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Full text of "The Egyptian Problem"

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60
THE EGYPTIAN PROBLEM
CHAP.
but from foreign Powers. For it is they who designate the majority of the judges of the Mixed Tribunals, whose formal appointment alone has been left as a mere matter of courtesy to the ruler of Egypt, and these judges are themselves foreigners and considerably omtnumber their Egyptian colleagues. In many ways the creation of the Mixed Tribunals, which was the result of Nubar Pasha's far-sighted statesmanship some years before the Occupation, has been of the greatest benefit to Egypt. It at once curtailed some of the extravagant rights hitherto enjoyed by foreigners under the Capitulations by bringing the bulk of civil cases between foreigners and Egyptians, as well as between foreigners themselves, within one single jurisdiction, instead of leaving them, as formerly was the case, to the mercy of a number of Consular Courts of varying competence and integrity, and it established at the same time a strong and unified judicature which- in spite of occasional scandals has on the whole set up a higher standard of equity and of honesty than Egypt had ever before known. Egyptians themselves have constantly recognised this by agreeing to submit their own civil cases to the Mixed Tribunals rather than to the Native Courts. Nevertheless, and for that very reason, foreign influence is unquestionably more strongly entrenched than ever in these tribunals, which have already shown at times how effectively their authority can be invoked for political purposes against the Egyptian Executive, very few Continental judges being trained in traditions of judicial independence that would enable them to resist the pressure of their own Governments. Interference of this kind, however, became far less frequent when international friction diminished during the later period of the Occupation, and may be expected to disappear altogether if once politically stable conditions are established in Egypt, whilst foreign jurisdiction cannot possibly be eliminated, though many practical reforms are admittedly desirable, so long as the Egyptian educated classes hold almost, however, to produce        danger of foreign complications.