Journal article Open Access

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

Hanley, Will

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 of Abu Haif (as well as those of Gabriel Noradounghian and other late Ottoman lawyers) demonstrates that Ottoman legal history is fertile ground for analyzing the questions of individual status and affiliation that lie at the heart of the (notoriously convoluted) field of conflict of laws.

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