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.

Swiss_Receipt_GCIV

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.

REGISTRATION DEADLINE: February 10, 2023

For any questions or concerns, please contact nhss@hawaii.edu.

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.

Backstory of the Hawaiian Kingdom v. Biden Federal Lawsuit

Yesterday, Federal District Judge Leslie Kobayashi signed an Order officially ending the federal lawsuit Hawaiian Kingdom v. Biden. Attorney General Dexter Ka‘iama, representing the Hawaiian Kingdom by its Council of Regency, filed the notice of withdrawal on November 28, 2023, and yesterday was the Order. The federal lawsuit was initiated on May 20, 2021, and spanned for nineteen months. Here is the backstory of the federal lawsuit and its significance in obtaining evidence for the war crime of usurpation of sovereignty during military occupation.

The objective for the filing of the lawsuit was to seek an order from the court to compel the United States, the State of Hawai‘i and the Counties to comply with international humanitarian law by administering the laws of the Hawaiian Kingdom as an occupied State. The lawsuit also sought from the court an order to halt the imposition of American municipal laws because it is the war crime of usurpation of sovereignty during military occupation, which is the unlawful imposition of legislative and administrative measures of the occupying State.

But before the federal court could rule on the complaint, the Hawaiian Kingdom requested the court to transform from an Article III Court into an Article II Occupation Court, since the court is operating within the territory of the Hawaiian Kingdom and not within the territory of the United States. Article III Courts are federal courts that operate within the territory of the United States by judicial authority under Article III of the U.S. Constitution, whereas Article II Occupation Courts are federal courts that are established under the executive authority President under Article II of the U.S. Constitution in territories that are occupied by the United States military.  According to Professor Bederman, there are twelve instances in the history of the United States where Article II Occupation Courts were established during the Mexican War, the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, and the Second World War.

An amicus brief or friend of the court brief was filed by the International Association of Democratic Lawyers, the National Lawyer Guild, and the Water Protector Legal Collective on October 6, 2021, to help explain to the court why it was obligated to transform into an Article II Occupation Court. The Court pondered on this issue for five months.

Then on March 3, 2022, District Judge Kobayashi issued an Order granting the dismissal of Sweden’s Honorary Consul Anders Nervell from the lawsuit. In the Order, and without providing any evidence that the Hawaiian Kingdom no longer exists under international law, she stated that she will not transform into an Article II Occupation Court. Instead, Judge Kobayashi justified her decision on prior court decisions that provided no evidence of the Hawaiian Kingdom’s demise under the rules of international law. American court decisions, like American laws and administrative measures, constitute the war crime of usurpation of sovereignty during military occupation. In other words, Judge Kobayashi knowingly committed the war crime.

The Hawaiian Kingdom attempted to address the error of Judge Kobayashi but to no avail. She laid the path for the court and the defendants to commit the war crime of usurpation of sovereignty during military occupation and deprivation of fair and regular trial. The Hawaiian Kingdom would then use the proceedings to get evidence that the defendants and the court knowingly imposed American legislative and administrative measures. The elements for the war crime of usurpation of sovereignty during military occupation are:

1. The perpetrator(s) imposed or applied legislative or administrative measures of the occupying power going beyond those required by what is necessary for military purposes of the occupation.

2. The perpetrator(s) was aware that the measures went beyond what was required for military purposes or the protection of fundamental human rights.

3. Their conduct took place in the context of and was associated with a military occupation

4. The perpetrators were aware of factual circumstance that established the existence of the military occupation.

The third and fourth elements refer to the mens rea or the criminal intent requirement. With respect to these last two elements:

1. There is no requirement for a legal evaluation by the perpetrator as to the existence of the military occupation.

2. In that context there is no requirement for awareness by the perpetrator of the facts that established the character of existence of the military occupation.

3. There is only a requirement for the awareness of the factual circumstances that established the existence of a military occupation.

Later that month, on March 22, 2022, H.E. Dr. David Keanu Sai, as Minister of Foreign Affairs ad interim, delivered an oral statement to the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) bringing attention of the war crime of usurpation of sovereignty before the 47 countries that are member States of the HRC, which included the United States. Here is the message:

None of the 47 member States of the HRC protested, or objected to the oral statement of war crimes being committed in the Hawaiian Kingdom by the United States. This is important because under international law, according to Professor Antunes, 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.” In other words, silence means agreement.

This oral statement would have the effect of shifting accountability from the U.S. courts to the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI). The RCI’s mandate is “to investigate the consequences of the United States’ belligerent occupation, including with regard to international law, humanitarian law and human rights, and the allegations of war crimes committed in that context. The geographical scope and time span of the investigation will be sufficiently broad and be determined by the head of the Royal Commission.”

The RCI will focus on senior leadership of the United States, the State of Hawai‘i and the Counties. In mid-November of 2022, the RCI published its first war criminal reports of the senior leadership that were also named defendants in Hawaiian Kingdom v. Biden. The evidence of these perpetrators’ mens rea was by their own admissions in pleadings filed with the federal court.

There is no requirement for a “legal evaluation” or agreement that Hawai‘i is under a military occupation but rather only the awareness of the “factual circumstance that established the existence of the military occupation.” The amended complaint and the Hawaiian Kingdom’s own filed pleadings provided the factual circumstances of the American military occupation and neither the defendants nor the judges refuted or objected to these facts or provided any evidence that the Hawaiian Kingdom is no longer a sovereign and independent State under international law. Silence under international law means agreement.

Since the establishment of the International Criminal Court (ICC) there has been major developments in the national criminal laws of the 123 States that signed the ICC’s founding document, the Rome Statute. Article I of the Rome Statute states:

An International Criminal Court (“the Court”) is hereby established. It shall be a permanent institution and shall have the power to exercise its jurisdiction over persons for the most serious crimes of international concerns, as referred to in this Statute, and shall be complementary to national criminal jurisdictions. The jurisdiction and functioning of the Court shall be governed by the provisions of this Statute.

Complementary jurisdiction means that the national courts of these States are the first to deal with international crimes. This is because States, not the ICC, already have national criminal justice systems in operation and are capable of dealing with perpetrators who commit international crimes. The ICC deals only with cases under limited circumstances and has been the cause of much criticism.

Usurpation of sovereignty during military occupation has not only victimized the civilian population in the Hawaiian Islands for over a century, but it has also victimized the civilians of other countries that have visited the islands since 1898 who were unlawfully subjected to American municipal laws and administrative measures. These include State of Hawai‘i sales tax on goods purchased in the islands but also taxes placed exclusively on tourists’ accommodations collected by the State of Hawai‘i and the Counties. The collection of these taxes from tourists constitute the war crime of pillaging.

The Counties have recently added 3% surcharges to the State of Hawai‘i’s 10.25% transient accommodations tax. Added with the State of Hawai‘i’s general excise tax of 4% in addition to the 0.5% County general excise tax surcharges, civilians who are visiting the islands will be paying a total of 17.75% to the occupying power. In addition, those civilians of foreign countries doing business in the Hawaiian Islands are also subjected to paying American duties on goods that are imported to the United States destined to Hawai‘i. These duty rates are collected by the United States according to the United States Tariff Act of 1930, as amended, and the Trade Agreements Act of 1979.

Under national criminal jurisdictions, States of these tourists would have authority to arrest and prosecute under passive personality jurisdiction. The passive personality principle provides countries with jurisdiction for crimes committed against their nationals while they were abroad in the Hawaiian Islands. This type of jurisdiction has more teeth as opposed to universal jurisdiction that allows States to prosecute war criminals who committed crimes outside of the territory of the State and where the perpetrator or victim is not a national of the State. The drawback on universal jurisdiction is that it can only be triggered when the perpetrator is in the territory of the prosecuting State. Passive personality jurisdiction, on the other hand, provides for immediate action to apply for extradition arrest warrants to be issued by the prosecuting State where the perpetrators remain outside of the prosecuting State’s territory.

The RCI will focus its attention on the various national criminal jurisdictions in order to seek arrests warrants for the subjects of the RCI’s war criminal reports because war crimes cannot continue to take place in Hawai‘i with impunity. War crimes have no statute of limitations and prosecution can follow a perpetrator until his elderly years.

The Far Reach of the War Crime of Usurpation of Sovereignty Being Committed in the Hawaiian Islands Since 1898

Usurpation of sovereignty during military occupation was listed as a war crime in a 1919 report by the Commission on Responsibilities of the Paris Peace Conference that was established by the Allied and Associated Powers at war with Germany and its allies in the First World War. The Commission was especially concerned with acts perpetrated in occupied territories against non-combatants and civilians.

Usurpation of sovereignty during military occupation is the imposition of the laws and administrative measures of the Occupying State over the territory of the Occupied State. Usurpation, according to Black’s Law dictionary, is “The unlawful encroachment or assumption of the use of property, power or authority which belongs to another.”

The Commission did not indicate the source of this crime in treaty law but it would appear to be Article 43 of the 1907 Hague Regulations, which states, “The authority of the legitimate power having in fact passed into the hands of the occupant, the latter shall take all the measures in his power to restore, and ensure, as far as possible, public order and safety, while respecting, unless absolutely prevented, the laws in force in the country.” Article 43 is the codification of customary international law that existed on January 17, 1893, when the United States unlawfully overthrew the government of the Hawaiian Kingdom and began its prolonged belligerent occupation.

In the annex of its 1919 report, the Commission charged that in Poland the German and Austrian forces had “prevented the populations from organising themselves to maintain order and public security” and that they had “[a]ided the Bolshevist hordes that invaded the territories.” It said that in Romania the German authorities had instituted German civil courts to try disputes between subjects of the Central Powers or between a subject of these powers and a Romanian, a neutral, or subjects of Germany’s enemies. In Serbia, the Bulgarian authorities had “[p]roclaimed that the Serbian State no longer existed, and that Serbian territory had become Bulgarian.” It listed several other war crimes committed by Bulgaria in occupied Serbia: “Serbian law, courts and administration ousted;” “Taxes collected under Bulgarian fiscal regime;” “Serbian currency suppressed;” “Public property removed or destroyed, including books, archives and MSS (e.g., from the National Library, the University Library, Serbian Legation at Sofia, French Consulate at Uskub);” “Prohibited sending Serbian Red Cross to occupied Serbia.” It also charged that in Serbia the German and Austrian authorities had committed several war crimes: “The Austrians suspended many Serbian laws and substituted their own, especially in penal matters, in procedure, judicial organisation, etc.;” “Museums belonging to the State (e.g., Belgrade, Detchani) were emptied and the contents taken to Vienna.”

The crime of usurpation of sovereignty during military occupation was referred to by Judge Blair of the American Military Commission in a separate opinion in the Justice Case, holding that “This rule is incident to military occupation and was clearly intended to protect the inhabitants of any occupied territory against the unnecessary exercise of sovereignty by a military occupant.” Australia, Netherlands and China enacted laws making usurpation of sovereignty during military occupation a war crime. In the case of Australia, the Parliament enacted the Australian War Crimes Act in 1945 that included the war crime of usurpation of sovereignty during military occupation.

The war crime of usurpation of sovereignty during military occupation has not been included in more recent codifications of war crimes, casting some doubt on its status as a crime under customary international law. And there do not appear to have been any prosecutions for that crime by international criminal tribunals of late. However, the war crime of usurpation of sovereignty during military occupation is a war crime under “particular” customary international law. According to the International Law Commission, “A rule of particular customary international law, whether regional, local or other, is a rule of customary international law that applies only among a limited number of States.” In the 1919 report of the Commission, the United States, as a member of the commission, did not contest the listing of the war crime of usurpation of sovereignty during military occupation, but rather only disagreed, inter alia, with the Commission’s position on the means of prosecuting heads of state for the listed war crimes by conduct of omission.

The Hawaiian Kingdom Royal Commission Inquiry views usurpation of sovereignty during military occupation as a war crime under “particular” customary international law and binding upon the Allied and Associated Powers of the First World War—United States of America, Great Britain, France, Italy and Japan, principal Allied Powers and Associated Powers that include Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, China, Cuba, Ecuador, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Liberia, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Thailand, Czech Republic, formerly known as Czechoslovakia, and Uruguay. Great Britain, as an empire at the time, included Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa who also fought in the First World War. Therefore, as an international crime under particular customary international law, these countries are obligated to prosecute this war crime in their courts.

In the Hawaiian situation, usurpation of sovereignty during military occupation serves as a source for the commission of other war crimes within the territory of the Hawaiian Kingdom, which includes the war crimes of compulsory enlistment, denationalization, pillage, destruction of property, deprivation of fair and regular trial, deporting civilians of the occupied territory, and transferring populations into an occupied territory. The reasoning for the prohibition of imposing extraterritorial prescriptions or measures of the occupying State is addressed by Professor Eyal Benvenisti:

The occupant may not surpass its limits under international law through extra­territorial prescriptions emanating from its national institutions: the legislature, government, and courts. The reason for this rule is, of course, the functional symmetry, with respect to the occupied territory, among the various lawmak­ing authorities of the occupying state. Without this symmetry, Article 43 could become meaningless as a constraint upon the occupant, since the occupation administration would then choose to operate through extraterritorial prescription of its national institutions.

Usurpation of sovereignty during military occupation came before the Permanent Court of Arbitration (“PCA”) in 1999. In Larsen v. Hawaiian Kingdom, the Permanent Court of Arbitration convened an arbitral tribunal to resolve a dispute where Larsen, the claimant, alleged that the Government of the Hawaiian Kingdom, by its Council of Regency, the respondent, was liable “for allowing the unlawful imposition of American municipal laws over the claimant’s person within the territorial jurisdiction of the Hawaiian Kingdom.” The PCA accepted the case as a dispute between a “State” and a “private party” and acknowledged the Hawaiian Kingdom to be a non-Contracting State in accordance with Article 47 of the 1907 Hague Convention. The PCA annual reports of 2000 through 2011 specifically states that the Larsen v. Hawaiian Kingdom proceedings were done “Pursuant to article 47 of the 1907 Convention.” According to Bederman and Hilbert of the American Journal of International Law:

At the center of the PCA proceeding was the argument that … the Hawaiian Kingdom continues to exist and that the Council of Regency (representing the Hawaiian Kingdom) is legally responsible under international law for the protection of Hawaiian subjects, including the claimant. In other words, the Hawaiian Kingdom was legally obligated to protect Larsen from the United States’ “unlawful imposition [over him] of [its] municipal laws” through its political subdivision, the State of Hawai‘i [and its County of Hawai‘i].

In the situation of Hawai‘i, the usurpation of sovereignty during military occupation would appear to have been total since the beginning of the twentieth century. This is an ongoing crime where the criminal act would consist of the imposition of legislation or administrative measures by the occupying power that goes beyond what is required necessary for military purposes of the occupation. Since 1898, when the United States Congress enacted an American municipal law purporting to have annexed the Hawaiian Islands, it began to impose its legislation and administrative measures to the present in violation of the laws of occupation.

Given that this is essentially a crime involving government action or policy or the action or policies of an occupying State’s proxies such as the State of Hawai‘i and its Counties, a perpetrator who participated in the act would be required to do so intentionally and with knowledge that the act went beyond what was required for military purposes or the protection of fundamental human rights.

Usurpation of sovereignty has not only victimized the civilian population in the Hawaiian Islands for over a century, but it has also victimized the civilians of other countries that have visited the islands since 1898 who were unlawfully subjected to American municipal laws and administrative measures. These include State of Hawai‘i sales tax on goods purchased in the islands but also taxes placed exclusively on tourists’ accommodations collected by the State of Hawai‘i and the Counties.

The Counties have recently added 3% surcharges to the State of Hawai‘i’s 10.25% transient accommodations tax. Added with the State of Hawai‘i’s general excise tax of 4% in addition to the 0.5% County general excise tax surcharges, civilians who are visiting the islands will be paying a total of 17.75% to the occupying power. In addition, those civilians of foreign countries doing business in the Hawaiian Islands are also subjected to paying American duties on goods that are imported to the United States destined to Hawai‘i. These duty rates are collected by the United States according to the United States Tariff Act of 1930, as amended, and the Trade Agreements Act of 1979.

The far reach of the victims of war crimes committed in the Hawaiian Islands includes civilians throughout the world in various countries.

At the United Nations World Summit in 2005, the Responsibility to Protect was unanimously adopted. The principle of the Responsibility to Protect has three pillars: (1) every State has the Responsibility to Protect its populations from four mass atrocity crimes—genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing; (2) the wider international community has the responsibility to encourage and assist individual States in meeting that responsibility; and (3) if a state is manifestly failing to protect its populations, the international community must be prepared to take appropriate collective action, in a timely and decisive manner and in accordance with the UN Charter. In 2009, the General Assembly reaffirmed the three pillars of State’s Responsibility to Protect their populations from war crimes and crimes against humanity under resolution A/63/308, and in 2021, the UN General Assembly passed resolution A/75/277 on “The responsibility to protect and the prevention of genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.”

Rule 158 of the International Committee of the Red Cross Study on Customary International Humanitarian Law specifies that “States must investigate war crimes allegedly committed by their nationals or armed forces, or on their territory, and, if appropriate, prosecute the suspects. They must also investigate other war crimes over which they have jurisdiction and, if appropriate, prosecute the suspects.” This “rule that States must investigate war crimes and prosecute the suspects is set forth in numerous military manuals, with respect to grave breaches, but also more broadly with respect to war crimes in general.”

Determined to hold to account individuals who have committed war crimes and human rights violations throughout the territorial jurisdiction of the Hawaiian Kingdom, the Council of Regency, by Proclamation on April 17, 2019, established a Royal Commission of Inquiry in similar fashion to the United States proposal of establishing a Commission of Inquiry after the First World War “to consider generally the relative culpability of the authors of the war and also the question of their culpability as to the violations of the laws and customs of war committed during its course.”

In mid-November of 2022, the Royal Commission of Inquiry published War Criminal Reports no. 22-0002, 22-0002-1, 22-0003, 22-0003-1, 22-0004, 22-0004-1, 22-0005, 22-0005-1, 22-0007, and 22-0007-1 that provides the evidence that U.S. President Joseph Biden, Jr., Vice-President Kamala Harris, Admiral John Aquilino, IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig, Senator Charles Schumer, Representative Nancy Pelosi, State of Hawai‘i Governor David Ige, Commissioner Ty Nohara, Tax Director Isaac Choy, Hawai‘i County Mayor Mitchell Roth, Hawai‘i County Council Chairwoman Maile David, Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino, Maui County Council Chairwoman Alice Lee, County of Kaua‘i Mayor Derek Kawakami, and Kaua‘i County Council Chair Arryl Kaneshiro have committed the war crime of usurpation of sovereignty during military occupation. Accomplices to this war crime include: U.S. Attorneys Brian Boynton, Anthony Coppolino, and Michael Gerardi; State of Hawai‘i Attorneys Holly T. Shikada and Amanda J. Weston; County of Hawai‘i Attorneys Elizabeth Strance, Mark Disher and Dakota Frenz; County of Maui Attorneys Moana Lutey, Caleb Rowe and Iwalani Mountcastle; and County of Kaua‘i Attorneys Matthew Bracken and Mark Bradbury.

The reports have documented the necessary evidence that satisfies the elements of the war crime of usurpation of sovereignty during military occupation: (1) the perpetrators imposed imposed or applied legislative or administrative measures of the occupying power going beyond those required by what is necessary for military purposes of the occupation, which is the actus reus or the criminal act; (2) the perpetrators were aware that the measures went beyond what was required for military purposes or the protection of fundamental human rights, which is the mens rea or the guilty mind; (3) their conduct took place in the context of and was associated with a military occupation; and (4) the perpetrators were aware of factual circumstances that established the existence of the military occupation.

With regard to the last two elements listed for the war crime of usurpation of sovereignty during military occupation: (1) there is no requirement for a legal evaluation by the perpetrator as to the existence of an armed conflict or its character as international or non-international; (2) in that context there is no requirement for awareness by the perpetrator of the facts that established the character of the conflict as international or non-international; and (3) there is only a requirement for the awareness of the factual circumstance that established the existence of an armed conflict that is implicit in the terms “took place in the context of and was associated with.”

According to Professor Dietrich Schindler, “the existence of an [international] armed conflict within the meaning of Article 2 common to the Geneva Conventions can always be assumed when parts of the armed forces of two States clash with each other. … Any kind of use of arms between two States brings the Conventions into effect.” Dr. Stuart Casey-Maslen, author of The War Report 2012, further concludes that an international armed conflict “also exists whenever one state uses any form of armed force against another state, irrespective of whether the latter state fights back.”

The Hawaiian Kingdom has been in an international armed conflict with the United States since January 16, 1893, when U.S. troops invaded the city of Honolulu. The Hawaiian Kingdom has been under military occupation since January 17, 1893, when Queen Lili‘uokalani conditionally surrendered to the United States forces. For a comprehensive legal narrative and analysis of this international armed conflict download the Royal Commission of Inquiry’s ebook The Royal Commission of Inquiry: Investigating War Crimes and Human Rights Violations Committed in the Hawaiian Kingdom (2020).

The 123 countries who are States Parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court have primary responsibility to prosecute war criminals under complementary and universal jurisdiction. This type of jurisdiction gives State Parties the first responsibility before the International Criminal Court can initiate proceedings and authority to prosecute individuals for international crimes to include the war crime of usurpation of sovereignty during military occupation without regard to the place the war crime was committed or the nationality of the perpetrator. With the exception of the United States, China, Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Thailand, the Allied Powers and Associated Powers of the First World War are State Parties to the Rome Statute.

In this situation where the citizenry of these countries have become victims of the war crime of usurpation of sovereignty during military occupation, they can seek extradition warrants in their national courts in order for their governments to prosecute these war criminals under the passive personality principle. The passive personality principle provides countries with jurisdiction for crimes committed against their nationals while they were abroad in the Hawaiian Islands. This has the potential of opening the floodgate to lawsuits from all over the world.

The commission of the war crime of usurpation of sovereignty during military occupation can stop when the United States, the State of Hawai‘i and the Counties begin to comply with Article 43 of the 1907 Hague Regulations and administer the laws of the Occupied State—the Hawaiian Kingdom.

A Spectacular “Mic Drop”—Hawaiian Kingdom Withdraws Complaint in Federal Court Because of War Crimes Committed by Defendants and the Court

On this momentous day of Hawaiian independence since November 28, 1843, the Hawaiian Kingdom filed a Response to the State of Hawai‘i’s Motion to Dismiss the Amended Complaint in the federal court in Honolulu shifting focus to the Royal Commission of Inquiry and its investigations of war criminals. The Royal Commission of Inquiry provides war criminal reports documenting evidence of perpetrators committing certain war crimes so that they can be prosecuted. There is no statute of limitation for war crimes.

When the federal court proceeding was initiated by a Complaint filed on May 21, 2021, and followed by the filing of an Amended Complaint on August 11, 2021, the Hawaiian Kingdom’s stated purpose was to have the Court put a stop to the unlawful imposition of the United States constitution, Federal and State of Hawai‘i statutes, County ordinances, common law, administrative law, and the maintenance of the U.S. military installations across the territory of the Hawaiian Kingdom. This imposition of American laws is a violation of the laws of occupation and constitutes the war crime of usurpation of sovereignty.

Here follows word for word the Hawaiian Kingdom’s Response to the State of Hawai‘i’s Motion to Dismiss the Amended Complaint:

Today marks the 179th anniversary Great Britain and France jointly recognized the Hawaiian Kingdom as a sovereign and independent State on November 28, 1843, at the Court of London. The United States followed on July 6, 1844. Since January 17, 1893, the Hawaiian Kingdom came under belligerent occupation after Queen Lili‘uokalani conditionally surrendered by “yield[ing] to the superior force of the United States.”

As a subject of international law, the Hawaiian State would continue to exist despite its government being unlawfully overthrown by the United States on January 17, 1893. President Cleveland entered into a treaty, by exchange of notes, with Queen Lili‘uokalani on December 18, 1893, whereby the President committed to restoring the Queen as the Executive Monarch, and, thereafter, the Queen committed to granting a full pardon to the insurgents. Political wrangling in the Congress, however, prevented President Cleveland from carrying out his obligations under the executive agreement. Five years later, the United States Congress enacted a joint resolution for the purported annexation of the Hawaiian Islands that was signed into law on July 7, 1898, by President William McKinley.

Professor Wright, a renowned American political scientist, states that “international law distinguishes between a government and the state it governs.” And Judge Crawford of the International Court of Justice clearly explains that “[b]elligerent occupation does not affect the continuity of the State, even where there exists no government claiming to represent the occupied State.” Crawford’s conclusion is based on the “presumption that the State continues to exist, with its rights and obligations … despite a period in which there is…no effective government (emphasis added).” Applying this principle to the Second Gulf War, Crawford explains, the

occupation of Iraq in 2003 illustrated the difference between ‘government’ and ‘State’; when Members of the Security Council, after adopting SC res 1511, 16 October 2003, called for the rapid “restoration of Iraq’s sovereignty”, they did not imply that Iraq had ceased to exist as a State but that normal governmental arrangements should be restored.

When the Hawaiian Kingdom initiated these sui generis proceedings on May 20, 2021, it sought to arrest the commission of the war crime of usurpation of sovereignty by having the Court “[e]njoin Defendants from implementing or enforcing all laws of the Defendants UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and the STATE OF HAWAI‘I AND ITS COUNTIES, to include the United States constitution, State of Hawai‘i constitution, Federal and State of Hawai‘i statutes, County ordinances, common law, case law, administrative law, and the maintenance of Defendant UNITED STATES OF AMERICA’s military installations across the territory of the HAWAIIAN KINGDOM, to include its territorial sea.” These proceedings have now gone on for sixteen months and the war crime of usurpation of sovereignty is still being committed with impunity.

The basis of the complaint was the presumption that the Hawaiian Kingdom as a State continues to exist despite its government being militarily overthrown by the United States on January 17, 1893. The Hawaiian Kingdom as a State is a juridical fact, which was acknowledged by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in Larsen v. Hawaiian Kingdom in 1999.

When these proceedings were initiated, the Hawaiian Kingdom, however, understood that it could not get relief until the Court transforms itself from an Article III Court into an Article II Occupation Court because it is situated in the territory of the Hawaiian Kingdom and not the United States. In its Amended Complaint, the Hawaiian Kingdom addressed this under the heading “Jurisdiction and Venue:”

While this court is operating within the territory of the HAWAIIAN KINGDOM and not within the territory of Defendant UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, its jurisdiction is found as a de facto Article II Court. According to Professor Bederman:

What, then, is distinctive about a court established under Article II of the Constitution? First, executive tribunals are established without an act of Congress or any other form of legislative concurrence. Congressional intent concerning the status of a presidential court is irrelevant because no congressional approval is needed. The fact that the President alone can create an executive court places it outside the scope of Article III of the Constitution, which demands that Congress shall establish courts inferior to the Supreme Court. Second, the executive courts are created pursuant only to the power and authority granted to the President in Article II of the Constitution. In practice, the only presidential power that would call for the creation of a court is that arising from his responsibility as Commander in Chief of the armed services and his subsequent war-making authority.

The authority for this Court to assume jurisdiction as a de facto Article II Court is fully elucidated in the Amicus Curiae brief previously lodged in these proceedings by virtue of the Motion for Leave to File Amicus Curiae Brief on July 30, 2021 [ECF 45] by the International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL), the National Lawyers Guild (NLG), and the Water Protector Legal Collective (WPLC). The Amicus brief is instructional for the Court to transition to a de facto Article II Court.

An Article II Court was established in Germany after hostilities ceased in 1945 during the Second World War. After the surrender, western Germany came under belligerent occupation by the United States, France and Great Britain. The military occupation officially came to an end on May 5, 1955, with the entry into force of peace treaties called the Bonn Conventions between the Federal Republic of Germany and the three Occupying States. During the occupation, these Article II Courts had jurisdiction “over all persons in the occupied territory,” except for Allied armed forces, their dependents, and civilian officials, for “[a]ll offenses against the laws and usages of war[,] […] [a]ll offenses under any proclamation, law, ordinance, notice or order issued by or under the authority of the Military Government or of the Allied Forces, [and] [a]ll offenses under the laws of the occupied territory or any part thereof.”

Like the Article II Court in Germany, this Court has Jurisdiction as a de facto Article II Court because this action arises under international humanitarian law—law of armed conflict, which include the 1907 Hague Convention, IV (1907 Hague Regulations), the 1907 Hague Convention, V, the 1949 Geneva Convention, IV (1949 Fourth Geneva Convention), and Hawaiian Kingdom law. Article 43 of the 1907 Hague Regulations states:

The authority of the legitimate power having in fact passed into the hands of the occupant, the latter shall take all the measures in his power to restore, and ensure, as far as possible, public order and safety, while respecting, unless absolutely prevented, the laws in force in the country.

The Court is authorized to award the requested declaratory and injunctive relief as a de facto Article II Court because it is situated within the territory of the HAWAIIAN KINGDOM that has been under a prolonged belligerent occupation by the United States of America since January 17, 1893.

Venue is proper because the events giving rise to this claim occurred in this District, and the Defendants are being sued in their official capacities.

When the Amici filed their amicus curiae brief in support of the Hawaiian Kingdom’s Amended Complaint on October 6, 2021, they sought to assist the Court in the understanding as to why it must transform into an Article II Occupation Court given the legal and factual situation of the Hawaiian Kingdom. The Amici stated:

Under the concept of void ab initio, there are structures that have no legal effect from inception. The United States occupation of Hawai‘i began with unclean hands, and this can only be remedied by a clean slate and a new beginning. Recognition of the prolonged occupation of the Hawaiian Kingdom by the United States through Declaratory Judgment is not only a redressable claim, it is long overdue and would only be consistent with what is already known to the international community and clear under international law. Additionally, granting the Hawaiian Kingdom injunctive relief would acknowledge the Kingdom’s continuous sovereignty, mitigate the United States’ liability for its war crimes against the Hawaiian people, and apply local law as required of an occupying power by the international law of war. Acknowledging extraterritoriality and occupation would have the practical effect of applying the laws of the Hawaiian Kingdom but as was the case with prior occupation courts, this would not nullify any prior decisions of any of the courts currently operating in Hawai‘i, so long as they are not inconsistent with local law.

As an Article III Court, the Court cannot claim to have jurisdiction within the territory of the Hawaiian Kingdom unless it can provide rebuttable evidence that the Hawaiian Kingdom as a State was extinguished under international law. As Professor Craven stated, “[i]f one were to speak about a presumption of continuity, one would suppose that an obligation would lie upon the party opposing that continuity to establish the facts substantiating its rebuttal. The continuity of the Hawaiian Kingdom, in other words, may be refuted only by reference to a valid demonstration of legal title, or sovereignty, on the part of the United States.”

Without proffering any “reference to a valid demonstration of legal title, or sovereignty, on the part of the United States,” this Court is precluded from asserting jurisdiction as an Article III Court when it is situated within the territory of the Hawaiian Kingdom and any judgment it makes is void. A judgment is void “if the court that rendered judgment lacked jurisdiction of the subject-matter, or of the parties, or acted in a manner inconsistent with due process.” According to Justice Story, “no sovereignty can extend its process beyond its territorial limits, to subject either persons or property to its judicial decisions. Every exertion of authority beyond this limit is a mere nullity.”  In Pennoyer v. Neff, the Supreme Court reiterated Justice Story’s views on territorial jurisdiction. The Court stated:

[N]o State can exercise direct jurisdiction and authority over persons or property without its territory (citation omitted). The several States are of equal dignity and authority, and the independence of one implies the exclusion of power from all others. And so it is laid down by jurists as an elementary principle that the laws of one State have no operation outside of its territory except so far as is allowed by comity, and that no tribunal established by it can extend its process beyond that territory so as to subject either persons or property to its decisions. 

Since these proceedings began, neither the Court nor the Defendants provided any “reference to a valid demonstration of legal title, or sovereignty, on the part of the United States,” and, therefore, the presumption of the Hawaiian State remains. Their arguments, to include the arguments made in the instant motion to dismiss, relies on “the United States constitution, State of Hawai‘i constitution, Federal and State of Hawai‘i statutes, County ordinances, common law, case law, [and] administrative law,” which is the war crime of usurpation of sovereignty. The Amended Complaint clearly states:

Municipal laws of the Defendant UNITED STATES OF AMERICA being imposed in the HAWAIIAN KINGDOM constitute a violation of the law of occupation, which, according to Professor Schabas, is the war crime of usurpation of sovereignty. The actus reus of the offense “would consist of the imposition of legislation or administrative measures by the occupying power that go beyond those required by what is necessary for military purposes of the occupation.” All war crimes committed in the Hawaiian kingdom have a direct nexus and extend from the war crime of usurpation of sovereignty.

According to Professor Schabas, the requisite elements for the following war crimes are:

Elements of the war crime of usurpation of sovereignty during occupation

1. The perpetrator imposed or applied legislative or administrative measures of the occupying power going beyond those required by what is necessary for military purposes of the occupation.
2. The perpetrator was aware that the measures went beyond what was required for military purposes or the protection of fundamental human rights.
3. The conduct took place in the context of and was associated with an occupation resulting from international armed conflict.
4. The perpetrator was aware of factual circumstance that established the existence of the armed conflict and subsequent occupation

Elements of the war crime of denationalization

1. The perpetrator participated in the imposition or application of legislative or administrative measures of the occupying power directed at the destruction of the national identity and national consciousness of the population.
2. The perpetrator was aware that the measures were directed at the destruction of the national identity and national consciousness of the population.
3. The conduct took place in the context of and was associated with an occupation resulting from international armed conflict.
4. The perpetrator was aware of factual circumstance that established the existence of the armed conflict and subsequent occupation.

Elements of the war crime of pillage

1. The perpetrator appropriated certain property.
2. The perpetrator intended to deprive the owner of property and to appropriate it for private or personal use.
3. The appropriation was without the consent of the owner.
4. The conduct took place in the context of and was associated with an occupation resulting from international armed conflict.
5. The perpetrator was aware of factual circumstances that established the existence of the armed conflict and subsequent occupation.

Elements of the war crime of confiscation or destruction of property

1. The perpetrator confiscated or destroyed property in an occupied territory, be it that belonging to the State or individuals.
2. The confiscation or destruction was not justified by military purposes of the occupation or by the public interest.
3. The perpetrator was aware that the owner of the property was the State or an individual and that the act of confiscation or destruction was not justified by military purposes of the occupation or by the public interest.
4.  The conduct took place in the context of and was associated with an occupation resulting from international armed conflict.
5. The perpetrator was aware of factual circumstance that established the existence of the armed conflict and subsequent occupation.

Elements of the war crime of deprivation of fair and regular trial

1. The perpetrator deprived one or more persons in an occupied territory of fair and regular trial by denying judicial guarantees recognized under international law, including those of the fourth Geneva Convention and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
2. The conduct took place in the context of and was associated with an occupation resulting from international armed conflict.
3. The perpetrator was aware of factual circumstance that established the existence of the armed conflict and subsequent occupation.

Elements of the war crime of deporting civilians of the occupied territory

1. The perpetrator deported or forcibly transferred, without grounds permitted under international law, one or more persons in the occupied State to another State or location, including the occupying State, or to another location within the occupied territory, by expulsion or coercive acts.
2. Such person or persons were lawfully present in the area from which they were so deported or transferred.
3. The perpetrator was aware of the factual circumstances that established the lawfulness of such presence.
4. The conduct took place in the context of and was associated with an occupation resulting from international armed conflict.
5. The perpetrator was aware of factual circumstances that established the existence of the armed conflict and subsequent occupation.

With regard to the last two elements of the aforementioned war crimes, Schabas states:

1. There is no requirement for a legal evaluation by the perpetrator as the existence of an armed conflict as international.
2. In that context there is no requirement for awareness by the perpetrator of the facts that established the character of the conflict as international.
3. There is only a requirement for the awareness of the factual circumstances that established the existence of an armed conflict.

The prohibition of war crimes is an “old norm which [has] acquired the character of jus cogens.” According to the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), international crimes, which include war crimes, are “universally condemned wherever they occur,” because they are “peremptory norms of international law or jus cogens.” Jus cogens norms are peremptory norms that “are nonderogable and enjoy the highest status within international law.” Schabas’ legal opinion is undeniably, and pursuant to The Paquette Habana case, a means for the determination of the rules of international criminal law.

The Duty of the Hawaiian Kingdom as a State to Investigate War Crimes Committed in its Territory

While these proceedings were underway, the United Nations Human Rights Council was made aware of the prolonged occupation of the Hawaiian Kingdom and the commission of war crimes and human rights violations. As stated by the Royal Commission of Inquiry in its War Criminal Report no. 22-0007:

On 7 February 2021, the International Association of Democratic Lawyers (“IADL”), a non-governmental organization of human rights lawyers that has special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (“ECOSOC”) and accredited to participate in the Human Rights Council’s sessions as Observers, passed a resolution calling upon the United States to immediately comply with international humanitarian law in its prolonged occupation of the Hawaiian Islands—the Hawaiian Kingdom. In its resolution, the IADL also “supports the Hawaiian Council of Regency, who represented the Hawaiian Kingdom at the Permanent Court of Arbitration, in its efforts to seek resolution in accordance with international law as well as its strategy to have the State of Hawai‘i and its Counties comply with international humanitarian law as the administration of the Occupying State.”

Together with the IADL, the American Association of Jurists—Asociación Americana de Juristas (“AAJ”), who is also a non-governmental organization with consultative status with the United Nations ECOSOC and accredited as an observer in the Human Rights Council’s sessions, sent a joint letter dated 3 March 2022 to member States of the United Nations on the status of the Hawaiian Kingdom and its prolonged occupation by the United States. In its joint letter, the AAJ also “supports the Hawaiian Council of Regency, who represented the Hawaiian Kingdom at the Permanent Court of Arbitration, in its efforts to seek resolution in accordance with international law as well as its strategy to have the State of Hawai‘i and its Counties comply with international humanitarian law as the administration of the Occupying State.”

On 22 March 2022, the author delivered an oral statement, on behalf of the IADL and AAJ, to the United Nations Human Rights Council at its 49th session in Geneva. The oral statement read:

The International Association of Democratic Lawyers and the American Association of Jurists call the attention of the Council to human rights violations in the Hawaiian Islands. My name is Dr. David Keanu Sai, and I am the Minister of Foreign Affairs ad interim for the Hawaiian Kingdom. I also served as lead agent for the Hawaiian Kingdom at the Permanent Court of Arbitration from 1999-2001 where the Court acknowledged the continued existence of my country as a sovereign and independent State.

The Hawaiian Kingdom was invaded by the United States on 16 January 1893, which began its century long occupation to serve its military interests. Currently, there are 118 military sites throughout the islands and the city of Honolulu serves as the headquarters for the Indo-Pacific Combatant Command.

For the past century, the United States has and continues to commit the war crime of usurpation of sovereignty, under customary international law, by imposing its municipal laws over Hawaiian territory, which has denied Hawaiian subjects their right of internal self-determination by prohibiting them to freely access their own laws and administrative policies, which has led to the violations of their human rights, starting with the right to health, education and to choose their political leadership.

The Defendant UNITED STATES OF AMERICA is a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council and did not oppose or object to the statement made by H.E. Dr. David Keanu Sai, Ph.D., and, therefore, acquiesced to the statement by Dr. Sai. 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.” Since the United States “did not do so … thereby must be held to have acquiesced. Qui tacet consentire videtur si loqui dbuisset act potuisset.” Nevertheless, the war crime of usurpation of sovereignty continues to be committed with impunity.

Rule 158 of the International Committee of the Red Cross Study on Customary International Humanitarian Law specifies that “States must investigate war crimes allegedly committed by their nationals or armed forces, or on their territory, and, if appropriate, prosecute the suspects. They must also investigate other war crimes over which they have jurisdiction and, if appropriate, prosecute the suspects.” This “rule that States must investigate war crimes and prosecute the suspects is set forth in numerous military manuals, with respect to grave breaches, but also more broadly with respect to war crimes in general.”

Determined to hold to account individuals who have committed war crimes and human rights violations throughout the territorial jurisdiction of the Hawaiian Kingdom, the Council of Regency, by Proclamation on April 17, 2019, established a Royal Commission of Inquiry (“RCI”) in similar fashion to the United States proposal of establishing a Commission of Inquiry after the First World War “to consider generally the relative culpability of the authors of the war and also the question of their culpability as to the violations of the laws and customs of war committed during its course.”

In accordance with Hawaiian Kingdom administrative precedence in addressing crises by Royal Commissions of Inquiry, the RCI was established by “virtue of the prerogative of the Crown provisionally vested in [the Council of Regency] in accordance with Article 33 of the 1864 Constitution, and to ensure a full and thorough investigation into the violations of international humanitarian law and human rights within the territorial jurisdiction of the Hawaiian Kingdom.” His Excellency, Dr. David Keanu Sai, Ph.D., has been designated as Head of the RCI, and Dr. Federico Lenzerini, Ph.D., as Deputy Head. Pursuant to Article 3—Composition of the Royal Commission, the Head of the RCI has been authorized to seek “recognized experts in various fields.”

The RCI acquired legal opinions from the following experts in international law: on the subject of the continuity of the Hawaiian Kingdom under international law, Professor Matthew Craven from the University of London, SOAS, School of Law; on the subject of the elements of war crimes committed in the Hawaiian Kingdom since 1893, Professor William Schabas, Middlesex University London, School of Law; and on the subject of human rights violations in the Hawaiian Kingdom and the right of self-determination by the Hawaiian citizenry, Professor Federico Lenzerini, University of Siena, Italy, Department of Political and International Studies. These experts, to include the Head of the RCI, are the authors of chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 of Part II of the Royal Commission’s eBook – The Royal Commission of Inquiry: Investigating War Crimes and Human Rights Violations Committed in the Hawaiian Kingdom.

According to Article 1(2), “[t]he purpose of the Royal Commission shall be to investigate the consequences of the United States’ belligerent occupation, including with regard to international law, humanitarian law and human rights, and the allegations of war crimes committed in that context. The geographical scope and time span of the investigation will be sufficiently broad and be determined by the head of the Royal Commission.”

Article 1(3) provides, “[t]he results of the investigation will be presented to the Council of Regency, the Contracting Powers of the 1907 Hague Convention, IV, respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land, the Contracting Powers of the 1949 Geneva Convention, IV, relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, the Contracting Powers of the 2002 Rome Statute, the United Nations, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and the National Lawyers Guild in the form of a report.” All 123 countries who are State Parties to the Rome Statute that established the International Criminal Court have the first responsibility and right to prosecute war criminals that enter their territories under the principle of complementarity and universal jurisdiction.

In Restatement (Third) of Foreign Relations Law of the United States, it recognizes that when “determining whether a rule has become international law, substantial weight is accorded to…the writing of scholars.” According to Black’s Law, United States courts have acknowledged that the “various Restatements have been a formidable force in shaping the disciplines of the law covered [and] they represent the fruit of the labor of the best legal minds in the diverse fields of law covered.” The Restatement drew from Article 38(1)(d) of the Statute of the International Court of Justice, which provides that “the teachings of the most highly qualified publicists of the various nations [are] subsidiary means for the determination of rules of [international law].” These “writings include treatises and other writings of authors of standing.” Professors Craven, Schabas, and Lenzerini are “authors of standing” and their legal opinions are “sources” of the rules of international law.

At its website, the RCI recently published the following War Criminal Reports:

War Criminal Report no. 22-0002 finding Derek Kawakami, as Mayor of the County of Kaua‘i, and Arryl Kaneshiro, as Chair of the Kaua‘i County Council, guilty of the war crime of usurpation of sovereignty (November 17, 2022).

War Criminal Report no. 22-0002-1 finding Matthew M. Bracken and Mark L. Bradbury guilty of being accomplices to the war crime of usurpation of sovereignty committed by Mayor Kawakami and Chair Kaneshiro (November 20, 2022).

War Criminal Report no. 22-0003 finding Mitchell Roth, as Mayor of the County of Hawai‘i, and Maile David, as Chairwoman of the Hawai‘i County Council, guilty of the war crime of usurpation of sovereignty (November 17, 2022).

War Criminal Report no. 22-0003-1 finding Elizabeth A. Stance, Mark D. Disher and Dakota K. Frenz guilty of being accomplices to the war crime of usurpation of sovereignty committed by Mayor Roth and Chairwoman David (November 20, 2022).

War Criminal Report no. 22-0004 finding Michael Victorino, as Mayor of the County of Maui, and Alice L. Lee, as Chairwoman of the Maui County Council, guilty of the war crime of usurpation of sovereignty (November 17, 2022).

War Criminal Report no. 22-0004-1 finding Moana M. Lutey, Caleb P. Rowe and Iwalani Mountcastle Gasmen guilty of being accomplices to the war crime of usurpation of sovereignty committed by Mayor Victorino and Chairwoman Lee (November 20, 2022).

War Criminal Report no. 22-0005 finding David Yutake Ige, as Governor of the State of Hawai‘i, Ty Nohara, as Commissioner of Securities of the State of Hawai‘i, and Isaac W. Choy, as Director of the Department of Taxation of the State of Hawai‘i, guilty of the war crime of usurpation of sovereignty (November 18, 2022).

War Criminal Report no. 22-0005-1 finding Holly T. Shikada and Amanda J. Watson guilty of being accomplices to the war crime of usurpation of sovereignty committed by Governor Ige, Commissioner Nohara, and Director Choy (November 20, 2022).

War Criminal Report no. 22-0006 finding Anders G.O. Nervell, as Honorary Consul for Sweden, guilty of the war crime of usurpation of sovereignty (November 18, 2022).

War Criminal Report no. 22-0006-1 finding Scott I. Batterman guilty of being an accomplice to the war crime of usurpation of sovereignty committed by Swedish Honorary Consul Nervell (November 20, 2022).

War Criminal Report no. 22-0007 finding Joseph Robinette Biden Jr., as President of the United States, Kamala Harris, as Vice-President of the United States, Admiral John Aquilino, as Commander of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, Charles P. Rettig, as Commissioner U.S. Internal Revenue Service, Charles E. Schumer, as U.S. Senate Majority Leader, and Nancy Pelosi, as Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, guilty of the war crime of usurpation of sovereignty (November 18, 2022).

War Criminal Report no. 22-0007-1 finding Brian M. Boynton, Anthony J. Coppolino and Michael J. Gerardi guilty of being accomplices to the war crime of usurpation of sovereignty committed by President Biden, Vice-President Harris, Admiral Aquilino, Commissioner Rettig, Senator Schumer, and Representative Pelosi (November 20, 2022).

War Criminal Report no. 22-0008 finding Leslie E. Kobayashi, as United States District Judge, and Rom A. Trader, as United States Magistrate Judge, guilty of the war crimes of usurpation of sovereignty and deprivation of fair and regular trial (November 23, 2022).

The RCI, in its reports, found that the pleadings of the Defendants in this case, to include the instant motion to dismiss, and the orders issued therefrom, have met the constituent elements of usurpation of sovereignty and deprivation of fair and regular trial and mens rea.

The U.S. District Court, for the District of Hawai`i has failed and/or refuses to transform and operate as an Article II Court in defiance of the rule of law as set out in these proceedings by the Hawaiian Kingdom and affirmed in the filing of the Amicus Brief filed by the International Association of Democratic Lawyers, the National Lawyers Guild and the Water Protector Legal Collection.  Furthermore, this Court has administered “[m]unicipal laws of the Defendant UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” in addressing all claims for relief by parties to these proceedings, in the territorial jurisdiction of the Hawaiian Kingdom, in complete disregard of international law.

Defendants, all of those seeking relief and dismissal of the Complaint and/or Amended Complaint, have invoked and asserted only “[m]unicipal laws of the Defendant UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” to serve their interest(s) and obtain their relief sought from this Court.  In no instance, have any of these Defendants proffered evidence (rebuttable or otherwise) of the extinguishment of the Hawaiian Kingdom, as a State under international law.  In fact, to the contrary and extreme detriment of Plaintiff, said defendants have intentionally asserted only “[m]unicipal laws of the Defendant UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” and relied on the Court’s extrajudicial review, consideration and application solely on “[m]unicipal laws of the Defendant UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” to grant the relief sought for said Defendants. 

As now documented in the Reports of the RCI, these proceedings have been rendered moot, as the Hawaiian Kingdom is unable to get relief sought in its Complaint/Amended Complaint from the Defendants and this Court, and thereby subjecting Plaintiff, its Council of Regency, its national subjects and its territorial domain to ongoing suffering and damages brought upon by the continuing imposition of “[m]unicipal laws of the Defendant UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.”

Accordingly, as instructed by the Council of Regency, on behalf of Plaintiff Hawaiian Kingdom, I hereby give Notice of Voluntary Dismissal of its Amended Complaint and these proceedings in a manner consistent with Rule 41(a)(1)(A)(i) FRCP.

“MIC DROP”

The Day of Reckoning Has Finally Arrived for the Insurgency of 1893

Determined to hold to account individuals that have committed war crimes and human rights violations throughout the territorial jurisdiction of the Hawaiian Kingdom under this prolonged occupation by the United States, the Council of Regency, by Proclamation on April 17, 2019, established a Royal Commission of Inquiry (“Royal Commission”) in similar fashion to the United States proposal of establishing a Commission of Inquiry after the First World War “to consider generally the relative culpability of the authors of the war and also the question of their culpability as to the violations of the laws and customs of war committed during its course.”

In accordance with Hawaiian administrative precedence in addressing crises, the Royal Commission was established by “virtue of the prerogative of the Crown provisionally vested in [the Council of Regency] in accordance with Article 33 of the 1864 Constitution, and to ensure a full and thorough investigation into the violations of international humanitarian law and human rights within the territorial jurisdiction of the Hawaiian Kingdom.” His Excellency, Dr. David Keanu Sai, Ph.D., was designated as Head of the Royal Commission, and Dr. Federico Lenzerini, Ph.D., as Deputy Head. Pursuant to Article 3 – Composition of the Royal Commission, the Head of the Royal Commission has been authorized to seek “recognized experts in various fields.”

The Royal Commission has acquired legal opinions from the following experts in international law: on the subject of the continuity of the Hawaiian Kingdom under international law, Professor Matthew Craven from the University of London, SOAS, School of Law; on the subject of the elements of war crimes committed in the Hawaiian Kingdom since 1893, Professor William Schabas, Middlesex University London, School of Law; and on the subject of human rights violations in the Hawaiian Kingdom and the right of self-determination by the Hawaiian citizenry, Professor Federico Lenzerini, University of Siena, Italy, Department of Political and International Studies. These experts, to include the Head of the Royal Commission, are the authors of chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 of Part II of the Royal Commission’s eBook – The Royal Commission of Inquiry: Investigating War Crimes and Human Rights Violations Committed in the Hawaiian Kingdom.

According to Article 1(2), “The purpose of the Royal Commission shall be to investigate the consequences of the United States’ belligerent occupation, including with regard to international law, humanitarian law and human rights, and the allegations of war crimes committed in that context. The geographical scope and time span of the investigation will be sufficiently broad and be determined by the head of the Royal Commission.”

Article 1(3) provides, “The results of the investigation will be presented to the Council of Regency, the Contracting Powers of the 1907 Hague Convention, IV, respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land, the Contracting Powers of the 1949 Geneva Convention, IV, relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, the Contracting Powers of the 2002 Rome Statute, the United Nations, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and the National Lawyers Guild in the form of a report.”

In Restatement (Third) of Foreign Relations Law of the United States, it recognizes that when “determining whether a rule has become international law, substantial weight is accorded to…the writing of scholars.” According to Black’s Law, 6th ed., United States courts have acknowledged that the “various Restatements have been a formidable force in shaping the disciplines of the law covered [and] they represent the fruit of the labor of the best legal minds in the diverse fields of law covered.” The Restatement drew from Article 38(1)(d) of the Statute of the International Court of Justice, which provides that “the teachings of the most highly qualified publicists of the various nations [are] subsidiary means for the determination of rules of [international law].” These “writings include treatises and other writings of authors of standing.” Professors Craven, Schabas, and Lenzerini are “authors of standing” and their legal opinions are “sources” of the rules of international law.

The Royal Commission would first provide Preliminary Reports on various subjects relative to its mandate, followed by periodic Reports of its investigation of war crimes that meet the constituent elements of mens rea and actus reus, and human rights violations.

Criminal Report no. 22-0001

The day of reckoning has finally arrived through Hawaiian law for those individuals who have been found “guilty” of the crime of treason. After three years of preliminary reports, the Royal Commission has just published its first Criminal Report no. 22-0001 regarding the insurgency of 1893 and attainder of treason.

For over a century, members of the Provisional Government and its successor the Republic of Hawai‘i were not held accountable for their treasonous actions on January 17, 1893, in the unlawful overthrow of the government of the Hawaiian Kingdom under the protection of U.S. troops that invaded Honolulu the day before. Although war crimes and human rights violations did not exist at the time under international law, the high crime of treason did under Hawaiian Kingdom law.

Some of the insurgents came to be known as the Big Five, a collection of five large businesses, that wielded considerable political and economic power after 1893 to benefit themselves. The Big Five were Castle & Cooke, Alexander & Baldwin, C. Brewer & Co., American Factors (now Amfac), and Theo H. Davies & Co. In a May 3, 1940 report on the Hawaiian Islands by Elwyn J. Eagen to the Congressional Special House Committee on the National Labor Relations Act, he stated:

Virtually every business of any importance is owned or controlled by the so-called “Big-Five.” These companies have interlocking directorships. This method of obtaining joint action extends not only to the companies named but also to various subsidiary corporations. Most of the land in the Islands is owned or controlled by the same group which manage the affairs of the “Big Five.” There are no independent banks on the Islands. All of the banks are controlled by virtually the same people who are interested in the “Big-Five.” By controlling loans, the officers of the “Big Five” are able to keep semi-independent business men from engaging in activities hostile to their interests. They are also able to know the financial condition of all the inhabitants of the Islands. Persons who do not comply with the wishes of the “Big Five” are refused loans or extension and are forced out of business.

In the Statute Laws of 1846, section 7, it was enacted: “[l]and so patented [that is purchased from the Government] shall never revert to the king of these islands, nor escheat to this government, for any other cause than attainder of high treason, as defined in the criminal code (emphasis added).” Among the prerogatives of the king that affect lands is “[t]o punish for high treason by forfeiture, if so the law decrees.” The King’s superior right to forfeiture was transferred to the government when the Hawaiian Kingdom became a constitutional monarchy. Under the treason statute, which has no degrees, the Penal Code states:

  1. Treason is hereby defined to be any plotting or attempt to dethrone or destroy the King, or the levying of war against the King’s government, or the adhering to the enemies thereof, giving them aid and comfort, the same being done by a person owing allegiance to this kingdom.
  2. Allegiance is the obedience and fidelity due to the kingdom from those under its protection.
  3. 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.
  4. Ambassadors and other ministers of foreign states, and their alien secretaries, servants and members of their families, do not owe allegiance to this kingdom, though resident therein, and are not capable of committing treason against this kingdom.
  5. To constitute the levying of war, contemplated in the first section of this chapter, it shall be requisite that the persons concerned therein be parties to some overt act, in or towards procuring, preparing or using force, or putting themselves in a condition in readiness to use force, either by being present at such overt act, or by promoting, aiding in, or being otherwise accessory before the fact to the same.
  6. In order to constitute the levying of war, the force must be employed or intended to be employed for the dethroning or destruction of the King or in contravention of the laws, or in opposition to the authority of the King’s government, with an intent or for an object affecting some of the branches or departments of said government general, or affecting the enactment, repeal or enforcement of laws in general, or of some general law; or affecting the people, or the public tranquility generally; in distinction from some special intent or object, affecting individuals other than the King, or a particular district.
  7. An accessory before the fact to treason is guilty of treason, and shall be subject to prosecution, trial and punishment therefor, though the principals more directly concerned have not been convicted, or are not amendable to justice.
  8. No person shall be convicted of treason but by the testimony of two or more lawful witnesses to the same overt act of treason whereof he stands charged, unless he shall in open court, confess such treason.
  9. Whoever shall commit the crime of treason, shall suffer the punishment of death; and all his property shall be confiscated to the government.
  10. If any person who shall have knowledge of the commission of treason against this kingdom, shall conceal the same, and shall not, as soon as may be, disclose and make known such treason to the Governor of the island on which he resides, he is guilty of a great crime, and shall be punished by a fine not exceeding five thousand dollars, or imprisonment at hard labor not exceeding ten years, in the discretion of the court.

By specific reference to the term attainder, the Hawaiian legislature adopted the English common law on high treason. In The King v. Agnee et al., the Hawaiian Supreme Court stated, “[w]e do not recognize as conclusive the common law nor the authorities of the courts of England or of the United States, any farther than the principles which they support may have become incorporated in our system of laws, and recognized by the adjudication of the Supreme Court.” In Agnee, the Court cited English common law commentators on criminal law such as Chitty and Bishop as well as English criminal cases.

Under English common law, attainder of high treason is a metaphor that has the effect of the corruption of blood resulting from the commission of high treason along with reversion of property by escheat, both real and personal, to the king or government. Attainder is under “common law, that extinction of civil rights and capacities which took place whenever a person who had committed treason or felony received sentence of death for his crime. The effect of ‘attainder’ upon such felon was, in general terms, that all his estate, real and personal, was forfeited. At the common law, attainder resulted in three ways, viz: by confession, by verdict, and by process or outlawry (emphasis added).”

By “process,” attainder resulted by an act of Parliament called a bill of attainder, which Edward Coke critiqued as a process that lacked provable evidence but acknowledged that the Parliament did have the authority to attaint for high treason. When Henry VIII ascended to the throne in 1509, “attainder by parliament was an established means of dealing with special offenders, particularly those who posed a threat to the security of the king and his realm.” John Hatsell’s Precedents of Proceedings in the House of Commons that was published in 1781 explains:

Although it is true, that this measure of passing Bills of Attainder…has been used as an engine of power…it is not therefore just to conclude, that no instances can occur, in which it ought to be put in practice. Cases have arisen…and may again arise, where the public safety, which is the first object of all government, has called for this extraordinary interference; and, in such instances, where can the exercise of an extraordinary power be vested with more security, than in the three branches of the legislature [Monarch, House of Lords, House of Commons]? It should, however, always be remembered, that this deviation from the more ordinary forms of proceeding by indictment or impeachment, ought never to be adopted, but in cases of absolute necessity; and in those instances only, where, from the magnitude of the crime, or the imminent danger to the state, it would be a greater public mischief to suffer the offence to pass unpunished, than even to over-step the common boundaries of law; and…by an exemplary through extraordinary proceeding, to mark with infamy and disgrace, perhaps to punish with death, even the highest and most power offenders.

In Coke’s commentary on the 1352 Statute of Treasons in the Third Institute, he explains that the term “attaint” in the statute “necessarily implieth that he be proceeded with, and attainted according to the due course, and proceedings of law, and not by absolute power.” The suspect, according to Coke, had to be attainted with direct proof of evidence and not attainted with the probability of evidence. He explains, “This doth also strengthen the former exposition of the word (provablement,) that it must be provably, by an open act, which must be manifestly proved.”

According to William Blackstone, “ANOTHER immediate consequence of attainder is the corruption of blood, both upwards and downwards; so that an attainted person can neither inherit lands or other hereditaments from his ancestors, nor retain those he is already in possession of, nor transmit them by descent to any heir; but the same shall escheat to the lord of the fee, subject to the king’s superior right of forfeiture: and the person attainted shall also obstruct all descents to his posterity, wherever they are obliged to derive a title through him to a remoter ancestor.” 

Section 8 of the Hawaiian treason statute addresses the first two ways where attainder results by conviction by trial or confession without trial. The third way is by “process” or “outlawry.” The latter was a process during the medieval period in England for the county court or by writ declared a fugitive on the run for the commission of treason an “outlaw.” The former could be done by a bill of attainder or law of attainder enacted by the English Parliament and signed into law by the Monarch.  While the United States constitutionally prohibits bills of attainder, where “[n]o bill of attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed,” and Great Britain abolished practically all the law of forfeiture and escheat for treason and felony in 1870, the Hawaiian Kingdom has no such prohibition, which would allow bills of attainder to be enacted by the Legislative Assembly, but no such bill has ever been enacted.

While bills of attainder were a product of domestic law of a State and not the courts, they could also result as a consequence of a “process” of international law by virtue of a treaty between the governments of two States where the negotiations and agreement included, inter alia, the subject of high treason as defined by a State’s domestic law. This was precisely the case of the Agreement of Restoration entered into between Queen Lili‘uokalani and President Grover Cleveland on 18 December 1893.

Of the three modes of attainting a person or persons of the high crime of treason under English common law, the insurgents were attainted by “process” as evidenced in President Cleveland’s six-month investigation from 1 April to 18 October 1893, and acknowledged by Queen Lili‘uokalani in the Agreement of Restoration of 18 December 1893. The condition of the Agreement of Restoration for the Queen, after being restored to the throne, “to grant full amnesty as to life and property to all those persons who have been or who are now in the Provisional Government, or who have been instrumental in the overthrow of your government,” presupposes that these persons were guilty of committing the high crime of treason, and, therefore, were attainted. According to Black’s Law Dictionary, amnesty is a “sovereign act of forgiveness for past acts, granted by a government to all persons (or to certain classes of persons) who have been guilty of…treason. … Included in the concept of pardon is ‘amnesty,’ which is similar in all respects to a full pardon, insofar as when it is granted both the crime and punishment are abrogated; however, unlike pardons, an amnesty usually refers to a class of individuals irrespective of individual situations (emphasis added).” The Queen, however, was not restored and, therefore, amnesty was not granted to those found guilty of treason by a “process.”

As a person who is attainted by a conviction of treason by a court of law whereby escheat occurs at the moment of the commission of the crime so that all intervening dealings with the property are avoided, escheat for a person attainted by a “process,” like a bill of attainder or the Agreement of Restoration, occurs at the moment of the commission of the crime as well. Section 9 of the treason statute states, “[w]hoever shall commit the crime of treason, shall suffer the punishment of death; and all his property shall be confiscated to the government.” The term “property” in the statute includes both real and personal.

According to Thomas Tomlins, in the Law-Dictionary explaining the Rise, Progress, and Present State of the British Law, vol. 1 (1835), as “to Corruption of Blood, this operates upwards and downwards, so that an attainted person can neither inherit lands or other hereditaments from his ancestors, nor retain those he is already in possession of, nor transmit them by descent to any heir; but the same shall escheat to the lord of the fee, subject to the king’s superior right of forfeiture; and the person attainted shall also obstruct all descents to his posterity, wherever they are obliged to derive a title through him to a remoter ancestor.” Therefore, all persons who were guilty of the crime of high treason, their real property escheated to the Hawaiian government, and their ownership to personal property vested in the Hawaiian government at the moment they committed the crime of treason since 17 January 1893 and suffers the pains and penalties from the effects of the doctrine of the corruption of blood thereafter.

One of the Big Five is Alexander & Baldwin, Ltd. The history of Alexander and Baldwin goes back to 1869 when Samuel T. Alexander and Henry P. Baldwin entered into a partnership called the Haiku Sugar Company on Maui. The Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company, formerly owned by Claus Spreckels, was later acquired by Alexander & Baldwin, as well as Kihei Plantation.

While Alexander left the islands in 1883 because of bad health and settled in Oakland, California, he continued his business relation with Baldwin in the Hawaiian Kingdom. In 1894, the partners formed a new firm in San Francisco under the name of Alexander & Baldwin, for the purpose of conducting a general commercial business and handling their plantation interests in the United States. A branch was established in Honolulu in 1897 where the main office was located. The firm was incorporated as Alexander & Baldwin, Ltd., in 1900 with Baldwin as its president.

At the time of the overthrow of the government of the Hawaiian Kingdom, Baldwin was living on the island of Kaua‘i and was an active member of the Annexation Club. In a letter to U.S. Special Commissioner James Blount dated April 25, 1893, Baldwin stated, “I have acquired considerable property and represent plantations that have this year an output of about 23,000 tons of sugar.”

On May 30, 1894, Baldwin participated in the Republic of Hawai‘i’s constitutional convention. Because Baldwin was found guilty of treason by “process,” he was attainted on May 30, 1894 when he committed the high crime and all his property, both real and personal escheated and reverted to the government of the Hawaiian Kingdom. Despite the government of the Hawaiian Kingdom was not restored until 1997 by a Council of Regency, the office of the government of the Hawaiian Kingdom was vested with Baldwin’s property as a consequence of a breach of Hawaiian law. And under the doctrine of corruption of blood, the family of Baldwin was prevented from any lawful inheritance through or from Baldwin because he was stained with treason.

For a list of all persons found guilty of the high crime of treason download the Royal Commission’s Criminal Report no. 22-0001.

The American Pot calling the Russian Kettle Black

Speaking to Pacific island leaders, Reuters reported President Joe Biden said “Russia’s assault on Ukraine in pursuit of imperial ambitions is a flagrant, flagrant violation of the UN Charter, and the basic principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity.” The world should know that this is a classic case of the pot calling the kettle black, which is an idiom that means a person should not criticize another person for a fault they themselves have.

Like Ukraine, the Hawaiian Kingdom was an internationally recognized independent State. Where Ukraine got its independence in 1991 after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Hawaiian Kingdom achieved its independence when Great Britain and France jointly proclaimed that both countries recognized the Hawaiian Islands as an independent State in 1843. The United States explicitly acknowledged Hawaiian independence on July 6, 1844.

One of the fundamental principles of international law is the sovereignty, which is supreme authority, and territorial integrity of an independent State. Independent States have exclusive authority over its territory that is subject to its own laws and not the laws of any other State.

In 1997, a treaty of friendship, cooperation, and partnership between Ukraine and the Russian Federation was signed that came into force on April 1, 2000. Article 2 of the treaty states that “the High Contracting Parties shall respect each other’s territorial integrity and reaffirm the inviolability of the borders existing between them.”

In 1849, a treaty of friendship, commerce and navigation between the Hawaiian Kingdom and the United States was signed that came into force on November 9, 1850. Territorial integrity is acknowledged in article 8 of the treaty that states “each of the two contracting parties engages that the citizens or subjects of the other residing in their respective states, shall enjoy their property and personal security, or the subjects or citizens of the most favored nation, but subject always to the laws and statutes of the two countries respectively.”

Both Ukraine and the Hawaiian Kingdom established diplomatic relations with their treaty partners. While Ukraine maintained an embassy in Moscow, and Russia maintained an embassy in Kiev, the Hawaiian Kingdom maintained an embassy in Washington, D.C., and the United States maintained an embassy in Honolulu.

Like Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022, the United States invaded the Hawaiian Kingdom on January 16, 1893. In a presidential investigation, U.S. President Grover Cleveland acknowledged that the U.S. “military demonstration upon the soil of Honolulu was itself an act of war,” which led to the overthrow of the Hawaiian government the following day. The purpose of the invasion and overthrow was to secure Pearl Harbor as a naval base of operations to protect the west coast of the United States from invasion by Japan. The Russian invasion of Ukraine was to buffer an invasion by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization or NATO, which the United States is a member of.

On January 31, 1893, U.S. Captain Alfred Mahan from the Naval War College wrote a letter to the Editor of the New York Times where he advocated seizing the Hawaiian Islands. In his letter, Captain Mahan recognized the Hawaiian Islands, “with their geographical and military importance [to be] unrivaled by that of any other position in the North Pacific.” Mahan used the Hawaiian situation to bolster his argument of building a large naval fleet. He warned that a maritime power could well seize the Hawaiian Islands, and that the United States should take that first step. He wrote, “To hold [the Hawaiian Islands], whether in the supposed case or in war with a European state, implies a great extension of our naval power. Are we ready to undertake this?”

Although President Cleveland apologized for the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom government and entered into a treaty with Queen Lili‘uokalani on December 18, 1893, to restore her to the Hawaiian throne as a constitutional executive monarch, he was prevented from doing so because of the war hawks in the Congress that wanted Pearl Harbor. This consequently placed the Hawaiian Islands in civil unrest under the control of insurgents that received support from Americans in the United States. They were pretending to be a government by calling themselves the provisional government. The reason for the pretending is because President Cleveland’s investigation already concluded “that the provisional government owes its existence to an armed invasion by the United States.” In other words, the insurgents were a puppet of the U.S.

Five years would lapse, and the Cleveland administration was replaced by President William McKinley. U.S. Secretary of the Navy John Young was an advocate for annexing the Hawaiian Islands. Secretary Long was influenced by Assistant Secretary of the Navy Theodore Roosevelt, who would later become President in 1901. On May 3, 1897, Roosevelt wrote a letter to Captain Mahan. He stated, “I need not tell you that as regards Hawaii I take your views absolutely, as indeed I do on foreign policy generally. If I had my way we would annex those islands tomorrow.” Roosevelt also stated that Cleveland’s handling of the Hawaiian situation was “a colossal crime, and we should be guilty of aiding him after the fact if we do not reverse what he did.” Roosevelt also assured Mahan, that “Secretary Long shares our views. He believes we should take the islands, and I have just been preparing some memoranda for him to use at the Cabinet meeting tomorrow.”

The opportunity for the United States to seize the Hawaiian Islands occurred at the height of the Spanish-American War. On July 6, 1898, the war hawks in the Congress passed a joint resolution declaring that the Hawaiian Islands had been annexed and President McKinley signed it into law the following day.

The opportunity for Russia to seize a portion of Ukrainian territory came after sham referendums where the people of the regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia voted to be Russian and not remain Ukrainian. On September 30, 2022, Reuters reported that “Russian President Vladimir Putin announced Russia had ‘four new regions’ in a speech in the Kremliin on Friday in which he outlined Russia’s annexation of four Ukrainian regions that Moscow’s forces have partially seized during a seven-month conflict with Ukraine.”

Despite the American annexation of the Hawaiian Islands and the Russian annexation of the four Ukrainian regions, they remain illegal under international law. Because it is illegal it did not alter the territorial integrity of both the Hawaiian Kingdom and Ukraine as independent States. As Professor Malcolm Shaws wrote, “It is, however, clear today that the acquisition of territory by force alone is illegal under international law.” And according to The Handbook of Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflicts (1995):

The international law of belligerent occupation must therefore be understood as meaning that the occupying power is not sovereign, but exercises provisional and temporary control over foreign territory. The legal situation of the territory can be altered only through a peace treaty. International law does not permit annexation of territory of another State.

The return of unlawfully annexed territory occurs when there are changes in the physical power of the usurping State. Since the usurping State has no lawful authority over annexed territory, its possession is based purely on power and not law. Similarly, the abductor of a kidnapped child, being an act prohibited by law, does not become the parent of the child by force despite the length of the kidnapping. And when the child is eventually rescued and the power of the abductor eliminated and taken into custody, the child can then return to the family.

Unlike Ukraine, there was no Reuters news agency in the 1890s informing the world of the illegal activities of the United States against the Hawaiian Kingdom and the illegal annexation of the Hawaiian Islands for military purposes during the Spanish-American War. While there is a difference in time, the Russian actions bear a striking resemblance to the United States actions in seizing the entire territory of the Hawaiian Kingdom. While both the American and Russian actions are unlawful, the Hawaiian Kingdom, like Ukraine, remain independent States under international law together with their territorial integrity intact despite the unlawful annexations.

In the case of the Hawaiian Kingdom, the Permanent Court of Arbitration, in Larsen v. Hawaiian Kingdom, acknowledged the continued existence of the Hawaiian Kingdom as a “State” under international law in 1999, which includes its territorial integrity. In the case of Ukraine, everyone in the world already knows that Ukraine is a “State” under international law.

This is a classic case of the American pot calling the Russian kettle black.

For more information on the belligerent occupation of the Hawaiian Kingdom by the United States and the unilateral annexation of Hawaiian territory, read Dr. Keanu Sai’s law article Backstory – Larsen v. Hawaiian Kingdom at the Permanent Court of Arbitration (1999-2001).

UPDATE – Hawaiian Kingdom v. Biden: The United States’ Unlawful Actions in Hawai‘i since 1893 have “Come Home to Roost”

The phrase “come home to roost” means to have unfavorable repercussions for actions taken in the past, example: “You ought to have known that your lies would come home to roost in the end”—Charles West, Stage Fright. Proceedings in Hawaiian Kingdom v. Biden is drawing attention to the United States and State of Hawai‘i actions of the past.

When federal court proceedings for Hawaiian Kingdom v. Biden were initiated on May 20, 2021, the court’s status as an Article III Court was the primary issue. Article III refers to the judicial branch of the U.S. Constitution. The U.S. Constitution does not have any legal enforcement outside the United States, and, therefore, federal courts can only operate within U.S. territory. Because the Hawaiian Kingdom continues to exist as an independent, but occupied, State, the federal court in Honolulu has no legal basis.

However, under U.S. law, a federal court can operate outside of the United States if the foreign territory is being belligerently occupied by the U.S. In this case, the authority would come under Article II of the U.S. Constitution, which is the executive branch of government headed by the President. As the President is the commander-in-chief of the military that is occupying foreign territory, an Article II Occupation Court can be established to administer the laws of the occupied country and international humanitarian law—laws of war, which includes the law of occupation. The 1907 Hague Regulations and the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention regulate foreign occupations.

After the Nazi government was overthrown in 1945, the United States, along with France, Great Britain and the Soviet Union began to occupy the German State. In the United States sector of occupation, an Article II Occupation Court was established to administer German law and international humanitarian law.

When the proceedings began, the focus was on getting the federal court to transform from an Article III Court to an Article II Occupation Court. The International Association of Democratic Lawyers, the National Lawyers Guild and the Water Protector Legal Collective, co-authored an amicus curiae brief that would assist the federal court to understand what an Article II Occupation Court is and why the federal court should transform from an Article III Court. Their request to file the brief was approved by Magistrate Judge Rom Trader on September 30, 2021, and the amicus brief was filed with the court on October 6, 2021.

The focus in these proceedings have recently shifted from having the federal court transform to an Article II Occupation Court to a preliminary issue called the Lorenzo principle. The Lorenzo principle is State of Hawai‘i common law or judge made law that centers on whether the Hawaiian Kingdom continues to exist as a State despite the overthrow of its government by the United States on January 17, 1893.

The case that the Lorenzo principle is based on is State of Hawai‘i v. Lorenzo that came before the Hawai‘i Intermediate Court of Appeals (ICA) in 1994. The principle is evidence based and requires defendants in cases that have come before courts of the State of Hawai‘i since 1994 to provide evidence that the kingdom continues to exist and to not just argue that it exists. This was the case in State of Hawai‘i v. Araujo, where the ICA stated:

Because Araujo has not, either below or on appeal, “‘presented any factual or legal basis for concluding that the Kingdom exists as a state in accordance with recognized attributes of a state’s sovereign nature,’” (citing Lorenzo, 77 Hawai‘i at 221, 883 P.2d at 643), his point of error on appeal must fail.

The Lorenzo principle also separates the Native Hawaiian sovereignty movement and nation building from the continued existence of the Hawaiian Kingdom as a State. The Hawai‘i Supreme Court, in State of Hawai‘i v. Armitage, not only clarified the evidentiary burden but also discerned between a new Native Hawaiian nation brought about through nation-building, and the Hawaiian Kingdom that existed as a State in the nineteenth century. The Hawai‘i Supreme Court explained:

Petitioners’ theory of nation-building as a fundamental right under the ICA’s decision in Lorenzo does not appear viable. Lorenzo held that, for jurisdictional purposes, should a defendant demonstrate a factual or legal basis that the [Hawaiian Kingdom] “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 jurisdiction over him or her. Thus, Lorenzo does not recognize a fundamental right to build a sovereign Hawaiian nation.

In these proceedings, the Hawaiian Kingdom has clearly provided irrefutable evidence that the Hawaiian Kingdom continues to exist as a State, especially when the Permanent Court of Arbitration acknowledged its continued existence in Larsen v. Hawaiian Kingdom. In this type of a situation, the Lorenzo principle, when applying international law, requires the party opposing the continued existence of the kingdom to provide evidence, whether factual or legal, that the kingdom does not continue to exist.

In other words, if any of the defendants in these proceedings wants the court to dismiss this case, they are required to provide evidence that the kingdom no longer exists in accordance with the standard of evidence that the Lorenzo principle established. Clear evidence that the Hawaiian Kingdom would no longer exist as a State is a treaty of cession where the Hawaiian Kingdom incorporated itself into the United States. There is no such treaty.

On June 19, 2022, the Clerk of the federal court entered defaults for the State of Hawai‘i, Governor David Ige, Securities Commissioner Ty Nohara, and Director of the Department of Taxation Isaac Choy for failing to answer the amended complaint filed on August 11, 2021.

In an attempt to have the federal court set aside the defaults, the State of Hawai‘i Attorney General’s office, on behalf of the State of Hawai‘i, Governor Ige, Securities Commissioner Nohara and the Director of Taxation Choy, filed a motion to set aside defaults on August 12, 2022.

In its memorandum in support of its motion, the State of Hawai‘i Defendants stated that once the defaults are set aside they intend to file a motion to dismiss because since the case presents a political question, the federal court has no jurisdiction over the issue and must dismiss the case. It is the same argument that the Federal Defendants are making. Both claim that the political branches of government, which are the President and Congress, no longer recognizes the Hawaiian Kingdom, and until they do federal courts cannot have jurisdiction because it is a question for the political branches to decide first.

What undercuts this argument is the United States own Restatement (Third) Foreign Relations Law, §202, comment g, which clearly states, “The duty to treat a qualified entity as a state also implies that so long as the entity continues to meet those qualifications its statehood may not be ‘derecognized.’ If the entity ceases to meet those requirements, it ceases to be a state and derecognition is not necessary.”

This is merely reiterating the rule of customary international law. According to Professor Oppenheim, once recognition of a State is granted, it “is incapable of withdrawal” by the recognizing State. And Professor Schwarzenberger explains that “recognition estops the State which has recognized the title from contesting its validity at any future time.”

The United States cannot simply de-recognize an independent State because it is politically convenient to do so. If it were such a case and allowable under international law, which it is not, then why wouldn’t the United States de-recognize its adversaries like China, Russia and North Korea.

Another problem that both the Federal and the State of Hawai‘i Defendants have is the Lorenzo principle that binds all State of Hawai‘i courts and the federal court in Honolulu. The Lorenzo principle states that the question as to whether the Hawaiian Kingdom continues to exist as a State is a “legal question” and not a “political question.”

A legal question is where a court makes a decision based on factual or legal evidence, and in order for the court to decide that legal question it must have jurisdiction to do so. A political question prevents the court from deciding because it does not have jurisdiction in the first place. This is an absurd argument and in all 53 cases that applied the Lorenzo principle by the Hawai‘i Supreme Court and the Intermediate Court of Appeals, and the 17 case that applied the Lorenzo principle in the federal court in Honolulu and by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, not one argued the political question doctrine.

Here when the evidence is abundantly clear that the Hawaiian Kingdom continues to exist as a State, the Federal and State of Hawai‘i Defendants scream POLITICAL QUESTION. This baseless argument really speaks volumes as to the strength of the evidence in this case that the Hawaiian Kingdom continues to exist as a State.

Yesterday, the Hawaiian Kingdom filed its Opposition and requested that Magistrate Judge Trader schedule an evidentiary hearing so that the State of Hawai‘i Defendants can prove with evidence that the Hawaiian Kingdom no longer exists as a State according to the evidentiary standard set by the Lorenzo principle. The Hawaiian Kingdom also filed a request for the Magistrate Judge to take Judicial Notice of evidence that the Hawaiian Kingdom continues to exist as a State.

In its Opposition, the Hawaiian Kingdom concluded with:

For these reasons, the Plaintiff respectfully requests that the Court schedule an evidentiary hearing in accordance with the Lorenzo principle for the State Defendants to provide rebuttable evidence, whether factual or legal, that the Hawaiian Kingdom ceases to exist as a State in light of the evidence and law in the instant motion. If the State Defendants are unable to proffer rebuttable evidence, the Plaintiff respectfully requests that this Court transform into an Article II Occupation Court in order for the Court to possess subject matter and personal jurisdiction to consider the State Defendants’ motion to set aside defaults. The transformation to an Article II Occupation Court is fully elucidated in the brief of amici curiae the International Association of Democratic Lawyers, the National Lawyers Guild, and the Water Protectors Legal Collective [ECF 96]. When the Court has jurisdiction, the Plaintiff will not oppose the State Defendants motion to set aside defaults.

Should the State Defendants proffer evidence of a treaty of cession that the Hawaiian Kingdom ceded its territory and sovereignty to the United States, whereby the Hawaiian State ceased to exist under international law, the Plaintiff will withdraw its amended complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief [ECF 55] and bring these proceedings to a close.

Plaintiff’s request for an evidentiary hearing and judicial notice pursuant to the Lorenzo principle is in compliance with §34 of the Federal Judiciary Act of September 24, 1789, 28 U.S.C. §1652, which provides, “The laws of the several states, except where the Constitution or treaties of the United States or Acts of Congress otherwise require or provide, shall be regarded as rules of decision in civil actions in the courts of the United States, in cases where they apply.”

As the United States Supreme Court, in Erie R.R. v. Tompkins, stated, “federal courts are […] bound to follow decisions of the courts of the State in which the controversies arise.” This case is manifestly governed by Erie and the Lorenzo principle. It is not governed by Baker v. Carr as to the political question doctrine.