the jurisdiction of his own country, and the Egyptian Government has no locus standi in the matter.  The Consul can try him in the Consular Court or remove him to his own country, as he choose.  There are, of course, precedents for the exercise by the Powers of rights under the capitulations which are a matter of treaty and practice.

MR. MORRELL. - is there any express precedent for the deporting of a man to his own country?

SIR E. GREY. - I think there are precedents, but I cannot quote one.

MR. MORRELL. - Will my right hon. Friend say what offence is charged against this man?

SIR E. GREY. - No, Sir; it is not a matter in which I will undertake any responsibility. (Hear, hear.)


The Times, 13 June 1913



...  Admitting for the moment that a Russian in the Ottoman dominions is liable to be tried by his Consul if he there commits an offence against Russian law, it by no means follows that he can be removed to Russia for trial, nor that he can be tried for alleged offences already committed in Russia.  In exercising jurisdiction over him the Consular Court is acting as a Court of the ottoman authorities though an anomalous one.  And the removal of the accused is strictly extradition.  It may often have been conceded, just as Argentina conceded the extradition of Jabez Balfour.  But that fact creates no obligation to concede it. ... The whole subject was thoroughly discussed when the Belgian, Joris, attempted the assassination of the then Sultan in 1905.  How could Joris have been tried, examined, and condemned by the Turks if he were constructively in Belgium? One is not aware of any compensation having been exacted by that country for what would, on the Foreign Office theory, have been a flagrant outrage.

T. BATY, Temple, June 11.


The Times, 16 July 1913



A Parliamentary White Paper [Cd. 6874] was published last night containing a long despatch, dated June 8, from Lord Kitchener to Sir Edward Grey respecting the arrest of Alexander Adamovitch, alias  Sergius Pesotschewsky.  The circumstances are stated as follows:-

The Alexandria police had for some time past, in conjunction with the Russian Consul, been watching the movements of a Russian suspected Anarchist, who was later on denounced by the captain of a Russian shop to the Consul as Adamovitch, a well-known revolutionary, who had instigated the strikes amongst the crews at Odessa.  After communication with the Russian Government the Consul applied to the Governor of Alexandria for Adamavitch's arrest, when a perquisition was made in his house with the assistance of the German Consul, as Adamovitch was in the possession of a German passport under the name of Alexander Kornelson.  I should explain, however, that the German Consulate does not recognize Adamovitch as a German subject.

Adamovitch was accused of being a Russian revolutionary, who last year led the revolutionary movement of the crews of the merchant vessels at Odessa and put himself at the head of their strike.  A search which was made after the arrest showed that Adamovitch had been in the habit of boarding all Russian ships arriving at Alexandria for the purpose of carrying on revolutionary propaganda among the crews.  He is at present in the Egyptian prison at the disposal of the Russian Consul. [Detailed explanation of the Rules.]

The despatch concludes with a list of foreigners imprisoned by their Consuls during the past 12 months in Egyptian prisons, and gives particulars of four out of the total of 283 cases.


The Register (Adelaide, Australia), 28 August 1913


A remarkable sidelight was recently thrown upon the conditions governing the British occupation of Egypt when a Russian subject named Adamovitch was arrested in Alexandria by the Russian Consul and deported to Russia to take his trial for a political offence - a direct violation of the international understanding that political refugees are exempt from extradition laws.

Adamovitch was an active trades unionist - and therefore, in certain Russian eyes, a criminal.  He had previously been tried and acquitted on a political charge in Russia, and subsequently became associated with an industrial movement in Constantinople.  Later he journey to Egypt, and was there seized and deported, although unaware of the nature of his alleged offence.  Questions were promptly asked in the House if Commons, and in reply the Foreign Secretary maintained that Britain was powerless in the matter.

The Russian Consul had acted within his rights under the "Capitulations," whereby a subject of any of the Capitulatory Powers resident in Egypt is amenable to the Courts of his own country, and can be arrested before a Consular Court or deported home for trial at the consul's direction.  [Continues with critical editorial.]


Evening News (Sydney, Australia), 30 December 1913


Some years ago the talkative Roosevelt advised Britain on its duty in Egypt.  It was "to get on, or get out."  The arrival of the warships to support the Consul-General may be taken as a hint that Britain is prepared to get on.


The Times, 12 September 1914




The German and Austrian diplomatic and consular staffs will leave Egypt to-morrow in an Italian steamer. 


The Daily News (Perth, Australia), 10 April 1916


The Greek Consular Court at Alexandria has sentenced a well-known engineer named Vassiliades to eight days' imprisonment for lese majeste.  It appears that, during a conversation at a Greek club, Mr. Vassiliades said he was ashamed of being Greek.  The affair has caused the greatest indignation among the local Greeks, who, with a number of Italians, are raising subscriptions to pay a fine and secure his release.


Western Times (Exeter), 5 July, 1920.
Cairo, Friday, July 2.
  The Consular Court has committed Sir William Willcocks (the engineer of the Assouan dam), and Lieut. Col. Kennedy for trial on a charge of criminal and seditious libel in connection with the charges they brought against Sir Murdoch MacDonald, Adviser to the Egyptian Ministry of Public Works. Bail to the extent of (?)£500 is allowed. - Reuter.


Barrier Miner (Broken Hill, Australia), 9 July 1920



(Reuter's Message)

Cairo, July 6.

The consular court in Cairo has committed Sir William Willocks and Lieutenant Colonel Ralston Kennedy to the criminal court on a charge of seditious libel.  Bail was allowed in the sum of £500 each.

The proceedings were initiated by Mr. Murdoch M'Donald, against whom Sir William Willocks and Colonel Kennedy brought charges questioning the trustworthiness of official date in reference to the Nile irrigation works, and impugning Mr. M'Donald's conduct.  The charges were dismissed by the Nile Prospects Commission after an examination.


Western Times (Exeter), 14 March, 1921
Cairo, March 11th.
  Sir William Willcocks was found guilty by the Supreme Court today of criminal libel and sedition.  Sentence has been postponed.
  The case which was opened on January 24trh arose out of charges made by Sir William Willcocks and Colonel Kennedy against Sir Murdoch MacDonald, the Public Works Adviser, in connection with documents prepared by him about the Nile irrigation proposals. - Reuter.


Sunday Times (Perth, Australia), 8 May 1921

Owing to America's failure to reply to a circular asking it to agree to an extension of the mixed tribunals in Egypt for a period of six months, Americans now find themselves deprived of their rights except in connection with the consular courts.


Daily Mail (Hull), 19 December, 1922.
  Before His Honour Judge Platt, in the British Consular Court at Cairo, on Tuesday morning, says an Exchange telegram, Major Ralph Turner, late trainer of the horses of the King of Egypt, sued the Jockey Club of Egypt for defamatory libel.
  The alleged offence was the publication by the Jockey Club of a decision warning Major Turner off all racecourses in Egypt. The case is proceeding, and will probably last several days.
  The decision is eagerly awaited, because it is realised that if a British Court holds that the publication of the Jockey Club's decision can be construed as a defamatory libel, it will be a very important precedent of interest in other directions.


The Reading Eagle (Pa.), 2 April 1924


Cairo. Egypt. April 2. - The mixed court at Alexandria, which has been considering the controversy over continuance over the excavations in the tomb of Tut-ankh-Amen, declared to-day that cancellation of the concession to Countess Carnarvon was an administrative act over which the mixed tribunals in Cairo had no control. Thus the Alexandria Mixed Court upholds the Egyptian Government's appeal against the mixed tribunal which ordered the parties to appear before the judge.


The Times, 12 March 1926


Cairo, March 11.

The controversy in connexion with the nomination of candidates to the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria is still acute.  The Bishop of Nubia, who was among the candidates rejected (owing to an alleged criminal offence), has now issued a writ against his accuser to appear before the Greek Consular Court.  It is possible that the final election will be delayed pending the result of this case.


The Times, 20 March 1926

The Greek Consular Court in Cairo has condemned for libel the Greek Doctor whose accusations caused the Egyptian Government to remove the name of the Bishop of Nubia from the list of candidates for the Greek orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria.


The Times, 5 July 1926



... The Italians do not want to accord the right of option to the Senussi of Jarabub, insisting that they must be Italian subjects.  The Italians also maintain that the inhabitants of Cyrenaica, other than pasture seekers, who cross into Egyptian territory and commit offences should not be dealt with by the special tribunal which the Egyptian frontier administration established several years ago and is not situated within the Egyptian frontier area, but should enjoy Capitulatory privileges and be tried by the Italian Consular Court at Sollum.


The Times, 14 April 1927



In the Supreme Court for Egypt to-day Judge Platt gave a decision which may have a far-reaching effect.  A British subject was brought before the British Consular Court for having heroin in his possession, and was duly convicted.  He appealed, and the case then came before the Supreme Court for Egypt, where the appellant claimed that the lower Court had no jurisdiction, as traffic in drugs is none of those offences dealt with by the Mixed Tribunals, and the Order in Council of 1910, under which British subjects in Egypt are governed, lays down that, where other Courts established in Egypt with his Britannic Majesty's concurrence have jurisdiction, the operation of the Order in Council is suspended.

Counsel for the Crown argued that offences in this category only came within the competence of the Mixed Tribunals at a date subsequent to that of the Order in Council, and that the section in question could therefore only apply to such matters as were at that time dealt with by the Mixed Tribunals.  Judge Platt, however, held that as the Mixed Tribunals have jurisdiction in the matter, the British Consular Court had no power to try the case.


The Times, 14 September 1927



I understand that the Privy Council will soon be called on to approve an amendment to the Order in Council of 1910, under which British subjects in Egypt are governed.

The amendment is designed to prevent the British Consular Courts from being ousted, as is at

 present the case, in matters where the Mixed Tribunals have limited criminal jurisdiction but the

offender could receive a more severe penalty under English law. ...


The Straits Times, 1 November 1927


Cargo of Cotton for Russia on Board.


LONDON, Oct. 30.

CAIRO: According to the newspaper Al Ahram, the Russian steamer Chicherin was seized when leaving Alexandria for Odessa with £90,000 worth of cotton, recently purchased by Soviet representatives in Egypt, on board.

   The newspaper adds that the Egyptian Government in unaware of the seizure, which was ordered by the Mixed Court at the request of the Societe Maritime Egyptienne, the owners of the Inkerman, in regard to which vessel the Odessa District Court last month decided to grant the navy Department's claim for its return to the Soviet merchant fleet.

   The Court emphasized that the Egyptian Company which purchased the ship must have been perfectly aware that it was committing a dishonest act by purchasing a ship stolen from the Soviet Union.



The Times, 17 December 1929



... A few months ago information was received that a Rumanian was smuggling white drugs into

Egypt, concealed in consignment of wallpaper and other materials for house decoration.  At the

end of October eight cases of powdered glue, manufactured at Basel by a firm which in investigation was proved to be innocent of any complicity, arrived at the Cairo Customs.  It consisted of 1,000 tins, all of which were opened at the Bureau's request, and 24 were found to contain powder, which analysis proved to be a derivative of heroin.  The Rumanian was convicted in his own Consular Court.


Kalgoorlie Miner (Australia), 5 August 1929


London, Aug. 3.

It is stated that the principal changes in the existing agreement with Egypt will be as follows:


(4) Abolition of capitulations and the establishment of mixed courts in place of British Consular Courts, and provision will be made for the renunciation of Britain's rights to protect minorities.


It is made clear that Britain will not go beyond those proposals, ...; indeed, it is stated that Egypt can take them or leave them.  Britain will be quite satisfied to continue the existing arrangements should Egypt raise obstacles.


The Times, 5 January 1931

Telegrams in brief.

Commendatore Impallomeni, Judge of the Italian Consular Court in CAIRO, has been appointed a judge of the Mixed Court in Cairo vice the late George Molostvoff, who had been appointed by the late Tsar of Russia.


The Times, 6 January 1931




Judgment was given yesterday in the Italian Consular Court here in the case of the forged Egyptian unified Debt bonds and Credit Foncier founder's shares involving L.E 90,000, which has attracted much public interest.

Aldo Ventura, the employee of the branch of the Ottoman Bank in Cairo, who had been arrested near Spezia, in Italy, in possession of £E 2,500 in various currencies, was sentenced to imprisonment for 14 years and five months and to make reparation to the Ottoman Bank (he had substituted fogged shares for £E. 30,000 worth of genuine securities); Angelina Sarrubi, who had been arrested with him and found to be in possession of another large sum of money, was sentenced to one years' imprisonment with stay of execution; Attilio Ventura, his brother, was sentenced to 14 years' imprisonment, and Giuseppe Gambi to 21 years' in default.  Large fines are to be paid in reparation by each prisoner, together with costs.

It was not discovered during the trial where the forgeries of the Egyptian Unified Debt bonds and the Credit Foncier founder's shares had been made.


The Times, 25 June 1931

Telegrams in brief.

The Court of Appeal in RHODES has reduced the sentences passed by the Italian Consular Court in Cairo on January 3 on the men found guilty of having forged Egyptian bonds and Credit Foncier shares to the value of £E90,000. The sentences on Aldo Ventura and on Giuseppe Gambi, who was arrested in Brazil since the trial, have been reduced to eight years each from 14 and 21 respectively.  Attilo Ventura's sentence is reduced to three years instead of 14, and Angelo Sarubbi's to 10 months from a year.


Daily Mail (Hull), 9 July, 1931
Cairo, Thursday. - A verdict of "Not guilty" was brought in by the jury at the trial yesterday afternoon of an Englishman named Hatfield, who was arrested at Kantara at the beginning of June in connection with the death of his wife, who had been found shot. The case was tried by Sir Wasey Sterrey in the British Consular Court.
  Mr. Hatfield occupied a good position on the Palestine Railways at Kantara, where he had lived happily with his wife for many years.


The Times, 29 Jany 1932



... Charges repeatedly preferred against the Adviser of having falsified figures to justify his proposals led early in 1921 to a prosecution for sedition and criminal libel, ending in a conviction by the Supreme consular Court of Egypt.  In consideration of Sir William's age and of the fact that his views concerning the projects had evidently become an obsession, he was bound over to be of good behaviour for one year, and a few months later was given permission to leave the country on undertaking not to repeat the libels elsewhere.


The Palestine Bulletin, 16 June 1932

UNIQUE COURT IN EGYPT                                                       

Palestine Chief Justice to Participate

   The Chief Justice Sir Michael McDonnell will leave Palestine four Egypt at the end of the week, where he will sit as President of the Full Court of Appeal of Egypt.  The Full Court will, hear the appeal in a civil case, judgment on which was given by the British Consular Court. 

   The Chief Justice of Cyprus and the Chief Justice of Sudan will also sit in the same Court.


The Times, 22 February 1934


Cairo, Feb. 21.

Acting on information that an unknown Englishman was carrying hashish from Turkey to Egypt, the Alexandria police on Monday arrested Captain Cecil Herbert Attfield while landing on the charge of having in his possession two suitcases full of the best Stambuli hashish worth £E1,200.  Captain Attfield appeared before the Consular Court yesterday, and was remanded pending further investigations.


The Times, 27 February 1934


Cairo, Feb. 26.

Captain Attfield, who was arrested last week at Alexandria on a charge of drug smuggling, appeared to-day before the British Consular Court at Alexandria.  He pleaded "Guilty," and was sentenced to nine months' imprisonment to be served at Malta, and was fined £E150.  Six other persons, not of British nationality, who are alleged to have been his accomplices, have been arrested.


Sunday Times (Perth, Australia), 9 October 1932


Severe Penalties Imposed.


After a month, the mass trial of 63 drug smugglers of various nationalities wended with 24 being sentenced to the maximum of five years' imprisonment and fined £1000 each.  Others received lesser terms.  Twenty-two were acquitted and nine were remanded for trial in the Consular Courts.

The arrests followed the deathbed confession of an Egyptian who was serving five years' imprisonment for smuggling hashish.  He died as he was gasping the confession.  Two accomplices completed the denunciation of the gang.


The Courier-Mail (Brisbane) 19 May 1934


No Modification Proposals.

LONDON, May 17.

   The Minister for Foreign Affairs  (Sir John Simon), answering questions in the House of Commons regarding mixed courts in Egypt, said that the British Government had not up to the present received any proposals from the "Egyptian" Government for a modification of their constitution or usage.  Still less were they aware that several points connected with the organization of these tribunals had recently attracted attention in Egypt, and while he would not be expected to formulate the attitude of the British Government towards claims which had not as yet been put forward he might say that in any further conversations which the British High Commission might have had with the British High Commissioner might have had with the Egyptian Government - some had already taken place -0 as well as in the consideration of any official proposals which the Egyptian Government might put forward, the following three points would be borne in mind:-

   Firstly, the technical and professional claim of Egyptian Judges to equality with their foreign colleagues had already been recognised by the mixed courts themselves.

   Secondly, while the use of Arabia in pleadings and in the giving of evidence was, he understood, already freely conceded, the suitability of that language for the rendering and recording of judgments which must not only be based upon French law, but must be intelligible to all judges composing the chamber, seemed at least open to doubt.

   Thirdly, mixed courts were not the only set of courts existing in Egypt.  There were other national courts which were purely Egyptian.  The peculiar importance of the mixed courts was due to the fact that they were created at once to relieve Egypt of the much greater burden imposed upon her by the full consular jurisdiction which had previously existed, and to safeguard the interests of foreign communities.  Both these objects would have to be kept in view in dealing with any proposals for modifications in their constitution and power.


The Times, 22 June 1936


... His Majesty's Government intend to avail themselves of the option, contained in Article 9 of the Capitulatory Convention signed on May 8 last, to maintain these Courts, possibly for 12 years longer, for matters of personal status.


The Times, 22 June 1936

Events in Egypt post-Montreux.


The Advertiser (Adelaide), 12 August 1936

Abolition Of Egyptian Mixed Courts Reported.

ALEXANDRIA, August 10.

   The Wafdist newspaper, "Jihad," says that Britain has agreed to support Egypt's demand for the abolition of mixed courts.  European communities are alarmed, and predict that such a decision would lead to the withdrawal of foreign capital and the limitation of foreign business.


The Sydney Morning Herald, 14 April 1937




   Nahas Pasha, leader of the Egyptian delegation at the conference of 11 capitulatory Powers at Montreux (Switzerland), to-day demanded the immediate abolition of capitulations, which, he said, inflicted flagrant injury to Egypt's dignity and sovereignty.  The fiscal immunity of foreigners was one of the weightiest loads on the country's freedom and legislative powers, and it must be terminated forthwith.

   The conference sat for four hours.  Nahas pasha deposited a document outlining the Egyptian Government's suggestions regarding a reorganization of the judiciary, measures relating to European policy and security, and the status of foreign nationals.

   The public session closed after the American, South African, and Italian delegates expressed hope of a satisfactory outcome of the conference.

   The leader of the British delegation, (Captain Euan Wallace, Secretary to the Department of Overseas Trade) outlined the following three-point programme:-

  1. That legislative and judicial capitulations should immediately disappear;
  2. That mixed Courts should be maintained for the transitional period to deal, in addition, with the present cases, those now within the competence of the Consular Courts; and
  3. That the Egyptian Government should give assurances regarding the manner in which it will treat foreigners.

   "The ultimate goal is to allow Egypt to enjoy the same freedom of action as other Governments," Captain Wallace said.  "This is not possible immediately, but the transitional period should be as short as possible."

   M. [Tessan] (France) expressed general agreement.

   The consensus of opinion is that the conference will move rapidly to success.

   Egypt, which convened the conference in accordance with the Anglo-Egyptian Treaty, is negotiating for the abrogation of capitulations (treaties under which foreign Powers are granted extraterritorial rights and jurisdiction in another State), and for the formulation of a scheme by which mixed Courts, on which Egyptian and capitulatory governments are represented, will extend their present jurisdiction to cases now dealt with by Consular Courts.


The Courier Mail (Brisbane), 3 June 1937

Why Egypt Concluded Her Treaty With Britain.

From Montreux comes the news that the special rights of the various nations who have enjoyed privileges under the Capitulations in Egypt have been abolished by agreement. ...

"CAPITULATIONS' is an unfortunate word in that it implies a surrender, and thus creates a wrong impression of the origin of the system in Egypt.

   Turkey was the pattern followed in the matter of special privileges.  In olden times the Turk deemed business an affair for inferiors, and foreign communities became a nuisance with their legal troubles in regard to wills and matters of personal status.

   The law of the land was based on the Koran, and differed vastly from European practice.  It saved trouble to accord the communities of strangers the right to decide their own legal affairs, and the capitulations were drawn up and worked satisfactorily for many years. ...


The West Australian, 17 August 1936


[History of the occupation.] Great Britain, as a condition of acquiescence in her occupation, made herself responsible for the lives and interests of foreigners, which have been safeguarded by Mixed Tribunals and Consular Courts.  These privileges, according to "The Times," have been "grossly abused."


The Times, 10 April 1937


The penultimate step towards the fulfillment of the provisions of the Anglo-Egyptian Treaty will be taken on Monday when the representatives of Egypt will meet the delegates of the eleven capitulatory Powers in conference at Momtreux. ...


The Sydney Morning Herald, 13 October 1937



In accordance with the plan for the abolition of the Capitulations, the Consular Courts will be abolished on October 15.


The Times, 6 May 1938

CHARLES YOUELL WATSON, deceased, late of Alexandria; PROBATE.


The Times, 2 June 1938

RICHARD COMBE ABDY, late of Vaud, Switzerland and Alexandria, Egypt; PROBATE.


The Times, 8 December 1938

CHARLES ROSS, deceased, late of Alexandria; PROBATE.


The Times, 3 May 1939

FRANK PATTMAN, deceased, 5 Midan Sheikh Youssef, Cairo; Civil Servant, PROBATE.


The Times, 18 May 1940

REBECCA CAMPBELL, deceased, of Alexandria; PROBATE.


The Times, 18 July 1941

THOMAS STEWART RICHMOND, deceased,  late of 27 Rue Borchgrevnik, Bulkeley, Ramleh, (Alexandria); PROBATE.


The Times, 25 July 1941

HENRY KENNEDY, deceased, late of Zagazig.  (Cairo); PROBATE.


The Times, 30 May 1942

THEOPHILE JOSEPH LEVY, deceased, Sharia el Aziz, Gezira, Cairo; PROBATE.


The Times, 8 September 1942

ARTHUR SIDNEY MERTON, late of 13 Sharia Ibrahim Pasha, Neguib, Kasr el Doubara, Cairo; PROBATE.


The Times, 21 September 1942



The Times, 25 February 1943

FREDERICK JAMES BUSSEY, of H.M.S. Medway, HM Naval Forces, Alexandria, PROBATE.


The Times, 25 August 1943

EMMANUEL DOMINICO CASSAR,  late of Port Said, Egypt Coal Storekeeper (Clerk), PROBATE.


The Times, 17 September 1943




The Times, 18 October 1943

MINNIE ROSS WALKER (Miss), Spinster, Alexandria; PROBATE.


The Times, 25 October 1943



The Times, 17 March 1944

MAY JACKSON, 21 Sharia Soliman Pasha Cairo, wife of Walter dec., PROBATE


The Times, 10 May 1944

WINIFRED (otherwise WINIFRID) MARY KENNEDY, 25 Sharia Hassan Sabry Pasha, Zamaleck, Cairo; PROBATE.


The Times, 20 May 1944

THOMAS PHILIP GOODCHILD, Rue Station Schutz, Ramleh, Alexandria; PROBATE.


The Times, 5 June 1944



The Times, 16 August 1944

ELIZA ALICE CLARK, wife Henry dec., Alexandria; PROBATE.


The Times, 16 February 1945



The Times, 3 April 1945



The Times, 29 May 1945

JOHN EDWARD HASELDEN, Lt. Col., deceased; Alexandria; PROBATE


The Times, 5 July 1945

EVELYN EMILY DYKE, Spinster, Ramleh, Alexandria; PROBATE


The Times, 16 July 1945



The Times, 2 August 1945


SIR RALPH CATOR, Judge Ottoman, then Egypt, President Mixed Court of Appeal.


The Times, 20 September 1945

Mrs. HENRIETTE ROFE, No. 83 Rue Fouad 1erf Alexandria. Widow.  PROBATE.


The Times, 22 September 1945

POLYXENIE (otherwise PAULINE) GOLDING, 4 Rue Eugenie, Port Said; Cairo. PROBATE.


The Times, 8 November 1945

FRANCIS LEWIS BOUGEYA, late Immeuble Mohdi Rue Sekka Hadid el Hod Suez; Port Said; PROBATE.


The Times, 4 January 1946



The Times, 10 January 1946

EDITH BRAID DUFF, Anglo-Swiss Hospital, Alexandria; PROBATE.


The Times, 6 March 1946

JOHN LANGDON REES, Rushi Pasha, Ramleh, Alexandria; PROBATE


The Times, 28 March 1946

LADY EMMA HARARI PASHA, 8 Rue Abdel Kader Pasha, Kasr el Doubara, Cairo. PROBATE.


The Times, 4 April 1946



The Times, 7 May 1946

THOMAS SMITH, 36 Bachler Mansions, Zamalek, Cairo; Engineer, PROBATE


The Times, 24 June 1946



The Times, 11 July 1946

MOSES BEN MESSULAM, 37 Rue Avenue le Grand, Mazaria, Alexandria. PROBATE.


The Times, 16 July 1946

JOHN HARVEY WOODVILLE ROWNTREE, 19 Sharia Willcocks, North Gezireh, Cairo; PROBATE


The Times, 30 July 1946

NANCY WOODLEY, Heliopolis, Cairo; PROBATE.


The Times, 2 November 1946

EDGAR STANDISH LOUIS KNEVETT DE KNEVETT, dec.., Stanley House Hotel, 39 Sharia Kasr el Nil, Cairo; PROBATE.


The Times, 9 November 1946

ISOLINA NAUDI, 205 Sharia Emad El-Dine, Cairo; PROBATE


The Times, 19 April 1947

MARIE MARGUERITE FERGUSON, 6 Sharia  Sesostris, Heliopolis, Cairo.  PROBATE.


The Times, 1 May 1947

EDWARD JOHN PERKINS, 25 Avenue Sidi Gaber, Alexandria.  PROBATE.


The Times, 9 May 1947

MRS. IDA OLIVIA GORDON, 19 Rue Tigrahe Pasha, Alexandria, widow.  PROBATE.


The Times, 25 June 1947

PAOLO SAPIANO, Rue Maleka Farida, Immeuble Groce, Port Said.  PROBATE


The Times, 30 March 1948

SHEILA EDITH COWAN, 10 rue el Afrah, Alexandria, married; PROBATE.


The Times, 14 April 1948

NOEL CARLISLE REES, Lt. Cdr., O.B.E., 150 Avenue Fouad  Camp de Cesar (also of Rhodes); Alexandria; PROBATE.


Examiner (Launceston, Australia), 7 May 1948


...  The Conference is being called in view of the approach of the end of the twelve years' transitional period laid down in the Montreux Convention which abolished the capitulations - a system whereby foreigners in Egypt enjoyed extra-territorial privileges, particularly regarding trial before Consular Courts.  The Convention provided for Mixed Courts handling cases involving foreigners previously dealt with by Consular Courts.  The Mixed Courts are due to come to an end in October, 1949.


The Times, 25 May 1948

MIMINA DILBEROGLUE,  spinster, late of Brescia, Italy; Alexandria; PROBATE.


The Times, 30 July 1948

THOMAS HENRY JOLLEY, Wing Cdr., RAF (retired), 5 Sharia Tushtomor, Cairo. PROBATE.


The Times,  2 August 1948

IDA SYBIL BARKER, Ramleh, Alexandria; PROBATE.


The Times, 28 October 1948



The Times, 23 December 1948



The Times, 4 June 1949

ELIZABETH GEORGINA CRAFTON, 22 Rue Crafton Bulkeley, Alexandria. PROBATE.


The Times, 24 June 1949

ROBERT SEYMOUR LEWIS, Villa Montrose, Sharia el Ahram, Heliopolis, Cairo. PROBATE.


The Times, 1 August 1949



Cairns Post, 7 October 1949



CAIRO, (A.P.). - The mixed courts, last reminder of the days when foreigners dominated Egypt, came to an end on October 15, 1949.

   After that date the Egyptian National Court will be the only competent judicial authority in Egypt.  They will handle all cases - civil, penal and commercial - involving Egyptian as well as foreign residents.  These are estimated to number about 250,000.

   The mixed courts were originally set up to handle civil and commercial cases, between foreigners, and between Egyptians and foreigners.  Four official languages were admitted - Arabic, English, French and Italian.

   Some judges at the mixed courts were Egyptian, others foreigners.  The Egyptians were appointed by the Government.  The foreigners were nominated by their own Governments, subject to Egypt's approval.

   The mixed courts applied the laws of "mixed code."  This was based on legislation in force in several European and American countries, particularly adapted to local conditions.  The original mixed code was worked out by a commission of European jurists in co-operation with Egyptians.

   Up to 1936, penal cases involving foreigners were handled by consular courts.  These applied their own national law.  This procedure created a situation which Egyptians considered detrimental to the interests of Egypt's nationals. The foreigner's privilege of remaining under the regime of their respective national laws, although residing in Egypt, dated back to the sixteenth century.


   At the time the western powers, victorious in the centuries-old struggle against the Ottoman Empire, imposed what was called the "capitulations" on Turkey.  Egypt, as a province of the Ottoman Empire until the beginning of the nineteenth century, inherited all the obligations of the capitulations.  So foreigners enjoyed privileges hardly compatible with the sovereign status o modern Egypt.

   Take, for instance, a murder case in which an Egyptian and an Italian were accused.  The Egyptian stood trial before the national courts and received a death sentence.  The Italian was tried by his consular court, which applied the Italian law.  He got away with a prison term since there is no death penalty in Italy. The same discrimination was the rule in other penal matters, drug smuggling for instance.  This offence took such proportions in Egypt that Egyptian law-makers have provided heavy penalties.  Whenever a gang of smugglers were brought to trial, Egyptian nationals were sentenced to terms up to five years, while foreigners received one or two months - and often only 15 days - imprisonment.  Moreover, convicted foreigners served their time in their own countries.  After being released they could come back to Egypt as residents.

   The first step toward ending this situation was the Montreux Convention, signed between Egypt and the foreign powers in 1936 at Montreux, Switzerland.  This provided for immediate abolition of the capitulations and consular courts, transferring to the mixed courts all penal cases involving foreigners.  Another provision fixed a 12 year "transitory period" for the mixed courts, after which their authority was to be transferred to the national courts.


   The end of the mixed courts will raise several questions.  Is Egyptian law adequate to handle cases involving foreigners?  Under what law will come questions concerning foreigners' personal status - marriage, divorce, succession, &c.?  What will become of foreign judges and lawyers at the mixed courts?

   Here is how the Egyptian Government has answered these questions:

  1. The Egyptian laws, as well as the mixed code, are based on principles ort French, British, Italian and other codes.  Some special provisions have been dictated by circumstances particular to this country.  If trhe Egyptian law is adequate for nationals, there is no reason why it should not fit foreigners.  However, the Egyptian Government repeatedly stated its intention to modify existing legislation whenever it is necessary with regard to the new situation.
  2. On personal status, Egypt will apply the principle of the Napoleonic code.  This provides that the individual is submitted to his national law on personal status matters.  So the various national laws will be applied by the Egyptian courts.
  3. There are very few foreign judges left at the mixed courts.  These have been replaced gradually by Egyptians during the transitory period. Those still in office on October 15, 1949, will receive a retirement pension.  The lawyers serving at the mixed courts will be admitted to the national courts.  However, as Arabic is the only official language at the national courts, several foreign lawyers will not be able to continue in the profession.  For these a system of pensions, based on age and seniority has been provided for.

   The end of the mixed courts has a very important meaning for Egypt, nationals feel.  As a prominent Egyptian put it, "It will mark the full enforcement of a basic principle of Egypt's democratic constitution - "all are equal before the law."


The Times, 11 October 1949

The British Consular Court in CAIRO sat on Saturday for the last time before its abolition on October 14.


The Mail (Adelaide), 15 October 1949


Cairo, Saturday. - Mixed courts and consular courts in Egypt were closed yesterday.   From today all foreign residents involved in crime, matrimonial disputes, or in any other litigation will come under the Egyptian national courts. - AAP.


The Times, 24 December 1949



The Times, 28 January 1950



The Times, 3 July 1950



Gippsland Times (Australia), 9 September 1950


Hide and Seek.                            

Russell's greatest difficulty was in dealing with foreign traffickers living in Egypt.  According to the Capitulations, foresight subjects could be tried only by their own consular courts.  Once when trying to close a vice-den operated by a Frenchwoman he was refused entry on the grounds that she had sold the premises to an Italian.

Published by Centre for Comparative Law, History and Governance at Macquarie Law School