publication . Article . 2016

International Lawyers without Public International Law: The Case of Late Ottoman Egypt

Will Hanley;
Open Access English
  • Published: 30 Oct 2016
  • Publisher: Humanities Commons
This essay is part of a pioneering special issue on Ottoman international law, and analyses the work of several Egyptian and Ottoman lawyers focused on the understudied field of private international law. It argues for greater attention to the history of private international law by examining lawyers and functionaries in Ottoman and post-Ottoman Egypt, an especially productive site for the resolution of disputes about domicile and nationality, not to mention trade and investment. I pays particular attention to 'Abd al-Hamid Abu Haif, an Egyptian jurist who prepared a pioneering Arabic-language study of private international law. Close examination of the writings...
free text keywords: Legal history, Middle Eastern history, Ottoman Empire, History of International Law, Ottoman Legal History, International law, Political science, Ottoman empire, Law, Legal history, Public international law
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63 references, page 1 of 5

6   The problem is posed in Kennedy's classic essay 'International Law and the Nineteenth Century: History of an Illusion', Nordic Journal of International Law 65 (1996), 385-420.

7   Jacob Hurewitz, 'Ottoman Diplomacy and the European State System', Middle East Journal 15 (1961), 141-152.

8   Eliana Augusti, 'From Capitulations to Unequal Treaties: The Matter of an Extraterritorial Jurisdiction in the Ottoman Empire',  Journal of Civil Law Studies 4 (2011), 285-307.

9   Thisistheaccountof TuranKayaoğlu,LegalImperialism:SovereigntyandExtraterritoriality in Japan, the Ottoman Empire, and China (Cambridge: CUP 2010).

10  Antony Anghie,Imperialism, Sovereignty, and the Making of International Law (Cambridge: CUP 2005); Arnulf Becker Lorca, Mestizo International Law: A Global Intellectual History, 1850-1950 (Cambridge: CUP 2015). The late nineteenth century is also the terminus of the world legal-historical process described by Lauren A. Benton, A Search for Sovereignty: Law and Geography in European Empires, 1400-1900 (Cambridge: CUP 2010).

11  On jurisdictional experimentation, Mary Dewhurst Lewis, Divided Rule: Sovereignty and Empire in French Tunisia, 1881-1938 (Berkeley: University of California Press 2013).

12  The classic account of such performances is Selim Deringil, The Well-Protected Domains: Ideology and the Legitimation of Power in the Ottoman Empire, 1876-1909 (London: I.B. Tauris 1998).

13  A brief sketch of these five men appears in Sinan Kuneralp/Emre Öktem (Cedhsa)m,bre des conseillers légistes de la Sublime Porte: rapports, avis et consultations sur la condition juridique des ressortissants étrangers, le statut des communautés non musulmanes et les relations internationales de l'Empire ottoman (1864-1912) (Istanbul: Les éditions Isis, 2012), 10. See also Aimee M. Genell, Empire by Law: Ottoman Sovereignty and the British Occupation of Egypt, 1882-1923 (PhD dissertation, Columbia University 2013).

14  Kuneralp/ÖktemC,hambre des conseillers légistes 2012 (n. 13), 9. Noradounghian would rise to become minister of foreign affairs in 1912.

15  Gabriel Noradounghian (ed), Recueil d'actes internationaux de l'Empire ottoman: traités, conventions, arrangements, déclarations, protocoles, procès verbaux, firmans, berats, lettres patentes et autres documents relatifs au droit public extérieur de la Turquie, 4 vols. (Paris: F. Pichon 1897-1903).

16  Attempts to define the laws of the past in terms of present-day international law suffer from anachronism. Majid Khadduri responded to the exigencies of the Statute of the International Court of Justice by framing saiysarinternational law: Muḥammad ibn al-Ḥasan al-Shaybânî, The Islamic Law of Nations: Shaybânî's Siyar, ed. Majid Khadduri (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press 1966), xii-xiii. More recently, Fatiha Sahli and Abdelmalek El Ouazzani's essay on 'Africa North of the Sahara and Arab Countries', in Bardo Fassbender/Anne Peters (eds), The Oxford Handbook of the History of International Law (Oxford: OUP 2013), 385-406, also asserts the formal similarity between saiynadr international law without addressing the problems of coverage and non-correspondence that this substitution entails for those wishing to understand international law in the Middle East.

17  On theMecelle and its institutionalisation, see Iris Agmon, Family and Court: Legal Culture and Modernity in Late Ottoman Palestine (Syracuse: Syracuse University Press 2006); Avi Rubin, Ottoman Nizamiye Courts: Law and Modernity (New York: Palgrave Macmillan 2011). On siyar , see sources in the previous note.

18  Kuneralp/ÖktemC,hambre des conseillers légistes 2012 (n. 13), 9.

19  For example, the Prime Ministerial Ottoman Archives (Başbakanlık Osmanlı Arşivi) Hariciye Nezareti, Hukuk Müşavirliği, İstişâre Odası 156/5 contains a register of fifty-six cases treated in the period between January 2 and May 28, 1890.

20  Kayaoğlu,Legal Imperialism 2010 (n. 9); Umut Özsu, 'Ottoman Empire', in Fassbender/ Peters (eds), Oxford Handbook 2013 (n. 16), 429-448.

63 references, page 1 of 5
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