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With regard to the juridical status of “foreign subjects'' in the occupied territory, the following Rules of Court, issued under date of August 1st by the senior judicial officer, warrant quotation textually quite as much for their excellent draftsmanship as for their particular interest:
1. The expression “foreign subjects” means subjects of any European or American state, and includes corporations constituted under the laws of such states, and religious or charitable bodies or institutions wholly or mainly eom. posed of individuals the subject of such state, but does not include protected subjects.
2. Foreign subjects accused of an offence (other than a contravention) which is within the jurisdiction of magistrate may claim to be tried by a British magistrate.
3. Foreign subjects accused of an offence which is beyond the jurisdiction of a magistrate may claim that their interrogation during the preliminary investigation should be undertaken, and the question of their release on bail and of their committal for trial should be decided, by a British examining judge.
4. Foreign subjects committed for trial may claim:
(a) In the case of offences triable before a court of first instance, that their trial should take place before a court the composition of which includes at least one British judicial officer.
(b) In the case of offences triable before the Court of Assize, that their trial should take place before a court the composition of which includes a majority of British judicial officers.
5. In civil actions over fifty pounds Egyptian in value, foreign subjects may claim that the final judgment in a court of first instance should be given by a court the composition of which includes at least one British judicial officer.
6. In civil or criminal cases foreign subjects may claim that their appeal should be heard before a court the composition of which includes at least one British judicial officer.
7. Persons claiming to be treated as foreign subjects who do not make their claim either on first appearance or in the first written pleading delivered to the court, whichever be the earlier, shall forfeit their right so to claim. Nevertheless the claim may be made on appeal notwithstanding that it has not been made in first instance.
8. The burden of proof that they are entitled to be treated as foreign subjects shall be upon persons claiming the rights aforesaid.
9. Where any person claims and substantiates his claim to be treated as a foreign subject the court shall be constituted in conformity with the foregoing rules, and, if necessary, the case shall be adjourned to enable this to be done.
It has furthermore been provided that:
When in any action properly brought before the civil courts a question of personal status arises the determination of which is necessary for the purposes of the action, the civil courts may, determine the question and may, to that end, have recourse, whether by way of stating a case of opinion or by oral examination, to a competent jurist having knowledge of the personal law applicable.
It will be noted that these provisions amply safeguard the interests of foreigners without raising the troublesome question of the Turkish Capitulations. While Great Britain and the United States, among other Powers, refused to acquiesce in the suppression of the regime of the Capitulations by the Porte on October 1, 1914, the military occupation of Ottoman territory does not ipso facto revive that regime. The supreme authority that makes itself responsible for the maintenance of law and order in occupied territory is naturally the army. The military authorities must necessarily reserve the right to make such rules and regulations as shall most effectively safeguard all interests. In the case of foreign subjects, as indicated by the legal provisions above quoted, the British military authorities, without attempting to revive the cumbrous machinery of the Capitulations involving the existence of consular tribunals, have admirably met the requirements of the situation. A foreign subject will not be left unprotected in the hands of native judicial officials, and in matters affecting his personal status-such as divorce and guardianship
- he is entitled to be judged according to the law of his own country. There is therefore no need for consular tribunals which, as a matter of fact, no longer exist and which it would be difficult to re-establish under actual conditions of military occupation.
For the administration of this reorganized judicial system a number of British officials who have had special training in Egypt and elsewhere have been secured to serve as judges and in other capacities. Among these are Major J. H. Scott, author of The Law Affecting Foreigners in Egypt, and Major Norman Bentwich, editor of International Law Cases. Great care has been taken to secure the services of native officials of ability and integrity representing various races and creeds. These officials, moreover, are paid greatly enhanced salaries, amounting in many instances to an increase ranging from 70% to 100%. This should result in the material improvement of the status of the judicial officials and consequently in the elimination of an insidious cause of corruption under the Turkish regime.
This reorganization of the judicial system in occupied territory reveals the peculiar genius of the British for the administration of dependencies, and particularly their sure instinct for justice and fair play. Perhaps the most striking feature of this great reform is that the aim has been, as in the bringing of water to Jerusalem, to carry justice wherever it may be most needed. No longer will the people be in the attitude of humble suppliants for justice from distant officials more concerned with “backsheesh” than with mercy. The courts will themselves go out to the people for the avowed purpose of protecting their rights. British officials of special ability will watch vigilantly that the old wrongs and abuses shall not return, and that public law and order shall be vindicated. With such a vivid object lesson of honorable dealing constantly before their eyes, the whole population cannot fail to be educated to higher standards of justice and morality.
It is a great satisfaction in the wreck and ruin of war to contemplate the blessings which inevitably follow British occupation of territory long groaning under corruption and oppression. The establishment of justice is the supreme justification and end of war: fiat justitiam peruit mundus! Such preëminently is the sacred aim of the present world struggle. The achievements of Great Britain in this respect in the Holy Land call for the highest praise. They stand as a splendid monument to the men who have had the privilege of participating in so noble a work.
PHILIP MARSHALL BROWN.
DR. RESTREPO'S VIEWS OF THE RELATIONS BETWEEN LATIN AMERICA
AND THE UNITED STATES
In an address delivered by Dr. Carlos E. Restrepo, former President of Colombia, before the Ibero American Association, in the City of New York, on July 30, 1918, certain views are expressed which deserve to survive the occasion which gave them birth. Thus he says: “Let us live in peace, let us be industrious and upright, let us respect our given word, let us have liberty, and practice it, and right and strength and progress shall be ours." These things he considers as prerequisites.
In the next passage of his address Dr. Restrepo states what should in his opinion be done if the relations of the American states are to be what they should be:
And then, let us know one another, let us cultivate our mutual interests which are numerous, let us aid one another in our weakness, let us consolidate in our just causes, and we will see when this is accomplished how our international personality has become worthy of respect and is respected.
In the passages just quoted the distinguished ex-President has had the Latin American states in mind. He now passes to the great republic to the north, and states the simple truth when he says:
There is still another requisite to the attainment of a fruitful union, and this is the understanding with the United States and a reciprocal knowledge between them and our countries. Many of our differences grow out of mutual ignorance and lack of acquaintance. In this sense, there are many prejudices to be destroyed, and I feel sure that if we know one another better, we will esteem one another more.
He then proceeds to elaborate the thought, without, however, giving it concrete application to the dispute between Colombia and the United States, and its action in Panama and the Canal:
Each must be autonomous and enjoy its own sovereignty. Otherwise the weak may believe that what the Latin philosopher said of men is also true of nations, that friendship with the powerful was never loyal.
Let us be just, and confraternity will reign among the peoples of the earth. Let every one examine his own conscience and let every one see to it that in coming to the banquet of nations his feet are clean and his hands are pure.
If a wrong has been done, that it has been obliterated, if an offense that it has been pardoned, if an injustice that full reparation has been made therefor.
The distinguished visitor who honored the country with his presence was the Chief Executive of Colombia during the negotiation of the treaty between his State and the United States, by virtue whereof the United States bound itself to pay the sum of twentyfive million dollars in full settlement of the disputes existing between them.
The treaty negotiated by President Wilson's administration has been sent to the Senate of the United States. It has not yet been ratified; it can not be predicted whether it will or will not be approved, but it is in the interest of the Americas that disputes between them be settled peaceably; that each side feel the settlement to be just, and that the obstacles to a genuine and loyal friendship be removed in order that the American States may feel themselves united by the bonds of justice and hope to participate in its administration.
JAMES BROWN SCOTT.
LORD HALDANE'S DIARY OF NEGOTIATIONS BETWEEN GERMANY AND
ENGLAND IN 1912
Lord Haldane's visit to Germany in the month of February, 1912, in order to reach an agreement on the part of Great Britain and Germany upon the naval program of each country, was a failure. This was inevitably so, because Germany, on the one hand, insisted upon its naval program, which included a new squadron, and a law by virtue whereof its fleet should be materially increased; and because Great Britain, on the other hand, was determined to make such additions to its navy as would meet the German increase, and preserve the standard of superiority upon which Great Britain believed its safety depended. The Conference therefore broke up.
There was, however, an understanding that negotiations were not to drop; that Lord Haldane, upon his return, would privately inform the Imperial German Chancellor, von Bethmann-Hollweg, concerning the naval program; and that an attempt should be made in both countries to reach an agreement of a kind calculated to prevent war between them; to define the duty of neutrality, and in the event of war, to hit upon some method of localizing the conflict.
The German Ambassador, Prince Lichnowsky, was friendly, but as he himself has admitted in his “Memorandum," he did not have influence at home, and Germany apparently preferred to communicate with the British Government through Count Metternich.
The preoccupation of Germany seemed to be to obtain a free hand for any adventure which it might care to undertake in the future, and to have Great Britain tie its hands in so far as Germany was concerned, and it is believed that the formula" of the Imperial German Chancellor, drafted early in 1912 for Lord Haldane, shows better than almost any document hitherto published the intent of Germany at that time to prepare itself for an approaching war. This document and the negotiations in connection with it were issued August 31, 1915, by the Foreign Office in the form of a statement respecting the Anglo-German negotiations of 1912.”
The formula already referred to, as submitted early in 1912 by the Imperial German Chancellor, is as follows:
1. The high contracting parties assure each other mutually of their desiro of peace and friendship.