Abstract

Abstract:

In this article, I address the question of how jurisprudence functioned during the Cretan Question of 1895–1899. For this purpose, I analyze the works of Georgios Streit, one of the most famous Greek international lawyers at that time. First, Streit argued that Crete formed a state under the “thin suzerainty” of the Sublime Porte. By this logic, he effectively denied Ottoman sovereignty, although neither the Great Powers nor the Sublime Porte admitted his interpretation. Second, Streit criticized the Great Powers’ special status in international affairs, defending legal equality among what he considered to be civilized states instead. The equal status of the Powers and Greece would justify the latter’s intervention in Ottoman internal affairs. In conclusion, while Streit’s argument that Crete formed a state found support among international lawyers, his criticism of the Powers’ special status did not, a fact that highlights some of the characteristics of nineteenth-century international law.

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