|Protectorate of the United Kingdom|
|- 1914-1917||Hussein Kamel|
|- 1917-1922||Ahmad Fuad|
|British High Commissioner|
|- 1915-1917||Henry McMahon|
|- 1917-1919||Reginald Wingate|
|- 1919-1922||Edmund Allenby|
|- 1914-1919||Hussein Rushdi|
|- December 19, 1914||Established|
|- March 15, 1922||Kingdom established|
Egypt is a tributary state of the Ottoman Empire, and is ruled by an hereditary prince with the style of khedive, a Persian title regarded as the equivalent of king. The succession to the throne is by primogeniture. The central administration is carried on by a council of ministers, appointed by the khedive, one of whom acts as prime minister. To these is added a British financial adviser, who attends all meetings of the council of ministers, but has not a vote; on the other hand, no financial decision may be taken without his consent. The ministries are those of the interior, finance, public works, justice, war, foreign affairs and public instruction, and in each of these are prepared the drafts of decrees, which are then submitted to the council of ministers for approval, and on being signed by the khedive become law. No important decision, however, has been taken since 1882 without the concurrence of the British minister plenipotentiary. With a few exceptions, laws cannot, owing to the Capitulations, be enforced against foreigners except with the consent of the powers.
While the council of ministers with the khedive forms the legislative authority, there are various representative bodies with strictly limited powers. The legislative council is a consultative body, partly elective, partly nominative. It examines the budget and all proposed administrative laws, but cannot initiate legislation, nor is the government bound to adopt its suggestions. The general assembly consists of the legislative council and the ministers of state, together with popularly elected members, who form a majority of the whole assembly. It has no legislative functions, but no fiew direct personal tax nor land tax can be imposed without its consent. It must meet at least once in every two years.
Administrative divisions Edit
For purposes of local government the chief towns constitute governorships (moafzas), the rest of the country being divided into mudirias or provinces. The governors and mudirs (heads of provinces) are responsible to the ministry of the interior. The provinces are further divided into districts, each of which is under a mamur, who in his turn supervises and controls the omda, mayor or head-man, of each village in his district.
The governorships are:
- Suez Canal, including Port Said and Ismailia;
- Suez and
Lower Egypt is divided into the provinces of: Behera, Gharbia, Menufia, Dakahlia, Kaliubia, Sharkia. The oasis of Siwa and the country to the Tripolitan. frontier are dependent on the province of Behera. Upper Egypt: Giza, Beth Suef, Fayum, Minia, Assiut, Girga, Kena, Assuan. The peninsula of Sinai is administered by the war office.
There are four judicial systems in Egypt: two applicable to Egyptian subjects only, one applicable to foreigners only, and one applicable to foreigners and, to a certain extent, natives also.
This multiplicity of tribunals arises from the fact that, owing to the Capitulations, which apply to Egypt as part of the Turkish empire, foreigners are almost entirely exempt from the jurisdiction of the native courts. It will be convenient to state first the law as regards foreigners, and secondly the law which concerns Egyptians. Criminal jurisdiction over foreigners is exercised by the consuls of the fifteen powers possessing such right by treaty, according to the law of the country of the offender. These consular courts also judge civil cases between foreigners of the same nationality.
Jurisdiction in civil matters between natives and foreigners and between foreigners of different nationalities is no longer exercised by the consular courts. The grave abuse to which the consular system was subject led to the establishment, in February 1876, at the instance of Nubar Pasha and after eight years of negotiation, of International or Mixed Tribunals to supersede consular jurisdiction to the extent indicated. The Mixed Tribunals employ a code based on the Code Napoleon with such additions from Mahommedan law as are applicable. There are three tribunals of first instance, and an appeal court at Alexandria. These courts have both foreign and Egyptian judgesthe foreign judges forming the majority of the bench. In certain designated matters they enjoy criminal jurisdiction, inclu,ding, since 1900, offences against the bankruptcy laws. Cases have to be conducted in Arabic, French, Italian and English, English having been. admitted as a judicial language by khedivial decree of the 17th of April 1905. Besides their judicial duties, the courts practically exercise legislative functions, as no important law can be made applicable to Europeans without the consent of the powers, and the powers are mainly guided by the opinions of the judges of the Mixed Courts.
The judicial systems applicable solely to Egyptians are supervised by the ministry of justice, to which has been attached since 1890 a British judicial adviser. Two systems of laws are administered:
- the mehkemehs,
- the Native Tribunals.
The mehkemehs, or courts of the cadis, judge in all matters of personal status, such as marriage, inheritance and guardianship, and are guided in their decisions by the code of laws founded on the Koran. The grand cadi, who must belong to the sect of the Hanifis, sits at Cairo, and is aided by a council of Ulema or learned men. This council consists of the sheikh or religious chief of each of the four orthodox sects, the sheikh of the mosque of Azhar, who is of the sect of the Shafiis, the chief (nakib) of the Sherifs, or descendants of Mahomet, and others. The cadis are chosen from among the students at the Azhar university. (In the same manner, in matters of personal law, Copts and other non-Moslem Egyptians are, in general, subject to the jurisdiction of their own religious chiefs.)
For other than the purposes indicated, the native judicial system, both civil and criminal, was superseded in 1884 by tribunals administering a jurisprudence modelled on that of the French code. It is, in the words of Lord Cromer, in many respects ill adapted to meet the special needs of the country. The system was, on the advice of an Anglo-Indian official (Sir John Scott), modified and simplified in 1891, but its essential character remained unaltered. In 1904, however, more important modifications were introduced. Save on points of law, the right of appeal in criminal cases was abolished, and assize courts, whose judgments were final, established. At the same time the penal code was thoroughly revised, so that the Egyptian judges were for the first time provided with a sound working code. The native courts have both native and foreign judges. There are courts of summary jurisdiction presided over by one judge, central tribunals (or courts of first instance) with three judges, and a court of appeal at Cairo. A committee of judicial surveillance watches the working of the courts of first instance and the summary courts, and endeavours, by letters and discussions, to maintain purity and sound law. There is a procureur-general, who, with other duties, is entrusted with criminal prosecutions. His representatives are attached to each tribunal, and form the parquet under whose orders the police act in bringing criminals to justice. In the markak (district) tribunals, created in 1904 and presided over by magistrates with jurisdiction in cases of misdemeanour, the prosecution is, however, conducted directly by the police. Special Childrens Courts have been established for the trial of juvenile offenders.
The police service, which has been subject to frequent modification, was in 1895 put under the orders of the ministry of the interior, to which a British adviser and British inspectors are attached. The provincial police is under the direction of the local authorities, the mudirs or governors of provinces, and the mamurs or district officials; to the oindas, or village head-men, who are responsible for the good order of the villages, a limited criminal jurisdiction has been entrusted.
British High Commissioner
- Henry McMahon (₩) (January 9, 1915 - January 1, 1917)
- Reginald Wingate (₩) (January 1, 1917 - October 7, 1919)
- Edmund Allenby (₩) (October 7, 1919 - March 15, 1922)
- Hussein Rushdi (₩) (December 19, 1914 - Apr 12, 1919)
- Umayyad Caliphate
- Abbasid Caliphate
- Fatimid Islamic Caliphate
- Ayyubid dynasty
- Mamluk Sultanate
- Egypt Eyalet
- Ottoman Empire: Khedivate of Egypt (1867-1914)
- United Kingdom: Kingdom of Egypt (1922-1953)
- Republic of Egypt (1953-1958)
- United Arab Republic (1958-1961)
- United Arab Republic: Egypt (1961-1971)
- Federation of Arab Republics (1972-1977)
- Arab Republic of Egypt (From 1971)
- Suez Canal Zone (1936-1956)