Secretary of State Gresham’s Report to President Cleveland Regarding the Illegal Overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom Government on January 17, 1893

To ensure clarity as to what actually happened on January 17, 1893, below is the report by Secretary of State Walter Gresham to President Grover Cleveland dated October 18, 1893. The report stems from the periodic reports to the Secretary of State from James Blount as Special Commissioner. From April 1, 1893, when he began the investigation, to his final report dated July 17, 1893. Gresham’s report led to President Cleveland’s message to the Congress on December 18, 1893, concluding that the “military demonstration on the soil of Honolulu was of itself an act of war,” and that “the provisional government owes its existence to an armed invasion by the United States.”


Washington, October 18, 1893


The full and impartial reports submitted by the Hon. James H. Blount, your special commissioner to the Hawaiian Islands, established the following facts:

Queen Liliuokalani announced her intention on Saturday, January 14, 1893, to proclaim a new constitution, but the opposition of her ministers and others induced her to speedily changer her purpose and make a public announcement of that fact.

At a meeting in Honolulu, late on the afternoon of that day, a so-called committee of public safety, consisting of thirteen men, being all or nearly all who were present, was appointed “to consider the situation and devise ways and means for the maintenance of the public peace and the protection of life and property,” and at a meeting of this committee on the 15th, or the forenoon of the 16th of January, it was resolved amongst other things that a provisional government be created “to exist until terms of union with the United States of America have been negotiated and agreed upon.” At a mass meeting which assembled at 2 p.m. on the last-named day, the Queen and her supporters were condemned and denounced, and the committee was continued and all its acts approved.

Later the same afternoon the committee addressed a letter to John L. Stevens, the American minister at Honolulu, stating that the lives and property of the people were in peril and appealing to him and the United States forces at his command for assistance. This communication concluded “we are unable to protect ourselves without aid, and therefore hope for the protection of the United States forces.” On receipt of this letter Mr. Stevens requested Capt. Wiltse, commander of the U.S.S. Boston, to land a force “for the protection of the United States legation, United States consulate, and to secure the safety of American life and property.” The well armed troops, accompanied by two gatling guns, were promptly landed and marched through the quiet streets of Honolulu to a public hall, previously secured by Mr. Stevens for their accommodation. This hall was just across the street from the Government building, and in plain view of the Queen’s palace. The reason for thus locating the military will presently appear. The governor of the Island immediately addressed to Mr. Stevens a communication protesting against the act as an unwarranted invasion of Hawaiian soil and reminding him that the proper authorities had never denied permission to the naval forces of the United States to land for drill or any other proper purpose.

About the same time the Queen’s minister of foreign affairs sent a note to Mr. Stevens asking why the troops had been landed and informing him that the proper authorities were able and willing to afford full protection to the American legation and all American interests in Honolulu. Only evasive replies were sent to these communications.

While there were no manifestations of excitement or alarm in the city, and the people were ignorant of the contemplated movement, the committee entered the Government building, after first ascertaining that it was unguarded, and read a proclamation declaring that the existing Government was overthrown and a Provisional Government established in its place, “to exist until terms of union with the United States of America have been negotiated and agreed upon.” No audience was present when the proclamation was read, but during the reading 40 or 50 men, some of them indifferently armed, entered the room. The executive and advisory councils mentioned in the proclamation at once addressed a communication to Mr. Stevens, informing him that the monarchy had been abrogated and a provisional government established. This communication concluded:

Such Provisional Government has been proclaimed, is now in possession of the Governmental departmental buildings, the archives, and the treasury, and is in control of the city. We hereby request that you will, on behalf of the United States, recognize it as the existing de facto Government of the Hawaiian Islands and afford to it the moral support of your Government, and, if necessary, the support of American troops to assist in preserving the public peace.

On receipt of this communication, Mr. Stevens immediately recognized the new Government, and, in a letter addressed to Sanford B. Dole, its President, informed him that he had done so. Mr. Dole replied:

Honolulu, January 17, 1893

SIR: I acknowledge receipt of your valued communication of this day, recognizing the Hawaiian Provisional Government, and express deep appreciation of the same.

We have conferred with the ministers of the late Government, and have made demand upon the marshal to surrender the station house. We are not actually yet in possession of the station house, but as night is approaching and our forces may be insufficient to maintain order, we request the immediate support of the United States forces, and would request that the commander of the United States forces take command of our military forces, so that they may act together for the protection of the city.

Respectfully, yours,

Chairman Executive Council.

His Excellency JOHN L. STEVENS,
United States Minister Resident.

Note of Mr. Stevens at the end of the above communication.

The above request not complied with.


The station house was occupied by a well-armed force, under the command of a resolute capable, officer. The same afternoon the Queen, her ministers, representatives of the Provisional Government, and others held a conference at the palace. Refusing to recognize the new authority or surrender to it, she was informed that the Provisional Government had the support of the American minister, and, if necessary, would be maintained by the military force of the United States present; that any demonstration on her part would precipitate a conflict with that force; that she could not, with hope of success, engage in war with the United States, and that resistance would result in a useless sacrifice of life. Mr. Damon, one of the chief leaders of the movement, and afterwards vice-president of the Provisional Government, informed the Queen that she could surrender under protest and her case would be considered later at Washington. Believing that, under the circumstances, submission was a duty, and that her case would be fairly considered by the President of the United States, the Queen finally yielded and sent to the Provisional Government the paper, which reads:

I, Liliuokalani, by the grace of God and under the constitution of the Hawaiian Kingdom, Queen, do hereby solemnly protest against any and all acts done against myself and the constitutional Government of the Hawaiian Kingdom by certain persons claiming to have established a Provisional Government of and for this Kingdom.

That I yield to the superior force of the United States of America, whose minister plenipotentiary, his excellency John L. Stevens, has caused United States troops to be lauded at Honolulu and declared that he would support the Provisional Government.

Now, to avoid any collision of armed forces and perhaps the loss of life, I do, under this protest, and impelled by said force, yield my authority until such time as the Government of the United States shall, upon the facts being presented to it, undo the action of its representative and reinstate me and the authority which I claim as the constitutional sovereign of the Hawaiian Islands.

When this paper was prepared at the conclusion of the conference, and signed by the Queen and her ministers, a number of persons, including one or more representatives of the Provisional Government, who were still present and understood its contents, by their silence, at least, acquiesced in its statements, and, when it was carried to President Dole, he indorsed upon it, “Received from the hands of the late cabinet this 17th day of January, 1893,” without challenging the truth of any of its assertions. Indeed, it was not claimed on the 17th day of January, or for some time thereafter, by any of the designated officers of the Provisional Government or any annexationist that the Queen surrendered otherwise than as stated in her protest.

In his dispatch to Mr. Foster of January 18, describing the so-called revolution, Mr. Stevens says:

The committee of public safety forthwith took possession of the Government building, archives, and treasury, and installed the Provisional Government at the head of the respective departments. This being an accomplished fact, I promptly recognized the Provisional Government as the de facto government of the Hawaiian Islands.

In Secretary Foster’s communication of February 15 to the President, laying before him the treaty of annexation, with the view to obtaining the advice and consent of the Senate thereto, he says:

At the time the Provisional Government took possession of the Government building no troops or officers of the United States were present or took any part whatever in the proceedings. No public recognition was accorded to the Provisional Government by the United States minister until after the Queen’s abdication, and when they were in effective possession of the Government building, the archives, the treasury, the barracks, the police station, and all the potential machinery of the Government.

Similar language is found in an official letter addressed to Secretary Foster on February 3 by the special commissioners sent to Washington by the Provisional Government to negotiate a treaty of annexation.

These statements are utterly at variance with the evidence, documentary and oral, contained in Mr. Blount’s reports. They are contradicted by declarations and letters of President Dole and other annexationists and by Mr. Stevens’s own verbal admissions to Mr. Blount. The Provisional Government was recognized when it had little other than a paper existence, and when the legitimate government was in full possession and control of the palace, the barracks, and the police station. Mr. Stevens’s well-known hostility and the threatening presence of the force landed from the Boston was all that could then have excited serious apprehension in the minds of the Queen, her officers, and loyal supporters.

It is fair to say that Secretary Foster’s statements were based upon information which he had received from Mr. Stevens and the special commissioners, but I am unable to see that they were deceived. The troops were landed, not to protect American life and property, but to aid in overthrowing the existing government. Their very presence implied coercive measures against it.

In a statement given to Mr. Blount, by Admiral Skerrett, the ranking naval officer at Honolulu, he says:

If the troops were landed simply to protect American citizens and interests, they were badly stationed in Arion Hall, but if the intention was to aid the Provisional Government they were wisely stationed.

This hall was so situated that the troops in it easily commanded the Government building, and the proclamation was read under the protection of American guns. At an early stage of the movement, if not at the beginning, Mr. Stevens promised the annexationists that as soon as they obtained possession of the Government building and there read a proclamation of the character above referred to, ho would at once recognize them as a de facto government, and support them by landing a force from our war ship then in the harbor, and he kept that promise. This assurance was the inspiration of the movement, and without it the annexationists would not have exposed themselves to the consequences of failure. They relied upon no military force of their own, for they had none worthy of the name. The Provisional Government was established by the action of the American minister and the presence of the troops landed from the Boston, and its continued existence is due to the belief of the Hawaiians that if they made an effort to overthrow it, they would encounter the armed forces of the United States.

The earnest appeals to the American minister for military protection by the officers of that Government, after it had been recognized, show the utter absurdity of the claim that it was established by a successful revolution of the people of the Islands. Those appeals were a confession by the men who made them of their weakness and timidity. Courageous men, conscious of their strength and the justice of their cause, do not thus act. It is not now claimed that a majority of the people, having the right to vote under the constitution of 1887, ever favored the existing authority or annexation to this or any other country. They earnestly desire that the government of their choice shall be restored and its independence respected.

Mr. Blount states that while at Honolulu he did not meet a single annexationist who expressed willingness to submit the question to a vote of the people, nor did he talk with one on that subject who did not insist that if the Islands were annexed suffrage should be so restricted as to give complete control to foreigners or whites. Representative annexationists have repeatedly made similar statements to the undersigned.

The Government of Hawaii surrendered its authority under a threat of war, until such time only as the Government of the United States, upon the facts being presented to it, should reinstate the constitutional sovereign, and the Provisional Government was created “to exist until terms of union with the United States of America have been negotiated and agreed upon.”   A careful consideration of the facts will, I think, convince you that the treaty which was withdrawn from the Senate for further consideration should not be resubmitted for its action thereon.

Should not the great wrong done to a feeble but independent State by an abuse of the authority of the United States be undone by restoring the legitimate government?   Anything short of that will not, I respectfully submit, satisfy the demands of justice.

Can the United States consistently insist that other nations shall respect the independence of Hawaii while not respecting it themselves? Our Government was the first to recognize the independence of the Islands and it should be the last to acquire sovereignty over them by force and fraud.

Respectfully submitted.

Americans are Protected Persons in the Hawaiian Kingdom

Originally posted on August 31, 2018. According to the International Committee of the Red Cross, “The Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols form the core of international humanitarian law, which regulates the conduct of armed conflict and seeks to limit its effects. They protect people not taking part in hostilities and those who are no longer doing so.” Coverage of the Geneva Conventions also apply to occupied territories where there is no actual fighting. Amnesty International defines war crimes as “crimes that violate the laws or customs of war defined by the Geneva and Hague Conventions.”

Internationally, “protected persons” is a legal term under international humanitarian law that refers to specific protections afforded to civilians in occupied territory whose rights are protected under the 1949 Geneva Convention, IV, and its Additional Protocol. According to Article 4 of the Geneva Convention:

“Persons protected by the Convention are those who, at a given moment and in any manner whatsoever, find themselves, in case of a conflict or occupation, in the hands of a Party to the conflict or Occupying Power of which they are not nationals.”

Under this definition, civilians who possess the nationality of the occupying State while they reside in the territory of the occupied State are not protected under the Geneva Convention. Article 147 of the Geneva Convention provides a list of grave breaches, called war crimes, which would apply to protected persons as defined under Article 4.

“Grave breaches to which the preceding Article relates shall be those involving any of the following acts, if committed against persons or property protected by the present Convention: wilful killing, torture or inhuman treatment, including biological experiments, wilfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health, unlawful deportation or transfer or unlawful confinement of a protected person, compelling a protected person to serve in the forces of a [occupying] Power, or wilfully depriving a protected person of the rights of fair and regular trial prescribed in the present Convention, taking of hostages and extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly.”

The relevant grave breaches and explanations that would apply to the American occupation of the Hawaiian Kingdom can be found in paragraphs 190 through 205 of the Emergency Petition for Writ of Mandamus filed in federal court in Washington, D.C. If you are a protected person whose situation would fall under one of the explanatory paragraphs in the mandamus, a grave breach or war crime may have been committed against you.

Fifty years later, however, this definition of a protected persons was expanded to include the citizenry of the occupying State. This was an evolution of international criminal law ushered in by the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY). The case was the prosecution and conviction of Duško Tadić who was a Bosnian Serb. After being arrested in Germany in 1994, he faced among other counts, twelve counts of grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva Convention, IV. On May 7, 1997, he was convicted by the trial court on 11 counts but did not include the counts of grave breaches of the Geneva Convention.

In paragraph 608 of its judgment, the trial court found that Tadic was not guilty of 11 counts of grave breaches because the civilian victims possessed the same Yugoslavian citizenship as Tadic who represented the occupying Power in the war. The prosecutors appealed this decision and it was not only reversed by the Appeal Chamber of the ICTY, but it also expanded the definition of protected persons in occupied territory under international humanitarian law.

In its judgment in 1999, the Appeals Chamber concluded:

“[The] primary purpose [of Article 4] is to ensure the safeguards afforded by the [Geneva] Convention to those civilians who do not enjoy the diplomatic protection, and correlatively are not subject to the allegiance and control, of the State in whose hands they may find themselves. In granting its protection, Article 4 intends to look to the substance of relations, not their legal characterisation as such. … Hence, even if in the circumstances of the case the perpetrators and the victim were to be regarded as possessing the same nationality, Article 4 [Geneva Convention] would still be applicable.” Tadic, ICTY Appeals Chamber, Judgment (1999), para. 168 and 169.

This is an important evolution in international criminal law and has a profound impact on the occupation of the Hawaiian Kingdom. Up until 1999, protected persons in the Hawaiian Islands excluded American citizens. But since 1999, the Tadic case has expanded protection to citizens of the occupying State who reside in the territory of an occupied State. The operative word is no longer nationality or citizenship, but rather allegiance that would apply to all persons in an occupied State. This is not to be confused with an oath of allegiance, but rather the law of allegiance that applies over everyone whether they signed an oath or not. Hawaiian law only requires an oath of allegiance for government employees.

Under Hawaiian Kingdom law there is specific wording that covers allegiance. It is found in the Hawaiian Penal Code under sections 2 and 3 of  Chapter VI for the crime of treason.

“Allegiance is the obedience and fidelity due to the kingdom from those under its protection. … An alien, whether his native country be at war or at peace with this kingdom, owes allegiance to this kingdom during his residence therein, and during such residence, is capable of committing treason against this kingdom.”

By expanding the scope and application of protected persons to American citizens residing in the Hawaiian Kingdom, they, along with all other nationalities of foreign States as well as Hawaiian subjects, are afforded equal protection under the Geneva Convention and can be considered victims of grave breaches or war crimes committed against them by American citizens in violation of the Hague and Geneva Conventions.

Swiss General Secretariat Receives the Hawaiian Kingdom’s Accession to the Fourth Geneva Convention

Ambassador Battig

Originally posted on January 29, 2013. On January 14, 2013, Ambassador Benno Bättig, General Secretariat of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), received at his office in Berne, Switzerland, the Hawaiian Kingdom’s Instrument of Accession to the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention for the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War. Along with the Instrument of Accession, Ambassador Bättig also received a copy of the Hawaiian Protest and Demand deposited with the President of the United Nations General Assembly, August 10, 2012; and a DVD package of the Larsen v. Hawaiian Kingdom arbitration case at the Permanent Court of Arbitration, The Hague, Netherlands, 2001.


The FDFA is responsible for maintaining the foreign relations of Switzerland and serves as the Swiss Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The department is headed by Federal Councillor Didier Burkhalter. The FDFA is composed of a General Secretariat and the State Secretariat, to which the department’s directorates and agencies are subordinate. Ambassador Bättig was appointed General Secretariat January 11, 2012.

CLARIFICATION: Article 156  of the Fourth Geneva Convention provides that accessions shall be notified in writing to the Swiss Federal Council and the Swiss Federal Council shall communicate the accessions to all the Powers in whose name the Convention has been signed, or whose accession has been notified. The Swiss Federal Council receives accessions through the FDFA. And according to Article 159, the Swiss Federal Council also informs the Secretary-General of the United Nations of all ratifications, accessions and denunciations received by them.

Feb. 11, 2023 Symposium – The Royal Commission of Inquiry Investigating War Crimes and Human Rights Violations Committed in the Hawaiian Kingdom

The Hawaiian Society of Law & Politics (HSLP), in collaboration with the International Association of Democratic Lawyers, the National Lawyers Guild, the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa College of Education, the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Native Hawaiian Student Services, and the Kamehameha Schools Kanaeokana, invites you to its February 11, 2023 Symposium showcasing the Royal Commission of Inquiry – Investigating War Crimes and Human Rights Violations Committed in the Hawaiian Kingdom. The event is at no cost but you’ll need to register to ensure you can get a seat. The auditorium is air conditioned and sits 300. The symposium will also be live streamed on Facebook via NHSS UH Mānoa for those who are unable to attend.

The half-day symposium will feature experts in the fields of international law, international relations, international criminal law and war crimes, and Hawaiian Kingdom law on the topic of the American occupation of the Hawaiian Kingdom since January 17, 1893. 

Dr. Kamana‘opono Crabbe will open the symposium with a Hawaiian chant and then followed by a special appearance by Hawaiian actor Jason Scott Lee who acted in films such as Dragon – the Bruce Lee Story, the Jungle BookRapanuiMulan, and The Wind and the Reckoning.

Presenters to follow include Professor William Schabas, renowned expert in international criminal law and war crimes from Middlesex University London, author of “Legal Opinion on War Crimes Related to the United States Occupation of the Hawaiian Kingdom since 17 January 1893;” Professor Federico Lenzerini, professor of international law from the University of Siena, Italy, and Deputy Head of the Royal Commission of Inquiry, author of “Legal Opinion on the Authority of the Council of Regency of the Hawaiian Kingdom;” and Dr. Keanu Sai, a Lecturer in Political Science and Hawaiian Studies at the University of Hawai‘i, and Head of the Royal Commission of Inquiry, author of “The Royal Commission of Inquiry.” The presenters will discuss the subject matter of their respective articles which have been published by the Hawaiian Journal of Law and Politics. Following their presentations, the presenters will sit together on a panel to answer questions from the audience.

The symposium will also have as a finale a presentation celebrating Aloha ‘Āina (Hawaiian Patriotism) through mele (song) by well known Hawaiian entertainers and musicians featuring Mele Apana, Lina Girl, Davey D, Amy Gilliom, Mailani Makainai, Ku‘uipo Kumukahi, Sean Pimental, Glenn Maeda, Danny Kennedy, Na Wai Ho‘olu‘u o ke Ānuenue, and Heuaʻolu Sai-Dudoit.

SYMPOSIUM SCHEDULE: The symposium will begin at 11:00am and end at 4:30pm at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa’s Art Building auditorium across from Varney Circle where the water fountain is. Here is a link to a map of UH Mānoa. Light lunch and drinks included at no cost.

Registration is now open for all UH Mānoa students, faculty and staff, as well as community members. Click here to register for the event.


For any questions or concerns, please contact

Click here to visit HSLP’s Symposium’s website

Exposing the Achilles Heel of the State of Hawai‘i Judiciary

Since the Permanent Court of Arbitration verified and acknowledged the Hawaiian Kingdom to still exist as a State under international law in 1999 in Larsen v. Hawaiian Kingdom, it’s been a slow but methodical progression of exposing this legal reality. For the Hawaiian Kingdom to be a State in continuity since the nineteenth century despite the United States illegal overthrow of its government on January 17, 1893, it radically shifted the legal and political terrain concerning the United States’ presence and the State of Hawai‘i’s control over Hawaiian territory. From the 50th State of the American Union to an Occupied State under a prolonged and illegal occupation.

While under international law, there is a rule that effective control by the government of the State over its territory is the exercise of sovereignty, this independence rule does not apply over territory of another State during military occupation. Under international humanitarian law, when a State is in effective control over occupied territory it triggers the law of occupation, not sovereignty, which obligates the occupying State to temporarily administer the laws of the occupied State until a treaty of peace is concluded. In the Hawaiian situation, the State of Hawai‘i and the Counties are in effective control of the territory of the Hawaiian Kingdom and are subject to the international law of occupation. Their effective control is not an exercise of sovereignty. According to Professor Krystyna Marek:

Belligerent occupation is thus the classical case in which the requirement of effectiveness as a condition of validity of a legal order is abandoned. The explanation of this unusual fact is to be found in the temporary nature of belligerent occupation. International law could not permanently relinquish the requirement of effectiveness, since this would mean reducing international law and relations to a pure fiction. But belligerent occupation is by definition not of a lasting character. Sooner or later it is bound to end, whether in favour of the occupied or the occupying State.

Once believed to be a democratically elected government under United States laws, the State of Hawai‘i, under international law, is an American armed force and not a government. The leadership of the State of Hawai‘i and the Counties are citizens of the United States. This is similar to the situation in Cyprus after it became an independent State on August 16, 1960, from Great Britain. In 1974, Turkey invaded the Republic of Cyprus and established the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus as a Turkish armed force. The northeastern territory of Cyprus has been under Turkish occupation, through its proxy the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, since 1974. The difference, however, is that the Hawaiian Kingdom is an internationally recognized sovereign and independent State, but the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is not.

In 1959, the United States Congress established the State of Hawai‘i by legislation to be the successor of the Territory of Hawai‘i that the Congress established in 1900. In the 1900 statute, the Congress specifically stated that the Territory of Hawai‘i is the successor of the Republic of Hawai‘i. And the Republic of Hawai‘i was the successor to the provisional government that President Grover Cleveland stated to the Congress that it “owes its existence to an armed invasion by the United States” on January 16, 1893. President Cleveland also concluded that the provisional government was “neither a government de factor nor de jure” but self-declared.

When an occupying power imposes its legislation and administrative measures over the territory of an occupied State, it constitutes the war crime of usurpation of sovereignty during military occupation. For this war crime not to have been committed in the Hawaiian Islands, the Hawaiian Kingdom, as an independent State, would had to have been extinguished by the United States under international law and acquired its sovereign territory. To have extinguished the Hawaiian Kingdom, the United States needs to show evidence of a treaty of cession, whether by conquest or otherwise. Examples of foreign States ceding portions of their sovereign territory to the United States by a peace treaty include the 1848 Treaty of Peace, Friendship, Limits, and Settlement with the Republic of Mexico that ended the Mexican American War, and the 1898 Treaty of Peace between the United States of America and the Kingdom of Spain that ended the Spanish American War.

There exists no such treaty. Instead, the United States enacted a congressional law on July 7, 1898, purporting to have annexed the Hawaiian Islands. The legislation was called a joint resolution of annexation. This act itself, being American legislation, is the war crime of usurpation of sovereignty during military occupation.

In 1994, the State of Hawai‘i Intermediate Court of Appeals established a precedent case called State of Hawai‘i v. Lorenzo. In that case, it set the precedence for defendants who argue that the courts do not have jurisdiction because of the Hawaiian Kingdom’s continued existence, they must present a factual or legal basis for concluding that the Kingdom exists as a State under the rules of international law. The Supreme Court, in State of Hawai‘i v. Armitage, clarified the evidentiary burden that Lo­renzo placed upon defendants. The court stated:

Lorenzo held that, for jurisdictional purposes, should a defendant demonstrate a factual or legal basis that the Kingdom of Hawai‘i “exists as a state in accordance with recognized attributes of a state’s sovereign nature[,]” and that he or she is a citizen of that sovereign state, a defendant may be able to argue that the courts of the State of Hawai‘i lack of jurisdiction over him or her.

Since 1994, State of Hawai‘i courts denied attempts by defendants to dismiss their cases because of the Lorenzo principle. In other words, these courts were asserting that the defendants failed to present any factual or legal basis that the Kingdom continues to exist as a State. This was the case until the Council of Regency got involved in order to expose the illegality of the American occupation in the court system.

The Regency was working with attorney Dexter Ka‘iama who had been representing defendants who were arguing that the courts of the State of Hawai‘i have no jurisdiction. His arguments were based on State of Hawai‘i v. Lorenzo, which the Appellate court and the Supreme Court stated that defendants had the burden of providing evidence of a factual or legal basis that the Hawaiian Kingdom continues to exist as a State. Ka‘iama provided evidence that met that burden.

In a 2012 case that came before Circuit Judge Glenn Hara in Hilo, Wells Fargo Bank v. Kawasaiki, Judge Hara openly stated what all the judges knew after Ka‘iama presented the irrefutable evidence of the Kingdom’s continued existence. The transcript of the case preserved the record, which stated:

MR. KAIAMA: The scope of my special appearance, Your Honor, is to make argument and presentation with respect to Ms. Kawasaki’s 12(b)(1) motion to dismiss challenging the subject matter jurisdiction of this court, Your Honor.

THE COURT: Okay. So here’s the court’s inclination, Mr. Kaiama. And in answer to the plaintiff’s comment that maybe the motion may be delayed, it looks like the motion is one that challenges the subject matter jurisdiction. At least on its face. But—and any time there is a jurisdictional challenge, it can be made at any time. That’s my understanding. Because if the court has no jurisdiction then whatever the court does is void. Um, so I’m treating this as a motion to dismiss for the court’s lack of subject matter jurisdiction for the reasons stated. And that is that the argument is that the Kingdom of Hawaii still exists, and therefore, in essence, this court has no jurisdiction, it’s the courts of the Kingdom of Hawaii. That’s how I’m taking the motion. Mr. Kaiama?

MR. KAIAMA: And that is essentially Ms. Kawasaki’s motion and our argument.

MR. KAIAMA: I have now been arguing, Your Honor, this motion before judges of the courts of the circuit court and district court throughout the State of Hawaii, and nearly—and probably over 20 times, and in not one instance has the plaintiff in the cases challenged the merits of the executive agreements to show that either it’s not an executive agreement or that the executive agreements have been terminated. Because we belief, respectfully, again Your Honor, they cannot.

THE COURT: No, but, Mr. Kaiama, I think you failed—in my mind, what you’re asking the court to do is commit suicide, because once I adopt your argument, I have no jurisdiction over anything. Not only these kinds of cases where you may claim either being a citizen of the kingdom, but jurisdiction of the courts evaporate. All of the courts across the state, from the supreme court down, and we have no judiciary. I can’t do that.

THE COURT: I think what [Mr. Kaiama is] saying is the argument is that if, in fact, I buy into his arguments then this court has no jurisdiction over any matter. That’s his analysis, I think.

MS. HIROSANE [for Wells Fargo]: And that’s my understanding of it too, Your Honor.

THE COURT: Okay. So the court will deny the motion to dismiss the complaint pursuant to Hawaii Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.

Hara’s extra-judicial or unlawful order led to Wells Fargo Bank’s pillaging of defendant’s home and property by a court that possessed no jurisdiction. As acknowledged by Hara in the transcript, “if the court has no jurisdiction then whatever the court does is void.” The defendant was the victim of the war crime of usurpation of sovereignty during military occupation, deprivation of fair and regular trial, and pillaging.

To stop the State of Hawai‘i’s judiciary from unravelling, the Supreme Court, in 2013, in State of Hawai‘i v. Kaulia, responded to a defendant’s arguments that was like the case that came before Judge Hara except that Ka‘iama was not his attorney. The Supreme Court stated that the defendant “contends that the courts of the State of Hawai‘i lacked subject matter jurisdiction over his criminal prosecution because the defense proved the existence of the Hawaiian Kingdom and the illegitimacy of the State of Hawai‘i government.” With only American case law and municipal laws to rely on, the Supreme Court responded with, “Whatever may be said regarding the lawfulness of its origins, the State of Hawai‘i is now, a lawful government. Individuals claiming to be citizens of the Kingdom and not the State are not exempt from application of the State’s laws.”

The Supreme Court was silent in providing evidence of the lawfulness of the State of Hawai‘i, which, according to the rules of evidence, silence is an acknowledgement of its unlawfulness. According to Professor Nuno Antunes, under international law, acquiescence “concerns a consent tacitly conveyed by a State, unilaterally, through silence or inaction, in circumstances such that a response expressing disagreement or objection in relation to the conduct of another State would be called for.” On acquiescence, the International Court of Justice in Case concerning the Temple of Preah Vihear (Cambodia v. Thailand), the Court stated:

It has been contended on behalf of Thailand that this communication of the maps by the French authorities was, so to speak, ex parte, and that no formal acknowledgment of it was either requested of, or given by, Thailand. In fact, as will be seen presently, an acknowledgment by conduct was undoubtedly made in a very definite way; but even if it were otherwise, it is clear that the circumstances were such as called for some reaction, within a reasonable time, on the part of the Siamese authorities, if they wished to disagree with the map or had any serious question to raise in regard to it. They did not do so, either then or for many years, and thereby must be held to have acquiesced. Qui tacet consentire videtur si loqui debuisset ac potuisset.

On June 1, 2013, Ka‘iama was licensed to practice law in the Hawaiian Kingdom. His license was issued by Hawaiian Kingdom Supreme Court First Associate Justice Allen K. Hoe. On August 11, 2013, Ka‘iama petitioned the Council of Regency for a commission as Attorney General after Gary V. Dubin resigned. Ka‘iama stated:

As an Attorney, Counselor, Solicitor and Proctor who has been admitted to practice in al the courts of the Hawaiian Kingdom on June 1, 2013, by the Honorable Allen K. Hoe, First Associate Justice, I respectfully and humbly petition the Council to consider me for the office of acting Attorney General of the Hawaiian Kingdom in light of the recent resignation of Gary V. Dubin, Esq., from the office of the same.

After consideration, the Council of Regency commissioned Dexter Ke‘eaumoku Ka‘iama as Attorney General.

Attorney General Ka‘iama continued to represent defendants in both civil and criminal cases making the argument that the court does not have jurisdiction or authority over the cases because they were unlawful. But in every case that came before these courts across the islands, the judges were not following the Lorenzo precedent, which is their own rule. Without any proof of evidence that countered Attorney General Ka‘iama’s or, in other words, provided any evidence that the Hawaiian Kingdom no longer exists as a State under the rules of international law, they just steam rolled forward as if there was no problem with their authority. As Professor Marek explained:

Thus, the relation between effectiveness and title seems to be one of inverse proportion: while a strong title can survive a period of non-effectiveness, a weak title must rely heavily, if not exclusively, on full and complete effectiveness. It is the latter which makes up for the weakness in title. Belligerent occupation presents an illuminating example of this relation of inverse proportion.

The utter disregard by the State of Hawai‘i courts, to include the Supreme Court, to the rules of fair play and evidence based arguments only proves its “weakness in title” against the Hawaiian Kingdom’s “strong title.” Under international criminal law, these actions taken by the courts, which are preserved in the court filings, comprise the Achilles heel, which is the weakness despite the strength of the State of Hawai‘i judiciary. The actions taken in violation of the law of occupation gives rise to war crimes and individual criminal culpability. There are no statute of limitations for war crimes. These actions do come under the investigative authority of the Royal Commission of Inquiry.