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Colonial Cases

Newspaper commentary and minor cases Tangier

The Times, 24 August 1887

JUSTICE IN MOROCCO.

In reply to Mr. A. M'ARTHUR.

SIR J. FERGUSSON said, - Without some specification of the alleged offences it is not possible to say whether the British Consul at Tangier requires fuller powers for their repression should any British subjects be guilty of them.  The Court has power to apply generally the criminal law of England where British subjects are charged with any crime or offence, and a new Order in Council regulating British jurisdiction in Morocco is at the present time under consideration and will shortly be issued.

   Her Majesty's Government have been informed by Her Majesty's Minister at Tangier that no one had been imprisoned at his instance since his arrival, that he had procured the release of two insolvent debtors, and that he had intervened to discourage the detaining of debtors in other cases.  He added that there might be some prisoners for debt at a distance from the capital.

 

The Dundee Courier (Scotland), 12 July 1898

TANGIER MYSTERY.

THE TRIAL OF CALLAN.

Tangier, Monday (Reuter). - The trial of Owen M'Donnell Callan on a charge of attempting to murder Hubert Birkin ...

 

The Times, 1 September 1919

MISMANAGED TANGIER.

A LESSON IN INTERNATIONAL GOVERNMENT.

Letter from The Times Correspondent.

... Of justice we have known, and know, little or nothing.  There are a dozen Consular Courts administering - badly and not always honestly - a dozen different codes of law.  There are, too, the native Courts where about any verdict can be bought, and in the precincts of which almost any forged title to property can be prepared and legalized.  A Consular complaint against a native leads, as a rule, to his immediate imprisonment, to a fine and often to compensation to his European accuser.  A Moorish complainant against a European is told that he must take out a summons, proceed to law in a Consular Court under the particular code of the country of the defendant and pay a fee.  He doesn't know how to do the first, he dare not do the second, and the third is generally impossible, as he seldom has the means.  He abandons his case, in the hopelessness of being able to obtain justice. ...

 

The Times, 8 March 1920

NORTH AFRICA TODAY.

TANGIER AND ITS FUTURE.

INTERNATIONAL CONTROL.

... THE INTERNATIONAL COOKS.

[Lists all the conflicting administrative authorities.] ...

  Whilst giving every credit to the individual committees and services for the work they have achieved, much more might have been done were it not for the jealous rivalry between the Spanish and the French elements.  With an equal number of representatives on the ruling Commission and a varying number on others, the situation is an awkward one.  Each side complains that its proposals are negatived as a matter of course by the other, and consequently little is done; and when any local troubles arise between the two, the protesting party is only referred to the Consular Court of the other - with no prospect of ever getting a decision. ...

 

The Times, 18 June 1923

THE CONSULAR COURTS.

 

The Times, 23 November 1923

TANGIER CONFERENCE.

END OF CAPITULATIONS.

As soon as Tangier is granted its new status the Capitulations, by which the subjects of all the Powers remain under the jurisdiction of their respective Consular officials, will disappear. 

This system of capitulations, originally necessitated by the impossibility of obtaining justice and by the insecurity of life and property, has become an anachronism. ...

 

Northern Star (Lismore, Australia), 2 February 1924

NEW TANGIER.

OUTLET FOR BRITISH TRADE.

RICH AREA OPENED BY TREATY.

... The new treaty drafted in Paris between representatives of Britain, France and Spain settles for the first time the status of that unique Cinderella among cities.  Our rich trade in Morocco, a region stabilized and rapidly being developed by the French, is bound to be affected by the new conditions.  The arrangement reached is a compromise, ending a ten-years-old international wrangle. From our point of view it has both advantages and drawbacks.  One of the latter is that the capitulations disappear.  They gave many privileges to British residents in Tangier, including that of being answerable to the British Consular Court alone.

   But compensation will be found in the revival of foreign trade ...

 

The Times, 16 June 1924

ITALY AND TANGIER.

Italy refuses to recognize the changes, confusion over courts.

 

The Times, 17 January 1929

ITALIAN OFFICIALS FOR TANGIER.

... Signor Fernando Malmusi as Italian Judge in the Mixed Tribunal.... and has been Judge in the Italian Consular Court here.

 

The Times, 29 May 1935

THE FUTURE OF TANGIER.

BRITISH INTERESTS.

A PLEA FOR LEAGUE CONTROL.

... Any revision of the existing statute will almost certainly have to accept the fact that the Americans will not be amenable to any authority but their own Consular Court. [CHARLES E. HOBHOUSE.]

 

The Times, 27 February 1941

BRITISH RIGHTS IN TANGIER.

INTERIM AGREEMENT WITH SPAIN.

... The Spanish Government have given an assurance that there will be no fortification of the zone.  It has also been agreed that, if at any time the Mixed Tribunals should cease to function, the Consular Courts will be re-established and fully recognized.

PROTEST MAINTAINED.

By these arrangements the present economic and legal rights of British subjects in Tangier would be adequately safeguarded pending a final settlement. ...

 

The West Australian (Perth, Australia), 28 February 1941

RIGHTS IN TANGIER.

... It has also been agreed that if at any time the mixed tribunal should cease to function a consular court will be re-established and fully recognised.

 

The Times, 8 April 1944

BRITISH SUBJECT FREED AT TETUAN.

TANGIER, APRIL 7.

Mr. Fereres, a British subject, who was recently imprisoned, contrary to capitulatory rights, by the Spanish authorities in Tetuan on a charge of espionage, has now been released on bail, but has been informed that he must reside at Larache under liability of instant recall by the judicial authorities.

** As reported in The Times of March 29, the British Consul-General in Tangier strongly contested the right of the authorities in Spanish Morocco to imprison British subjects, who come under the jurisdiction of the British consular court.

 

Herald-Journal, 21 December 1952

Cigarette Cargo Hijacked.

Panty-Maker Sentenced for High Seas Piracy.

TANGIER, INTERNATIONAL ZONE, Morocco, Dec. 20 (AP).

A U.S. Consular Court today sentenced a nylon panty manufacturer from Jersey City to three years imprisonment in a high seas piracy case - the hijacking of $100,000 worth of American cigarettes from a Dutch vessel. ... Consular Judge Milton J. Helmick returned the verdict in the case, the Barbary Coast's first reported piracy since World War II and the first ever to be handled by an American Consular Court.

    Overruling his two civilian associates, Judge Helmick found Paley guilty on two charges of aiding and plotting the piracy with a fugitive New York Adventurer, Elliott Forest, 29. ...

 

The Financial Times (London), 21 August 1956

U.S. RIGHTS IN TANGIER.

CONSULAR COURT'S POWER LIMITED.

Tangier, August 20.

The United States Consular Court at Tangier has ceased to exercise jurisdiction in all mixed nationality cases.  This follows an announcement by the American Consulate General that the Court's jurisdiction had been revised to conform to a decision of the International Court of Justice of August 27, 1952.

For the present, the Consular Court will continue to exercise jurisdiction in all disputes, civil or criminal, between citizens or protégés of the U.S., and in certain cases brought against U.S. citizens or protégés.

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