Chapter 6 The Mahmoud Ben Ayad Case and the Transformation of International Law

In: International Law in the Long Nineteenth Century (1776-1914)
Raphaël Cahen
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Some month after the treaty of Paris that marked the end of the Crimean war and a turning point in international law, a dispute between the Bey of Tunis and Mahmoud Ben Ayad (a Tunisian civil servant who made a fortune with the national treasury before escaping to France and becoming a French Citizens in 1852) was resolved.

In November 1856, Napoleon iii was asked to arbitrate the dispute after nearly two years of work of the litigation committee of the French minister of Foreign Affairs led by Portalis.

This paper recalls the context and the actors of the Mahmoud ben Ayad Case and analyses the impact of the case on the transformation of international law as well as on the juridification of international relations around 1856.

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International Law in the Long Nineteenth Century (1776-1914)

From the Public Law of Europe to Global International Law?