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Nationality on Trial: International Private Law across the Mediterranean

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  08 March 2021

Jessica M. Marglin*
Affiliation:
University of Southern California

Abstract

This article uses a single, transnational legal case that played out between Italy and Tunisia in the 1870s and 1880s to tell a truly global history of international law—that is, one that goes beyond the boundaries of the West. Samama v. Samama was a fabulously complicated case that dragged on in Italian courts for almost a decade. The crux of the legal arguments concerned the nationality of Nissim Samama, a Jew born in Tunis; Samama’s nationality, in turn, would determine which legal system regulated his estate. The Italian civil code enshrined respect for the national law of a foreigner, but such foreigners were presumed to be Western. A case involving the national law of Tunisia and the status of Jews called the very foundations of the international legal system into question. In putting Samama’s nationality on trial, the case opened up debate over fissures in the emerging theory of international law: How could non-Western states like Tunisia fit into an international legal order? How did Islamic law intersect with international law? What was the status of Jewish nationhood in a world increasingly based on exclusive nationalities? The Samama case offers access to the voices of European international lawyers debating the ambiguities of their field, as well as those of Maghrebis articulating their own vision of international law. The resulting arguments exposed tensions inherent to an international legal system uncomfortably balanced between universalism and Western particularism.

Type
Microanalysis and Global History
Copyright
© Éditions EHESS 2021

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Footnotes

This article was originally published in French as “La nationalité en procès: droit international privé et monde méditerranéen,” Annales HSS (French Edition) 73, no. 1 (2018): 83–117.

References

1 “Diritto internazionale: Congresso di Oxford,” La riforma, September 18, 1880, p. 1.

2 Annuaire de l’Institut de droit international 5 (1882), 48.

3 Ibid., 48–49.

4 Although international law and international private law eventually split into two largely separate fields, in the late nineteenth century they were still thought of as one. See Alex Mills, “The Private History of International Law,” International and Comparative Law Quarterly 55, no. 1 (2006): 1–50.

5 Annuaire de l’Institut de droit international 5 (1882), 49. Interestingly, Saripolos was Greek, and thus had far more first-hand familiarity with the non-Christian world than most of his colleagues. See Démétrius-Étienne Maurocordatos, “Nicolas-Jean Saripolos, professeur, avocat, orateur et écrivain de la Grèce moderne,” in Extraits de l’histoire des hommes d’État du xix e siècle (Geneva: Direction de l’histoire générale, 1864), 153–55.

6 Spellings of Samama vary considerably and include Shamama, Semama, Scamama, Scemama, Chemama, and Chamama. On the Samama case, see Abdelhamid Larguèche, “Nasim Shammama: un caïd face à lui-même et face aux autres,” in Juifs et musulmans en Tunisie: fraternité et déchirements, ed. Sonia Fellous (Paris: Somogy, 2003), 143–57; Yavel Harouvi, “Les conflits autour du testament du caïd Nessim Scemama d’après quelques sources hébraïques,” in Entre Orient et Occident. Juifs et musulmans en Tunisie, ed. Denis Cohen-Tannoudji (Paris: Éd. de l’éclat, 2007), 143–156; Harouvi, “The Rabbinical Elite of Tunis in the Modern Era, 1873–1921” (PhD diss., Tel Aviv University, 2013; in Hebrew), 75–183; Fatma Ben Slimane, “Définir ce qu’est être Tunisien. Litiges autour de la nationalité de Nessim Scemama (1873–1881),” Revue des mondes musulmans et de la Méditerranée 137 (2015): 31–48.

7 Martti Koskenniemi, “Expanding Histories of International Law,” American Journal of Legal History 56, no. 1 (2016): 104–12, particularly p. 105.

8 Gerrit W. Gong, The Standard of “Civilization” in International Society (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1984), 24–35.

9 For a discussion of how seventeenth- and eighteenth- century theorists of the law of nations considered the place of North African states, see Guillaume Calafat, “Ottoman North Africa and Ius Publicum Europaeum: The Case of the Treaties of Peace and Trade (1600–1750),” in War, Trade and Neutrality: Europe and the Mediterranean in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries, ed. Antonella Alimento (Milan: Franco Angeli, 2011), 171–87.

10 Kurt Nadelmann is the only scholar who has discussed the Samama case in the context of the development of private international law: Kurt H. Nadelmann, “Mancini’s Nationality Rule and Non-Unified Legal Systems: Nationality versus Domicile,” in Conflicts of Law: International and Interstate, ed. Kurt H. Nadelmann (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1972). Although Nadelmann’s article is a good introduction to many of the questions I deal with here, he ultimately is mistaken concerning the nature of the legal disputes involved in the Samama case. Nadelmann focuses on the nationality versus domicile divide in private international law as the crux of the case. In fact, both sides agreed on the nationality principle, but disagreed about Samama’s nationality at the time of his death.

11 Koskenniemi, “Expanding Histories,” 107; Bardo Fassbender and Anne Peters, “Introduction: Towards a Global History of International Law,” in The Oxford Handbook of the History of International Law, ed. Bardo Fassbender and Anne Peters (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012), 1–24, here p. 9. Koskenniemi’s own work is an important exception to this trend: see in particular Martti Koskenniemi, The Gentle Civilizer of Nations: The Rise and Fall of International Law, 1870–1960 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001).

12 Will Hanley, “Statelessness: An Invisible Theme in the History of International Law,” European Journal of International Law 25, no. 1 (2014): 321–27, here p. 324. This approach is attempted in Ben Slimane, “Définir ce qu’est être Tunisien.”

13 Martti Koskenniemi, “Histories of International Law: Dealing with Eurocentrism,” Rechtsgeschichte-Legal History 19 (2011): 152–76; Koskenniemi, “Expanding Histories,” 104. Particularly important in this sense is Fassbender and Peters, The Oxford Handbook of the History of International Law, which claims to correct the Eurocentric history of international law with a truly global approach. On the limitations of this attempt, see Alexandra Kemmerer, “Towards a Global History of International Law? Editor’s Note,” European Journal of International Law 25, no. 1 (2014): 287–95.

14 Antony Anghie, Imperialism, Sovereignty, and the Making of International Law (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005); Turan Kayao ğ lu, Legal Imperialism: Sovereignty and Extraterritoriality in Japan, the Ottoman Empire, and China (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010). Also relevant in this context is Sarah Abrevaya Stein, “Protected Persons? The Baghdadi Jewish Diaspora, the British State, and the Persistence of Empire,” American Historical Review 116, no. 1 (2011): 80–108; Will Hanley, “When Did Egyptians Stop Being Ottomans? An Imperial Citizenship Case Study,” in Multilevel Citizenship, ed. Willem Maas (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013), 89–109.

15 Koskenniemi, “Expanding Histories,” 109. See also Will Hanley, “International Lawyers without Public International Law: The Case of Late Ottoman Egypt,” Journal of the History of International Law 18 (2016): 98–119, here p. 100.

16 For a similar type of case study, see Guillaume Calafat, “Ramadam Fatet vs. John Jucker: Trials and Forgery in Egypt, Syria, and Tuscany (1739–1740),” Quaderni storici 143, no. 2 (2013): 419–40.

17 As Francesca Trivelatto has pointed out, this is a common usage of the term “global” in the context of global history: Trivellato, “Is There a Future for Italian Microhistory in the Age of Global History?” California Italian Studies 2, no. 1 (2011): 1–26, here p. 4.

18 The Italian courts’ attempts to establish a set of norms or even hierarchies to govern the interaction of the various legal systems at play—Italian law, international private law, Tunisian law, and Jewish law—are reminiscent of France’s later attempts to navigate the embedded layers of sovereignty in its colonial rule of Tunisia: see Mary Dewhurst Lewis, Divided Rule: Sovereignty and Empire in French Tunisia, 1881–1938 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2014). Similar attempts to establish a hierarchy of judicial norms in the early modern period are evident in Mediterranean diplomatic history: see Christian Windler, La diplomatie comme expérience de l’autre. Consuls français au Maghreb, 1700–1840 (Geneva: Droz, 2002).

19 Fassbender and Peters, “Introduction,” 16–19; Hanley, “International Lawyers without Public International Law,” 118. For a non-legal example of this approach, see Sebastian Conrad, “Enlightenment in Global History: A Historiographical Critique,” American Historical Review 117, no. 4 (2012): 999–1027.

20 “Applicabilité du droit des gens européen aux nations orientales,” Annuaire de l’Institut de droit international 1 (1877), 141–42, and 3/4 (1879–1880), 300–11.

21 Although the history of international law often focuses on particular cases, these tend to be those brought before international tribunals such as the Permanent Court of International Justice. The Samama case, however, revolved around international law and yet played out in ordinary, national courts; it thus offers a different vantage point on the development of international private law. On the need for new sources if we are to avoid a Eurocentric history of international law, see Rose Parfitt, “The Spectre of Sources,” European Journal of International Law 25, no. 1 (2014): 297–306.

22 On the particular challenges that Jews posed for regimes of international law, see Sarah Abrevaya Stein, Extraterritorial Dreams: European Citizenship, Sephardi Jews, and the Ottoman Twentieth Century (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2016).

23 Trivellato, “Is There a Future for Italian Microhistory,” 5. This is not by any means the only approach taken by Italian microhistorians: others have focused on microstoria as a tool for the intellectual or cultural history of ordinary people or as a way to recover a dense world of social relations. For an example of the former, see Carlo Ginzburg, The Cheese and the Worms: The Cosmos of a Sixteenth-Century Miller [1976], trans. John Tedeschi and Anne C. Tedeschi (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1980); for the latter, see Simona Cerutti, “Microhistory: Social Relations versus Cultural Models,” in Between Sociology and History: Essays on Microhistory, Collective Action, and Nation-Building, ed. Anna-Maija Castrén, Markku Lonkila, and Matti Peltonen (Helsinki: Sks/Finnish Literature Society, 2004), 17–40.

24 I do not, however, claim that Tunisia—or any other non-Western country—was at the center of the development of international law. In seeking to replace the grand narrative of a Eurocentric history of international law, I wish to demonstrate that jurists in Europe and in Tunisia were aware of the tensions and limits within a “law of nations” conceived above all in Europe and North America.

25 Eric Hobsbawn, Nations and Nationalism since 1780: Programme, Myth, Reality, 2nd ed. (1992; repr. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012).

26 Will Hanley, Identifying with Nationality: Europeans, Ottomans, and Egyptians in Alexandria (New York: Columbia University Press, 2017).

27 Fatma Ben Slimane, “Entre deux empires. L’élaboration de la nationalité tunisienne,” in “De la colonie à l’État-nation: constructions identitaires au Maghreb,” special issue, Maghreb et sciences sociales (2012): 107–18; Sabina Donati, A Political History of National Citizenship and Identity in Italy, 1861–1950 (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2013); Will Hanley, “What Ottoman Nationality Was and Was Not,” Journal of the Ottoman and Turkish Studies Association 3, no. 2 (2016): 277–98. France’s first law explicitly dedicated to French nationality was passed in 1889: see Gérard Noiriel, “Socio-histoire d’un concept. Les usages du mot ‘nationalité’ au xix e siècle,” Genèses. Sciences sociales et histoire 20 (1995): 4–23, here pp. 15–16.

28 Sanjay Subrahmanyam, “Connected Histories: Notes towards a Reconfiguration of Early Modern Eurasia,” Modern Asian Studies 31, no. 3 (1997): 735–62; James McDougall, “Modernity in ‘Antique Lands’: Perspectives from the Western Mediterranean,” Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 60, no. 1/2 (2017): 1–17. For a similar argument about nationality in the Arab world, see M’hamed Oualdi, “La nationalité dans le monde arabe des années 1830 aux années 1960. Négocier les appartenances et le droit,” Revue des mondes musulmans et de la Méditerranée 137 (2015): 13–28.

29 The Samama case also suggests that questions about nationality were determined in part “from below”—not only in the halls of parliament and the palaces of Beys, but also by Italian and Tunisian jurists arguing their cases in court. For a history that focuses more on nationality “from below,” see Oualdi, “La nationalité dans le monde arabe.”

30 On this position, see Abdelhamid Larguèche, Les ombres de la ville. Pauvres, marginaux et minoritaires à Tunis, xviii e et xix e siècles (Manouba: Centre de publication universitaire, Faculté des lettres de Manouba, 1999), 353–55.

31 Some sources claim that Samama left Tunis because he was held responsible by the rebels for recent, unpopular tax increases: Larguèche, “Nasim Shammama,” 145; M’hamed Oualdi, Esclaves et maîtres. Les mamelouks des beys de Tunis du xvii e siècle aux années 1880 (Paris: Publications de la Sorbonne, 2011), especially chap. 9 for the larger context of this uprising.

32 The Tunisian government was increasingly indebted to foreign banks in the second half of the nineteenth century: see Jean Ganiage, Les origines du protectorat français en Tunisie, 1861–1881 (Paris: Presses universitaires de France, 1959).

33 Samama obtained a passport from the Italian consulate on March 24: Pasquale Stanislao Mancini, Per gli eredi testamentari del fu Conte Caid Nissim Samama contro i pretendenti alla sua eredità ab intestato. Ricerca della legge regolatrice della successione del testatore (Rome: F. Pallotta, 1880), 255. The Paris Commune lasted from March 18 to May 28, 1871.

34 Ibid., 253.

35 Ya’akov Sapir, ‘Edut be-Yehosef (Mainz: s.n., 1874), 4.

36 For a French translation of the will, see Robert Attal, Le caïd Nessim Samama de Tunis, mécène du livre hébraïque (Jerusalem: R. Attal, 1995). For a Hebrew and Judeo-Arabic translation, see see Yehudah Jarmon, Naḥalat Avot (Livorno: Mordekhai Finzi, 1877), 1a–3b. For a partial family tree, see Harouvi, “Les conflits autour du testament du caïd Nessim Scemama,” 154–55.

37 Numbers 23:8–11 and Deuteronomy 21:17.

38 Attal, Le caïd Nessim Samama, 29.

39 Ganiage, Les origines du protectorat français, 296.

40 Tunis, Archives nationales de Tunisie (hereafter “ANT”), C 102, D 239.19, contract between the Tunisian government and Qa’id Momo, February 27, 1873 (29 Dhū al-ḥijja 1298).

41 M’hamed Oualdi, “Le ‘pluralisme juridique’ au fil d’un conflit de succession en Méditerranée à la fin du xix e siècle,” Revue d’histoire du dix-neuvième siècle 48 (2014): 93–106; Oualdi, “L’héritage du général Husayn. La pertinence du ‘national’ et de la nationalité au début du protectorat français sur la Tunisie,” in Penser le national au Maghreb et ailleurs, ed. Fatla Ben Slimane and Hichem Abdessamad (Tunis: Arabesques, 2013), 65–88. On Ḥusayn’s appointment, see ANT, SH, C 104, D 254.2, June 10, 1873.

42 This question sparked controversy among Jewish jurists, with rabbis on both sides of the Mediterranean and beyond weighing in on whether Samama’s will was valid according to Jewish law. For a partial treatment of the Jewish legal debate concerning the case, see Harouvi, “The Rabbinical Elite of Tunis in the Modern Era,” 85–183.

43 Mancini, Per gli eredi testamentari del fu Conte Caid Nissim Samama, 281. Western jurists had treated Tunisia as a semi-sovereign regime since the seventeenth century: Calafat, “Ottoman North Africa and Ius Publicum Europaeum.”

44 There were, however, instances in which the Ottoman government asserted the Ottomanness of Muslim Tunisian officials whose estates were claimed by the Tunisian Treasury: indeed, this was the case after the death of General Ḥusayn in 1887. See Oualdi, “Le ‘pluralisme juridique,’” 93.

45 Some Tunisian statesmen emphasized their distance from the Sublime Port, for instance Aḥmad Bey, who reigned from 1837 to 1855: see Azzedine Guellouz, Abdelkader Masmoudi, and Mongi Smida, Histoire générale de la Tunisie, vol. 3, Les temps modernes (941–1247 H/1534–1881) (Tunis: Sud éditions, 2007), 376–79. Others, such as the minister Khayr al-Dīn (Khaïrreddine), sought a closer connection with the Ottoman Empire—particularly in order to stave off colonization (ibid., 422–26). A further investigation into Tunisia’s relationship to the Ottoman Empire in the context of the Samama case would be fascinating, but lies beyond the scope of this article.

46 The sentence was pronounced on November 29, 1877, and published on December 28 of that year.

47 ANT, SH, C 105, D 259, Pierantoni to the primo presidente (Cesarini) of the appeals court of Lucca, January 9, 1883.

48 ANT, SH, C 105, D 259, Pierantoni to the primo presidente (Cesarini) of the appeals court of Lucca, January 9, 1883.

49 Mancini, Per gli eredi testamentari del fu Conte Caid Nissim Samama, 22 and 138; Nadelmann, “Mancini’s Nationality Rule,” 51.

50 This was originally an inaugural lecture Mancini gave on taking up a new chair of public and private international law at the University of Turin in 1850: Pasquale Stanislao Mancini, Della nazionalità come fondamento del diritto delle genti. Prelezione al corso di dritto internazionale e marittimo (Turin: E. Botta, 1851); Enrico Catellani, “Les maîtres de l’école italienne du droit international au xix e siècle,” Recueil des cours. Académie de droit international 46, no. 4 (1933): 710–826, here p. 711; Bertrand Ancel, Éléments d’histoire du droit international privé (Paris: Éd. Panthéon-Assas, 2017), 439–56.

51 Codice civile del regno d’Italia (Turin: Stamperia Reale, 1865), vi.

52 Pasquale Stanislao Mancini, “De l’utilité de rendre obligatoires pour tous les États, sous la forme d’un ou de plusieurs traités internationaux, un certain nombre de règles générales du droit international privé pour assurer la décision uniforme des conflits entre les différentes législations civiles et criminelles,” Journal de droit international privé 1, no. 4 (1874): 221–39 and 283–304, here p. 297. Mancini was aware that respect for an individual’s nationality could pose a threat to the sovereignty of the state, which thereby engaged to apply foreign law. He therefore limited the application of extraterritorial laws by adding, in article 12, a clause that prevented the application of a foreign law which went against the “public order” or the “good morals” of Italy. He cited laws permitting slavery, feudalism, and polygamy as examples of those that contravened public order and thus would not be applied even if a foreigner claimed them as his right in his homeland.

53 Nadelmann, “Mancini’s Nationality Rule,” 51–52.

54 In particular, the United Kingdom and the United States refused to adopt the nationality principle and continued to adjudicate according to the law of domicile. Persistent differences among states created inevitable problems. For instance, the estate of a Frenchman who died in England could be regulated by two legal regimes at once. According to British law, the estate was subject to the law of his domicile—meaning British law. But according to French law, the estate was subject to the deceased’s national law—that is, French law. Such conflicts created fertile ground not only for confusion, but for forum shopping and other deliberate subversions of the rule of law. Inspired by the spirit of progress and science, growing numbers of scholars and politicians—Mancini foremost among them—believed that the only solution was to enforce reciprocal treaties among states, which would agree to streamline their respective legislation regarding international private law. Mancini discusses his belief in coordination among states in his brief on the Samama case: Mancini, Per gli eredi testamentari del fu Conte Caid Nissim Samama, 147.

55 Koskenniemi, The Gentle Civilizer of Nations, 39–41. On Gustave Rolin-Jaequemyns, one of the founders of the Institut, see Vincent Genin, “L’institutionnalisation du droit international comme phénomène transnational (1869–1873). Les réseaux européens de Gustave Rolin-Jaequemyns,” Journal of the History of International Law 18 (2016): 181–96. The Annuaire de l’Institut de droit international published an official account of each meeting.

56 Annuaire de l’Institut de droit international 1 (1877), 1.

57 Koskenniemi, The Gentle Civilizer of Nations, 3–4. Koskenniemi traces the concept of the “conscience” of the world to the German historical school of law, associated most famously with Friedrich Carl von Savigny (ibid., 42–44).

58 Ibid., 35–39.

59 Ibid., 57–58.

60 Augusto Pierantoni, Corte di appello di Lucca. Per il governo di S. A. Il bey di Tunisi nella Successione Samama. Parte Prima: Della nazionalità del testatore (Rome: F. Pallotta, 1879), 42–49; Mancini, Per gli eredi testamentari del fu Conte Caid Nissim Samama, 57 and 108–9.

61 Pierantoni concluded his brief supporting a reversal of the Livorno sentence by stating confidently that “the [appeals court of Lucca] will not leave in the annals of this country’s law an erroneous sentence that would compromise the progress of our legislation”: Pierantoni, Della nazionalità come fondamento del diritto delle genti, 211. Mancini, on the other hand, expressed the hope that the appeals court of Lucca would come to a decision that would “radiate in our legal annals as a moment of justice and doctrine”: Mancini, Per gli eredi testamentari del fu Conte Caid Nissim Samama, 355–56.

62 Ben Slimane, “Entre deux empires,” 116.

63 Abdelouahed Belkeziz, La nationalité dans les États arabes (Rabat: Éd. La Porte, 1963), 13; Richard W. Flournoy and Manley O. Hudson, eds., A Collection of Nationality Laws of Various Countries as Contained in Constitutions, Statutes, and Treaties (New York: Oxford University Press, 1929), 567.

64 On the capitulations, see Maurits Van den Boogert, The Capitulations and the Ottoman Legal System: Qadis, Consuls, and Beraths in the 18th Century (Leiden: Brill, 2005); Umut Özsu, “Ottoman Empire,” in Fassbender and Peters, The Oxford Handbook of the History of International Law, 429–48.

65 Belkeziz, La nationalité dans les États arabes, 8–9; Ben Slimane, “Entre deux empires,” 111–12; Hanley, Identifying with Nationality.

66 Guellouz, Masmoudi, and Smida, Histoire générale de la Tunisie, 3:392. The Constitution was, however, suspended in 1864.

67 Flournoy and Hudson, A Collection of Nationality Laws, 568–69; Hanley, “What Ottoman Nationality Was.” On the radical nature of this break with tradition, see Kemal H. Karpat, “Nation and Nationalism in the Late Ottoman Empire,” in Studies on Ottoman Social and Political History: Selected Articles and Essays, ed. Kemal H. Karpat (Leiden: Brill, 2002), 544–54, here p. 546.

68 Lale Can, “The Protection Question: Central Asians and Extraterritoriality in the Late Ottoman Empire,” International Journal of Middle East Studies 48, no. 4 (2016): 679–99; Faiz Ahmed, “Contested Subjects: Ottoman and British Jurisdictional Quarrels in re Afghans and Indian Muslims,” Journal of the Ottoman and Turkish Studies Association 3, no. 2 (2016): 325–46.

69 Belkeziz, La nationalité dans les États arabes, 13. On the Treaty of Madrid, see Jean-Louis Miège, Le Maroc et l’Europe, 1830–1894 (Paris: Presses universitaires de France, 1961), 3:277–92; Frederick V. Parsons, The Origins of the Morocco Question, 1880–1900 (London: Duckworth, 1976); ‘Abd al-Wahhāb Ibn Manṣūr, Mushkilat al-ḥimāya al-qunṣuliyya bi-’l-Maghrib (Rabat: al-Maṭba‘a al-mālikīya, 1985), 77–114.

70 Ben Slimane, “Entre deux empires,” 112.

71 Ibid., 112–13.

72 Hanley, “What Ottoman Nationality Was,” similarly argues that the Ottoman nationality law of 1869 must be understood in the context of extraterritoriality.

73 This was a problem encountered across North Africa: see Jessica M. Marglin, “The Two Lives of Mas‘ud Amoyal: Pseudo-Algerians in Morocco, 1830–1912,” International Journal of Middle East Studies 44, no. 4 (2012): 651–70.

74 Mancini and the other lawyers for the testamentary heirs drew two possible conclusions from their assertion that Samama had renounced his Tunisian nationality: either he had acquired (or recovered) Italian nationality, or he was stateless: Mancini, Per gli eredi testamentari del fu Conte Caid Nissim Samama, 250–55 and 52–64. In either case, Italian law would apply, since the estates of stateless people were regulated by the law of their domicile—a principle suggested to the Institut by Mancini himself and adopted in 1880: Mancini, “De l’utilité de rendre obligatoires pour tous les États,” 304; Annuaire de l’Institut de droit international 5 (1882), 56. The Livornese court had previously ruled that Samama was stateless: Leopoldo Galeotti, Reale Corte d’Appello di Lucca. Memoria in causa Governo di Tunisi e Samama. Applicazione della legge ebraica, legge nazionale del defunto. Nullità di testamento secondo la legge ebraica (Florence: L. Niccolai, 1879), 50.

75 On debates over civilized versus uncivilized nations, see Liliana Obregón, “The Civilized and the Uncivilized,” in Fassbender and Peters, The Oxford Handbook of the History of International Law, 917–39, here pp. 924–25. On the Ottoman Empire’s status as a semi-civilized state, see Umut Özsu, “The Ottoman Empire, the Origins of Extraterritoriality, and International Legal Theory,” in The Oxford Handbook of the Theory of International Law, ed. Anne Orford and Florian Hoffmann (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016), 123–37.

76 Mancini, Per gli eredi testamentari del fu Conte Caid Nissim Samama, 268.

77 Ibid., 280.

78 For the original Arabic, see Al-Giniral Ḥusayn, “Al-qusṭās al-mustaqīm fī ẓuhūr ikhtilāl al-ḥukm bi-nafī jinsīyat al-qā’id Nisīm,” in Ḥayātuhu wa-ātharuhu, ed. A. al-Ṭawīlī (Tunis: s.n., 1994). A contemporary French translation can be found in Général Heussein, Lettre du général Heusseïn au collège de la défense du gouvernement tunisien dans l’affaire du caïd Nessim Samama; traduction de l’arabe (Paris: Veuves Renou, Maulde, et Cock, 1878). The French text leaves out passages towards the end of the Arabic version (pp. 272–76 and 277–78), including the famous quotation from François I (king of France from 1515 to 1547), with which Ḥusayn concludes his text on p. 278: “All can be ruined except honor” (talifa al-kullu illā al-‘irḍ ). Most of the passages omitted from the French translation concern accusations that Samama had stolen from the Tunisian government. An Italian translation was also published two years later: Generale Heussein, Lettera del generale Heussein agli onorevoli avvocati componenti il collegio della difesa del governo di Tunis (Florence: M. Ricci, 1880).

79 “Wa-ḍiyā‘u al-jinsīyata lā aṣla lahu fī sharī‘ati al-islāmi,” Al-Giniral Ḥusayn, “Al-qusṭās al-mustaqīm,” 237; Général Heussein, Lettre du général Heusseïn au collège de la défense du gouvernement tunisien, 7.

80 For instance, Ḥusayn argued that Muslims were free to emigrate, but stressed that they were also subject to Islamic law while they were abroad: Al-Giniral Ḥusayn, “Al-qusṭās al-mustaqīm,” 237; Général Heussein, Lettre du général Heusseïn au collège de la défense du gouvernement tunisien, 7.

81 Pierantoni, Della nazionalità come fondamento del diritto delle genti, 154–55.

82 Ibid., 156.

83 The question of expatriation in the United States was complicated, and there was no law guaranteeing this right until 1868: Flournoy and Hudson, A Collection of Nationality Laws, 578–79. Nonetheless, most American jurists believed that the Constitution guaranteed the right to expatriation, although there was disagreement about how it might be exercised: James H. Kettner, “The Development of American Citizenship in the Revolutionary Era: The Idea of Volitional Allegiance,” American Journal of Legal History 18, no. 3 (1974): 208–42, here p. 242.

84 Mancini, Per gli eredi testamentari del fu Conte Caid Nissim Samama, 268.

85 Nor was Mancini alone in his view of expatriation. George Cogordan, a French jurist who published one of the first books on the law of nationality in 1879, made an even more forceful argument for the necessity of recognizing a universal right of expatriation. Cogordan saw nationality as a contract between an individual and a state. As such, “it would be shocking and an infringement of human liberty if an individual were definitively chained to the allegiance attributed him by his birth”: George Cogordan, La nationalité au point de vue des rapports internationaux (Paris: L. Larose, 1879), 7.

86 Mancini, Per gli eredi testamentari del fu Conte Caid Nissim Samama, 284 and 299.

87 Ibid., 292.

88 Pierantoni, Della nazionalità come fondamento del diritto delle genti, 146.

89 Ibid., 146–47. The text is from a speech Mancini gave in parliament in 1875, entitled “Modificazione della giurisdizione esercitata dai Consolati italiani in Egitto,” and can be found in Pasquale Stanislao Mancini, Discorsi parlamentari di Pasquale Stanislao Mancini. Raccolti e pubblicati per deliberazione della Camera dei Deputati (Rome: Tipografia della Camera dei Deputati, 1895), 580.

90 Pierantoni, Della nazionalità come fondamento del diritto delle genti, 150.

91 Ibid., 46.

92 Pierantoni’s colleague from among the defense lawyers, Leopolod Galeotti, was even more explicit in his claim that Tunisia was part of the sphere to which international law applied. Galeotti argued that the Ottoman Empire and Tunisia were both subject to ius commune because both had been part of the ancient Roman Empire and were thus subject to the Justinian Code applied in these territories: Galeotti, Applicazione della legge ebraica, 87. Both Mancini and Pierantoni argued that the mutual recognition of national laws should be a duty among states, enshrined in international treaties, rather than an act of good will (comitas): Mancini, “De l’utilité de rendre obligatoires pour tous les États,” 227–31.

93 Annuaire de l’Institut de droit international 4 (1879–1880), 1:300. The one exception was Joseph Hornung (1822–1884), a jurist from Geneva, who argued that extraterritoriality was Eurocentric and unjust: ibid., 305–7.

94 Similar ambiguity is found in the 1856 Treaty of Paris, which gave the Ottoman Empire the right to “share in the advantages of European international law and the concert of nations,” but did not abolish the capitulations—the main sign of Ottoman inequality. See Özsu, “The Ottoman Empire and the Abode of Islam,” 437–38; Hanley, “International Lawyers without Public International Law,” 1000.

95 Gong, The Standard of “Civilization”; Richard S. Horowitz, “International Law and State Transformation in China, Siam, and the Ottoman Empire during the Nineteenth Century,” Journal of World History 15, no. 4 (2004): 445–86; Özsu, “The Ottoman Empire, the Origins of Extraterritoriality”; Davide Rodogno, “European Legal Doctrines on Intervention and the Status of the Ottoman Empire within the ‘Family of Nations’ Throughout the Nineteenth Century,” Journal of the History of International Law 18, no. 1 (2016): 5–41.

96 Moria Paz, “A Most Inglorious Right: René Cassin, Freedom of Movement, Jews and Palestinians,” in The Law of Strangers: Critical Perspectives on Jewish Lawyering and International Legal Thought, ed. James Loeffler and Moria Paz (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019).

97 Pierantoni, Della nazionalità come fondamento del diritto delle genti, 8.

98 This is a somewhat unusual distinction: it is more common to distinguish between subjects and citizens, the former being individuals who live in non-democratic states, the latter those who are able to vote and exercise other political rights. Both subjects and citizens, however, are normally considered nationals of their respective states. See Paul Weis, Nationality and Statelessness in International Law (London: Stevens, 1956), 4–5.

99 Mancini, Per gli eredi testamentari del fu Conte Caid Nissim Samama, 246.

100 “Anna al-siyāsata al-islāmīyata murṭābitata bil-dīni, fa-ra‘āyā al-islāmi ‘alā ikhtilāfi ajnāsihim wa-millihim munāqadūnu li-aḥkāmi sharī‘ati al-islāmi”: Al-Giniral Ḥusayn, “Al-qusṭās al-mustaqīm,” 236; Général Heussein, Lettre du général Heusseïn au collège de la défense du gouvernement tunisien, 6.

101 “Thumma lammā kānat al-jinsīyatu fī sharī‘ati al-islāmi manūṭatu bil-dīni bil-nisbati lil-muslimi, wa-bi-‘ahdi al-dhimmati bil-nisbati lil-ra‘āyā ghayri al-muslimīni”: Al-Giniral Ḥusayn, “Al-qusṭās al-mustaqīm,” 252; Général Heussein, Lettre du général Heusseïn au collège de la défense du gouvernement tunisien, 20.

102 “Wal-diyānatu al-islāmiyatu ja‘alat li-ahli dhimmati al-islāmi mā lil-muslimīni wa-‘alayhim mā ‘alayhim”: Al-Giniral Ḥusayn, “Al-qusṭās al-mustaqīm,” 277. Here, the French translation is more specific than the original Arabic: “In effect, Islamic law grants to non-Muslims under Muslim jurisdiction the same nationality and the same rights as Muslims, and imposes upon them the same obligations”: Général Heussein, Lettre du général Heusseïn au collège de la défense du gouvernement tunisien, 35. To drive his point home, Ḥusayn added that it was this very equality that had attracted Jews to the Islamic world in the first place. Presumably he had in mind the Jews exiled from the Iberian Peninsula in 1492, many of whom made their way to North Africa.

103 Mark R. Cohen, Under Crescent and Cross: The Jews in the Middle Ages (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1994), chap. 4, “The Legal Position of Jews in Islam,” 52–75.

104 On the circumstances surrounding the passing of the ‘Ahd al-amān, see Ridha Ben Rejeb, “La question juive et les réformes constitutionelles en Tunisie,” and Yaron Tsur, “Réformistes musulmans et juifs en Tunisie à la veille de l’occupation française,” in Fellous, Juifs et musulmans en Tunisie, respectively 131–42 and 161–68; Guellouz, Masmoudi, and Smida, Histoire générale de la Tunisie, 3:382–87. On Batto Sfez, see Habib Jamoussi, Juifs et chrétiens en Tunisie au xix e siècle. Essai d’une étude socio-culturelle des communautés non-musulmanes, 1815–1881 (Sfax: Amal Éditions, 2010), 197.

105 Ben Slimane, “Entre deux empires,” 110.

106 In the Ottoman Empire, for instance, the poll tax traditionally imposed on dhimmīs (known as the jizya) was simply replaced by the bedel-i askeri, a tax that granted non-Muslims exemption from military service—they remained exempt until the 1856 abolishment of the dhimma: see İlker Aytürk, “Bedel-i Askeri,” in Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World, ed. Norman A. Stillman (Leiden: Brill, 2010), 1:360–61. Karpat identifies the Crimean War as a major turning point for the status of non-Muslims in the Ottoman Empire: Karpat, “Nation and Nationalism,” 546–47.

107 Jamoussi, Juifs et chrétiens en Tunisie au xix e siècle, 201–4.

108 Larguèche, Les ombres de la ville, 376; Oualdi, Esclaves et maîtres, 333. A number of Muslims also complained about Jews living outside the Jewish quarter in Tunis: Larguèche, Les ombres de la ville, 377.

109 Abdelkrim Allagui, Juifs et musulmans en Tunisie. Des origines à nos jours (Paris: Tallandier/Projet Aladin, 2016), 59–60. The exception was the al-Majlis al-a’lā (the Grand Council), the equivalent of a supreme court—a council of sixty representatives instituted with the Constitution of 1861, to which Jews were not admitted.

110 See the arguments made by Ibn Abī Diyāf, reformer and historian of Tunisia, discussed in Mohamed-Hédi Chérif, “Ben Dhyâf et les juifs tunisiens,” Confluences Méditerranée 10 (1994): 89–96, particularly pp. 91–92; Tsur, “Réformistes musulmans,” 161–62; Jessica M. Marglin, “A New Language of Equality: Jews and the State in Nineteenth-Century Morocco,” British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies 43, no. 2 (2016): 158–75. Ḥusayn’s argument about the equality of Jews and Muslims was somewhat at odds with his earlier position concerning the admittance of Jews to the al-Majlis al-a’lā; Ḥusayn had argued that Jews should not be admitted, although he did not deny their equality before the law: Louis Bercher, “En marge du pacte ‘fondamental.’ Un document inédit,” Les cahiers de Tunisie 79/80 (1972): 243–60; Larguèche, Les ombres de la ville, 373. From the 1880s, Ḥusayn became openly anti-Semitic: Oualdi, Esclaves et maîtres, 379–80.

111 Despite this omission, he was certainly familiar with these texts: Ben Slimane notes that Ḥusayn presented a translation of the ‘Ahd al-amān and the Constitution of 1861 to the defense lawyers in 1878: Ben Slimane, “Définir ce qu’est être Tunisien,” 15, n. 62.

112 Mancini, Per gli eredi testamentari del fu Conte Caid Nissim Samama, 285.

113 Jews were permitted to acquire real estate and wear red fezzes in a decree of 1858: Larguèche, Les ombres de la ville, 358 and 372; Allagui, Juifs et musulmans en Tunisie, 61. It is not clear to me whether they were previously prohibited from engaging in agriculture.

114 Pierantoni, Della nazionalità come fondamento del diritto delle genti, 8.

115 During the Risorgimento, Piedmont was the first Italian territory to emancipate Jews in 1848. But it was not until 1870—when Rome finally became part of the new Italian state—that the last ghetto was abolished and all Jews of Italy were given full and equal citizenship: Mario Rossi, “Emancipation of the Jews in Italy,” Jewish Social Studies 15, no. 2 (1953): 113–34, here pp. 123–24 and 133–34. For Pierantoni’s argument, see his Della nazionalità come fondamento del diritto delle genti, 14 and 19.

116 Pierantoni pointed out that a number of countries, including the United States, Germany, and Switzerland, allowed different laws for individual states, regions, or cantons, yet provided everyone with the same rights as nationals. He equated this federalism with the kind of autonomy offered to Jews in Tunisia: Pierantoni, Della nazionalità come fondamento del diritto delle genti, 14.

117 Saba Mahmood, “Religious Freedom, the Minority Question, and Geopolitics in the Middle East,” Comparative Studies in Society and History 54, no. 2 (2012): 418–46.

118 Léon Elmilik, Observations relatives au testament de feu le général comte Nissim Samama de Tunis et présenté à messieurs les juges européenes et aux rabbins israélites (Bona: Impr. J. Dagand, 1878), 28–29. Indeed, Elmilik even suggested that those Jews who were full citizens of states like Italy—and had thus relinquished the privilege of following their own national law—still considered themselves part of a single nation of Jews.

119 Galeotti, Applicazione della legge ebraica, 30.

120 Ibid., 29 and 48.

121 Ibid., 169 and 373–74.

122 Rossi, “Emancipation of the Jews in Italy.”

123 Mancini, Per gli eredi testamentari del fu Conte Caid Nissim Samama, 65.

124 Ibid., 66.

125 Ibid., 67.

126 Pierantoni, Della nazionalità come fondamento del diritto delle genti, 30.

127 Ibid., 128–29, quoting article 29 of the Tunisian Constitution.

128 There were, however, Italians—including prominent politicians—who continued to argue that Jews constituted a separate nation and could not be considered truly Italian: Elizabeth Schächter, The Jews of Italy, 1848–1915: Between Tradition and Transformation (London: Vallentine Mitchell, 2011), 110–11. Mancini further argued that even if Jews were a nation, their law was not a national law in the true sense, but rather a series of “simple practices and traditions”: Mancini, Per gli eredi testamentari del fu Conte Caid Nissim Samama, 93, 103, and 240. Despite Mancini’s professed progressivism, his description of Jewish law offers more than a hint of the anti-Semitic stereotypes that pervaded even the most liberal corners of nineteenth-century Europe: see Schächter, The Jews of Italy, chap. 4.

129 Carlo Cesarini, “Samama v. Samama, Corte d’Appello di Lucca,” Annali della giurisprudenza italiana 14 (1880), 3:216–51.

130 Rome, Istituto per la storia del Risorgimento, Mancini 856.13, Moses Samama to Pasquale Stanislao Mancini, June 22, 1880.

131 Pasquale Stanislao Mancini et al., Eredi Samama contro il Governo di Tunisi e LL. CC. Confutazioni dei ricorsi, rinunzia alle nazionalità, testamento valido (Florence: L. Niccolai, 1881), 3.

132 Ibid.

133 I have been unable to locate a copy of this brief; it is referred to in ANT, SH, C 105, D 259, Pierantoni to the primo presidente (Cesarini) of the appeals court of Lucca, January 9, 1883.

134 Calcedonio Inghilleri, “Samama v. Samama,” Annali della giurisprudenza italiana 17 (1883), 1:306–10, and 3:377–414.

135 ANT, SH, C 105, D 259, Pierantoni to the primo presidente (Cesarini) of the appeals court of Lucca, January 9, 1883; “Mancini, Pasquale Stanislao,” Dizionario biografico degli Italiani, vol. 68 (2007), http://www.treccani.it/enciclopedia/pasquale-stanislao-mancini_(Dizionario-Biografico).

136 On these agreements between Erlanger and the various potential heirs, see ANT, SH, C 104, D 246, Giacomo Gutierres to Mohamed El Aziz Bou Attar, January 1, 1886. In addition, the Tunisian government agreed to split the earnings from the estate with Erlanger: Tunisia would get 28 percent and Erlanger 72 percent: see ANT, SH, C 12, D 109, contract between Giacomo Gutierres (agent of the Tunisian government) and Albert Dubois (agent of Émile Erlanger and Co.), September 8, 1881.

137 Inghilleri, “Samama v. Samama.”

138 Ibid., 414.

139 Elmilik, Observations relatives au testament de feu le général comte Nissim Samama, 19.

140 Ibid., 20. Elmilik’s appraisal of Samama’s approach to nationality suggests that the concept of “flexible citizenship” is not a result of late-twentieth-century globalization, but a reality that dates back at least to the nineteenth century: see Aihwa Ong, Flexible Citizenship: The Cultural Logics of Transnationality (Durham: Duke University Press, 1999).

141 Julia Clancy-Smith, Mediterraneans: North Africa and Europe in an Age of Migration, c. 1800–1900 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2011), chap. 6; Ziad Fahmy, “Jurisdictional Borderlands: Extraterritoriality and ‘Legal Chameleons’ in Precolonial Alexandria, 1840–1870,” Comparative Studies in Society and History 55, no. 2 (2013): 305–29; Jessica M. Marglin, Across Legal Lines: Jews and Muslims in Modern Morocco (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2016), 50 and 148–49.

142 Hanley, Identifying with Nationality. Ironically, the triumph of nationality after World War I occurred without the victory that Mancini and Pierantoni had envisioned in their work on international private law. The nationality principle for which Mancini had so valiantly fought in his own academic career was at its zenith during the decade of adjudication over the Samama case. By the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, jurists realized that countries like Britain and the United States would never give up domicile as the deciding factor in private international law. Instead of Mancini’s vision of a world in which all countries agreed on the same international legal principles, the globe became fundamentally divided between those countries that adhered to the nationality principle and those that retained the territorial principle—a division that remains today. See Mills, “The Private History of International Law,” 41.

143 Mancini, Discorsi parlamentari, 580.

144 Indeed, questions of inheritance are particularly apt to bring up complicated questions of nationality: as Hanley puts it, “nationality games began with the dead” (“When Did Egyptians Stop Being Ottomans,” 104). For further examples, see Stein, “Protected Persons.” See also the lawsuits surrounding the inheritance of Abraham Senior, an Algerian Jew who died in Ottoman Jerusalem in 1845: Aix-en-Provence, Archives nationales d’outre mer, France, Algerie, Oran, 3U/1, and the judgment from the court of cassation of Paris, August 19, 1858: Journal du Palais de Paris 70 (1859), 64–65.

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