“The town of Aden was tied much more closely into the fabric of the British Empire and developed more rapidly than its surrounding hinterland”. The fundamental law for the Crown Colony of Aden is the Order of Council September 28 1936. Which follows the usual lines of basic legislation for British colonies .
Aden was notable in that Sharia law was not used in the Colony. “All suits, including those dealing with personal status and inheritance of Muslims are entertained in the ordinary secular courts of the colony”. The absence of Sharia courts is the cause of some dissatisfaction in the colony.
Within the Aden Colony there were three local government bodies. The Aden municipality, which covered the town, Tawahi , Maalla and Crater , the Township authority of Sheikh Othman and finally Little Aden had been established in recent years as a separate body, covering the oil refinery and the workers settlement. All of these bodies were under the overall control of the Executive council, which in turn was kept in check by the Governor.
Until the 1st of December 1955, the executive council was entirely unelected. The situation only improved slightly after this date as four members were elected. Judicial administration was also entirely in British hands. “Compared with other British possessions, the development towards self-government and greater local participation has been rather slow".
Education was provided for all children, both boys and girls, until at least intermediate level. Higher education was available on a selective basis through scholarships to study abroad. Primary and Intermediate education was conducted in Arabic while Secondary and independent schools conducted their lessons in Arabic, English, Urdu , Hebrew and Gujarati . There were also for those who wished,
unrecognized Koranic schools for both boys and girls.
The British government had protective treaties with it and subsidized traditional leaders of sheikhdoms from the Strait of Bab-El-Mandeb to Muscat territory at Ras Dharbat.(8)
Two small, unfortified islands in the Red Sea, Perim (area 13 sq km/5 sq mi; population 300) and Kamara'n (area 57 sq km/22 sq mi; population 2,200), were under the administration of the high commissioner in Aden.
In order to stabilize Aden and the surrounding Aden Protectorate from attacks by North Yemen, the British decided to unite the several states of the region in preparation for eventual independence. On January 18, 1963, Aden Colony was incorporated into the Federation of Arab Emirates of the South as the State of Aden and the Federation was renamed the Federation of South Arabia . In 1964, Britain announced its intention to grant independence to the Federation of South Arabia in 1968, but increasing violence prompted Britain to speed up the process.(9)
In 1967, the British abandoned Aden and South Arabia. There was no official hand over of independence. The fate of many aspects of life in the country, the people, institutions and establishments were destined for the unknown.
1) Courtesy of Webmaster: Peter Pickering. Historian: Ingleby Jefferson
Copyright © 2008 web site www.adenhistory.com .
5) Kings of the Arabia, by Harold F. Jacob, Chapter 3,First published in 1923, examines the history of Yemen from the 17th century to the aftermath of the First World War.
6)History of the Colony of Aden https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colony_of_Aden
7)The History of Aden 1839 – 1872, by Zaka Hannah Kour, Chapter 6, pg72 Chapter 3, Published in 1981 in the UK by Frank CASS and Company Ltd.
8) History of the Colony of Aden https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colony_of_Aden
9) History of the Colony of Aden https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colony_of_Aden