The International Settlement was wholly foreign-controlled, with staff of all nationalities, including British, Americans, Danes, Italians and Germans. In reality, the British held the largest number of seats on the Council and headed all the Municipal departments (British included Australians, New Zealanders, Canadians, Newfoundlanders, and South Africans whose extraterritorial rights were established by the United Kingdom treaty). The Settlement also maintained its own fire-service, police force (the Shanghai Municipal Police), and even possessed its own military reserve in the Shanghai Volunteer Corps.
11.The International Settlement did not have a unified legal system, however Britain and the United States established formal court systems in China to try cases. In cases involving foreigners of other nationalities, a foreign assessor, usually a consular officer, would sit with the Chinese magistrate and in many cases acted like a judge.
12.The currency situation was even more complicated as there was no unified system either. There was one important unit, though and it was called ‘tael’ - a measurement of weight with several different definitions. These included: Customs Taels (for foreign trade), Cotton Taels (for cotton trade), etc. Shanghai had its own tael, which was very similar in weight to the Customs Tael and therefore popular for international business.