The Minister in Ethiopia (Southard) to the Secretary of State
[Received November 15.]
Sir: I have the honor to refer to the Legation’s Nos. 1258 and 1261 of October 5 and 12, 1933,7 respectively, with which were submitted draft civil and criminal codes proposed for use in the Special Tribunal (Mixed Court) in Ethiopia. These codes represent the deliberation of a joint Ethiopian and Diplomatic Corps commission, and have been submitted by my colleagues to their respective Governments for comment or approval.
A third project, for the reform or reorganization of the Special Tribunal, has now been taken up by the Diplomatic Corps. The Corps proposes to designate a commission, composed of its junior officers qualified for such work, to meet with an Ethiopian commission to consider a reform or reorganization of the Tribunal. The instructions which the Corps proposes to give its commission as a basis for negotiation with the Ethiopian representatives have been prepared in memorandum form. Before proceeding to the appointment of its commission the members of the Corps are referring the memorandum of proposed instructions for the approval or comment of their respective Governments.
There is enclosed herewith in the original French, with free translation into English, a copy of the Diplomatic Corps memorandum. The instructions of the Department are respectfully requested as to whether this Legation may join with the other foreign Legations here, on the basis of this statement, for the negotiation of a reform or reorganization of the Special Tribunal. The specific designation in the Paragraph 4 of this memorandum of the countries from which the proposed foreign judges may be appointed has been made with a view to avoiding, for obvious reasons, the selection or appointment of a foreign judge of the nationality of any of the Legations represented here. The provision in Paragraphs 8, 15 and 20 for a salary in “gold” is to protect the appointees from exchange fluctuations which could cause them considerable hardship.
The Diplomatic Corps finds itself in doubt as to what authority should have jurisdiction over a foreign judge of the Special Tribunal who might be accused of a crime or an offense, but is definitely of the opinion that such judge should in no circumstance be submitted to a Consular Court for trial or judgment. We have each agreed to request the views [Page 858] of our respective governments on this point, and I have therefore the honor to request the Department’s views.