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United States Department of State / Papers relating to the foreign relations of the United States, transmitted to congress, with the annual message of the president, December 4, 1876

Egypt,   pp. 594-605 PDF (934.1 KB)

Page 595

In default of a favorable answer from the King, Munsinger is ordered to attack
the Abyssinian forces at once and drive them beyond the southern borders
of the province of Hamasen, but to proceed no further.
 Advices from Massowah are now looked for with interest.
I am, &c.,
No. 319.
Mr. Beardsley to Mr. Fish.
Cairo, Egypt, October 2, 1875. (Received November 8.)
 SIR: I have the honor to transmit herewith inclosed a decree of his highness
the Khedive relative to the new codes of laws which have been adopted for
the use of the new judicial tribunals. By virtue of this decree the new codes
will be applied in all the Egyptian tribunals on and after the 18th of the
present month.
 This application of the new codes in all the tribunals of Egypt, as well
as in the new tribunals, is a fact worthy of attention, and marks an important
step in advance in the judicial progress of this country. A fixed and determined
code of laws has long been the great need of the East, and perhaps in no
part of the East has that need been felt more than in Egypt, where the commercial
spirit has .been so wrongfully de. veloped during the past half century,
and where the relations between foreigners and natives are so constant and
 The laws as administrated by the local courts are generally gleaned from
imperfect and obsolete codes, from the dogmas of the Khoran, and from local
customs and precedents.
 It is nOt difficult to find a law, creed, or precedent for any desired decision,
and he who resorts to the local courts for redress, trusting to even-handed
justice for a vindication of his rights, is likely to emerge from court with
anything but exalted ideas of oriental justice.
 The system and the uncertainty of the laws is as much to blame as the dishonesty
of the judicial authorities, and it is hoped that the adop. tion of the new
codes may work a speedy and effectual change for the better.
Yours, &c.,
.Khedivial decree, addressed to the minister of justice the 16 Chaban 1292—September
16, 1875. Considering that the progress of a country finds its most powerful
stimulus in the
codified and published laws; that the laws thus promulgated offer a serious
gnarantee to legitimate interests, assure the repression of culpable acts,
and favor the general development and prosperity; considering that, inspired
by the social wants of the perioa, by the sentiments which animate us to
promote the general welfare and extend civilization, we have succeeded, by
the grace of God, in establishing the laws which form the object of the following
codes: The civil code, the commercial code, the maritime commercial code,
civil and commercial code of procedure, penal cod~, and the code of criminal
 We have sanctioned, and we hereby sanction, the said codes,which we declare
executory in all the Egyptian territory, before all the tribunals and courts
of justice, from the 18th of next October, and we repeal from that date all
laws, ordinances, decrees which are in opposition to them.

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