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

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

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DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Washington, October 18, 1893

THE PRESIDENT:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

GOVERNMENT BUILDING
Honolulu, January 17, 1893

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

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

Respectfully, yours,

SANFORD B. DOLE
Chairman Executive Council.

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

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

The above request not complied with.

STEVENS.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Respectfully submitted.
W.Q. GRESHAM.

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.

National Holiday – Independence Day (November 28)

November 28th is the most important national holiday in the Hawaiian Kingdom. It is the day Great Britain and France formally recognized the Hawaiian Islands as an “independent state” in 1843, and has since been celebrated as “Independence Day,” which in the Hawaiian language is “La Ku‘oko‘a.” Here follows the story of this momentous event from the Hawaiian Kingdom Board of Education history textbook titled “A Brief History of the Hawaiian People” published in 1891.

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George Simpson
Haalilio

The First Embassy to Foreign Powers—In February, 1842, Sir George Simpson and Dr. McLaughlin, governors in the service of the Hudson Bay Company, arrived at Honolulu on business, and became interested in the native people and their government. After a candid examination of the controversies existing between their own countrymen and the Hawaiian Government, they became convinced that the latter had been unjustly accused. Sir George offered to loan the government ten thousand pounds in cash, and advised the king to send commissioners to the United States and Europe with full power to negotiate new treaties, and to obtain a guarantee of the independence of the kingdom.

Accordingly Sir George Simpson, Haalilio, the king’s secretary, and Mr. Richards were appointed joint ministers-plenipotentiary to the three powers on the 8th of April, 1842.

William Richards

Mr. Richards also received full power of attorney for the king. Sir George left for Alaska, whence he traveled through Siberia, arriving in England in November. Messrs. Richards and Haalilio sailed July 8th, 1842, in a chartered schooner for Mazatlan, on their way to the United States*

*Their business was kept a profound secret at the time.

Proceedings of the British Consul—As soon as these facts became known, Mr. Charlton followed the embassy in order to defeat its object. He left suddenly on September 26th, 1842, for London via Mexico, sending back a threatening letter to the king, in which he informed him that he had appointed Mr. Alexander Simpson as acting-consul of Great Britain. As this individual, who was a relative of Sir George, was an avowed advocate of the annexation of the islands to Great Britain, and had insulted and threatened the governor of Oahu, the king declined to recognize him as British consul. Meanwhile Mr. Charlton laid his grievances before Lord George Paulet commanding the British frigate “Carysfort,” at Mazatlan, Mexico. Mr. Simpson also sent dispatches to the coast in November, representing that the property and persons of his countrymen were in danger, which introduced Rear-Admiral Thomas to order the “Carysfort” to Honolulu to inquire into the matter.

Daniel Webster

Recognition by the United States—Messres. Richards and Haalilio arrived in Washington early in December, and had several interviews with Daniel Webster, the Secretary of State, from whom they received an official letter December 19th, 1842, which recognized the independence of the Hawaiian Kingdom, and declared, “as the sense of the government of the United States, that the government of the Sandwich Islands ought to be respected; that no power ought to take possession of the islands, either as a conquest or for the purpose of the colonization; and that no power ought to seek for any undue control over the existing government, or any exclusive privileges or preferences in matters of commerce.” *

*The same sentiments were expressed in President Tyler’s message to Congress of December 30th, and in the Report of the Committee on Foreign Relations, written by John Quincy Adams.

Aberdeen

Success of the Embassy in Europe—The king’s envoys proceeded to London, where they had been preceded by the Sir George Simpson, and had an interview with the Earl of Aberdeen, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, on the 22d of February, 1843.

Lord Aberdeen at first declined to receive them as ministers from an independent state, or to negotiate a treaty, alleging that the king did not govern, but that he was “exclusively under the influence of Americans to the detriment of British interests,” and would not admit that the government of the United States had yet fully recognized the independence of the islands.

Sir George and Mr. Richards did not, however, lose heart, but went on to Brussels March 8th, by a previous arrangement made with Mr. Brinsmade. While there, they had an interview with Leopold I., king of the Belgians, who received them with great courtesy, and promised to use his influence to obtain the recognition of Hawaiian independence. This influence was great, both from his eminent personal qualities and from his close relationship to the royal families of England and France.

Encouraged by this pledge, the envoys proceeded to Paris, where, on the 17th, M. Guizot, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, received them in the kindest manner, and at once engaged, in behalf of France, to recognize the independence of the islands. He made the same statement to Lord Cowley, the British ambassador, on the 19th, and thus cleared the way for the embassy in England.

They immediately returned to London, where Sir George had a long interview with Lord Aberdeen on the 25th, in which he explained the actual state of affairs at the islands, and received an assurance that Mr. Charlton would be removed. On the 1st of April, 1843, the Earl of Aberdeen formally replied to the king’s commissioners, declaring that “Her Majesty’s Government are willing and have determined to recognize the independence of the Sandwich Islands under their present sovereign,” but insisting on the perfect equality of all foreigners in the islands before the law, and adding that grave complaints had been received from British subjects of undue rigor exercised toward them, and improper partiality toward others in the administration of justice. Sir George Simpson left for Canada April 3d, 1843.

Recognition of the Independence of the Islands—Lord Aberdeen, on the 13th of June, assured the Hawaiian envoys that “Her Majesty’s government had no intention to retain possession of the Sandwich Islands,” and a similar declaration was made to the governments of France and the United States.

At length, on the 28th of November, 1843, the two governments of France and England united in a joint declaration to the effect that “Her Majesty, the queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and His Majesty, the king of the French, taking into consideration the existence in the Sandwich Islands of a government capable of providing for the regularity of its relations with foreign nations have thought it right to engage reciprocally to consider the Sandwich Islands as an independent state, and never to take possession, either directly or under the title of a protectorate, or under any other form, of any part of the territory of which they are composed…”

John C Calhoun

This was the final act by which the Hawaiian Kingdom was admitted within the pale of civilized nations. Finding that nothing more could be accomplished for the present in Paris, Messrs. Richards and Haalilio returned to the United States in the spring of 1844. On the 6th of July they received a dispatch from Mr. J.C. Calhoun, the Secretary of State, informing them that the President regarded the statement of Mr. Webster and the appointment of a commissioner “as a full recognition on the part of the United States of the independence of the Hawaiian Government.”

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.

Dr. Keanu Sai to Start Off United Church of Christ Workshops on Hawaiian Kingdom History on August 7, 2022

A free online learning opportunity for ALL hosted by the HCUCC Justice and Witness Missional Team in collaboration with the Association of Hawaiian Evangelical Churches

Come join the HCUCC Justice and Witness Missional Team for this exciting and informative exploration of Hawaiian History. Whether you are kamaʻāina or a relative newcomer to Hawaiʻi, you will hear history that you have not heard before.

Three eminent scholars, Dr. Keanu Sai, Dr. Ron Williams Jr., and Donovan Preza, will help us delve into historic documents and events that can inform us as we seek understanding and discernment regarding fulfilling our promise made in the UCC’s apology 30 years ago to the Hawaiian people to stand with them in seeking justice.

See and hear newly translated church documents from over a century. Learn about the Hawaiian Kingdomʻs founding and continuing legal status under International law. Learn about the Mahele and privatization of Hawaiian land under Hawaiian Kingdom law and why land issues will continue unless the UCC promise is fulfilled. Learn about churches who actively resisted the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom, and the white oligarchy who facilitated the illegal overthrow. If as brothers and sisters in Christ we desire reconciliation, we must first acknowledge the nature of the wrongs and their continuing effects on these islands, the Hawaiian people, and our Church.

This 12-week series will be presented through Zoom beginning on Sunday, August 7, 2022, at 4:00 p.m. HST and continues each Sunday, at the same time, through October 23, 2022. Each Zoom session will be one hour long consisting of a presentation followed by questions and discussion.

To attend any or all of the sessions, please register HERE.

PART I: The Kingdom

Presenter: Dr. Keanu Sai

ABOUT THE PRESENTER: I have a Ph.D. in Political Science specializing in Hawaiian Constitutionalism and International Relations, and a founding member of the Hawaiian Society of Law & Politics. I served as lead Agent for the Hawaiian Kingdom in arbitration proceedings before the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague, Netherlands, from November 1999-February 2001. I also served as Agent in a Complaint against the United States of America concerning the prolonged occupation of the Hawaiian Kingdom, which was filed with the United Nations Security Council on July 5, 2001. Articles on the status of the Hawaiian Kingdom as an independent state, the arbitration case and the complaint filed with the United Nations Security Council have been published in the following journals: American Journal of International Law, vol. 95 (2001); Chinese Journal of International Law, vol. 2, issue 1, (2002), and the Hawaiian Journal of Law & Politics, vol. 1 (2004).

  1. AUGUST 7 Hōʻike ʻEkahi (Presentation 1) The importance of terminology. Is Hawaiian a nationality, which is multi-ethnic, or a native indigenous people that have been colonized by the United States?
  2. AUGUST 14 Hōʻike ʻElua (Presentation 2) The constitutional history of the Hawaiian Kingdom from King Kamehameha III to Queen Lili‘uokalani (1839-1893)
  3. AUGUST 21 Hōʻike ʻEkolu (Presentation 3) The illegal overthrow of the government of the Hawaiian Kingdom and the continued existence of the Hawaiian Kingdom as a State under international law
  4. AUGUST 28 Hōʻike ʻEhā (Presentation 4) The road to recovery of ending the American occupation. How to bring compliance to the rule of law in light of war crimes and human rights violations committed in the Hawaiian Kingdom since January 16, 1893

PART II: The Church

Presenter: Dr. Ronald Williams Jr.

ABOUT THE PRESENTER: Dr. Ronald Williams Jr. holds a doctorate in history from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa with a specialization in Hawaiʻi and Native-language resources. He is a former faculty member of the Hawaiʻinuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge, UH Mānoa and in 2017 was the founding director of the school’s Lāhui Hawaiʻi Research Center. Dr. Williams is also a past president of the 128-year old Hawaiian Historical Society. He currently works as an archivist at the Hawaiʻi State Archives and serves as Hoʻopaʻa Kūʻauhau (Historian) for the grassroots political organization Ka ʻAhahui Hawaiʻi Aloha ʻĀina. Dr. Williams was a contributing author to the 2019 Samuel Manaiākalani Kamakau Book of the Year award-winning publication, Hoʻoulu Hawaiʻi: The Kalākaua Era. He has published in a wide variety of academic and public history venues including the Oxford Encyclopedia of Religion in America, the Hawaiian Journal of History, and Hana Hou! Magazine.

  1. SEPTEMBER 04 Hōʻike ʻEkahi (Presentation 1) The Early Mission, 1820 -1863
  2. SEPTEMBER 11 Hōʻike ʻElua (Presentation 2) Hōʻeuʻeu Hou: Sons of the Mission and the Shaping of a New “Mission,” 1863-1888
  3. SEPTEMBER 18 Hōʻike ʻEkolu (Presentation 3) Poʻe Karitiano ʻOiaʻiʻo (True Christians)
  4. SEPTEMBER 25 Hōʻike ʻEhā (Presentation 4) “I ka Wā Mamua, ka Wā Mahope” (The Future is in the Past)

PART III: The Land

Presenter: Donovan Preza MORE INFO TO COME

  1. OCTOBER 2 Hōʻike ʻEkahi (Presentation 1)
  2. OCTOBER 9 Hōʻike ʻElua (Presentation 2)
  3. OCTOBER 16 Hōʻike ʻEkolu (Presentation 3)
  4. OCTOBER 23 Hōʻike ʻEhā (Presentation 4)

The Federal Court in Honolulu Comes Face to Face with its own Lorenzo Doctrine

The Hawaiian Kingdom v. Biden federal lawsuit is still playing out at the United States District Court for the District of Hawai‘i, despite the case also being heard by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.

What is before the Ninth Circuit are not the two preliminary judgments made by Judge Leslie Kobayashi, but rather the lawful authority for Judge Kobayashi to make the judgments in the first place. The proceedings before the federal court in Honolulu was to get Judge Kobayashi to transform into an Article II Occupation Court so it would have lawful authority.

Right now, the federal court in Honolulu is operating as an Article III Court which is a part of the judiciary branch of government under article III of the United States Constitution. An Article II Occupation Court is a part of the executive branch of government under article II of the U.S. Constitution headed by the President as commander-in-chief of the armed forces.

Article II Occupation Courts are federal courts established in territory that is being occupied by the United States. Because Article III Courts operate within the territorial boundaries of the United States, they administer United States law. Article II Occupation Courts, on the other hand, administer the laws of the occupied State and the international law of occupation. Article II Occupation Courts were established in Germany after the defeat of the Nazi regime. These courts administered German law and the law of occupation.

Whenever defendants in Hawai‘i challenged the authority of the United States and the State of Hawai‘i in court, judges in State of Hawai‘i courts and in the federal court in Honolulu always referred to a 1994 State of Hawai‘i appeals case called State of Hawai‘i v. Lorenzo to quash the challenge. In that case, the Intermediate Court of Appeals (“Lorenzo Court”) stated:

Lorenzo appeals, arguing that the lower court erred in denying his pretrial motion (Motion) to dismiss the indictment. The essence of the Motion is that the [Ha­waiian Kingdom] (Kingdom) was recognized as an independent sovereign nation by the United States in numerous bilateral treaties; the Kingdom was illegally overthrown in 1893 with the assistance of the United States; the Kingdom still exists as a sovereign nation; he is a citizen of the Kingdom; therefore, the courts of the State of Hawai‘i have no jurisdiction over him. Lorenzo makes the same argument on appeal. For the reasons set forth below, we conclude that the lower court correctly denied the Motion.

According to the Lorenzo Court it based its denial of the motion to dismiss because it “was incumbent on Defendant to present evidence supporting his claim. Lorenzo has presented no factual (or legal) basis for concluding that the Kingdom exists as a state in accordance with recognized attributes of a state’s sovereign nature.”

The Lorenzo Court’s standard of review in determining whether the Hawaiian Kingdom exists as a State placed the burden of proof on Lorenzo as the defendant. The Hawai‘i Supreme Court, in State of Hawai‘i v. Armitage, clarified this evidentiary burden. The Supreme Court stated:

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.

Lorenzo became a precedent case on the subject of the Hawaiian Kingdom’s existence as a State in State of Hawai‘i courts, and is known in the United States District Court in Hawai‘i, since 2002, as the Lorenzo principle or doctrine. There have been seventeen federal cases that applied the Lorenzo doctrine, two of which came before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.

The Lorenzo Court, however, did acknowledge that its “rationale is open to question in light of international law.” Whether or not the Hawaiian Kingdom “exists as a state in accordance with recognized attributes of a state’s sovereign nature,” international law is supposed to be applied. By placing the burden of proof on the defendant, the Lorenzo Court did not apply international law. Because international law provides for the presumption of the continuity of the State despite the overthrow of its government by another State, it shifts the burden of proof and what is to be proven.

According to Judge Crawford, there “is a presumption that the State continues to exist, with its rights and obligations…despite a period in which there is no, or no effective, government,” and belligerent occupation “does not affect the continuity of the State, even where there exists no government claiming to represent the occupied State.” “If one were to speak about a presumption of continuity,” explains Professor Craven, “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, absent of which the presumption remains.”

Evidence of “a valid demonstration of legal title, or sovereignty, on the part of the United States” would be an international treaty, particularly a peace treaty, whereby the Hawaiian Kingdom would have ceded its territory and sovereignty to the United States. Examples of foreign States ceding 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.

The 1898 Joint Resolution To provide for annexing the Hawaiian Islands to the United States, is a municipal law of the United States without extraterritorial effect. It is not an international treaty. Under international law, to annex territory of another State is a unilateral act, as opposed to cession, which is a bilateral act between States. Under international law, annexation of an occupied State is unlawful. According to The Handbook of Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflicts:

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 or debellatio. International law does not permit annexation of territory of another state.

When the Lorenzo Court acknowledged that Lorenzo did state in his motion to dismiss the indictment that the Ha­waiian Kingdom “was recognized as an independent sovereign nation by the United States in numerous bilateral treaties,” it set the presumption to be the Hawaiian Kingdom’s existence as a State under international law and not the existence of the State of Hawai‘i as a political subdivision of the United States. This would have resulted in placing the burden “on the party opposing that continuity to establish the facts substantiating its rebuttal.”

Under international law, it was not the burden of Lorenzo to provide evidence that the Hawaiian Kingdom “exists” when the Lorenzo Court already acknowledged its existence and recognition by the United States. Rather, it was the burden of the prosecution to provide evidence that the Hawaiian Kingdom “does not exist.” As a result, the Lorenzo Court’s ruling was wrong and all decisions that followed in State of Hawai‘i courts and Federal courts applying the Lorenzo doctrine also were wrong.

In Hawaiian Kingdom v. Biden, the United States filed a Motion to Dismiss the Hawaiian Kingdom’s Amended Complaint claiming that Hawai‘i was annexed by a joint resolution of Congress in 1898 and that Hawai‘i is the 50th State of the Union since 1959. Despite the frivolous claim by the United States that Hawai‘i was annexed by an American law, the Hawaiian Kingdom opposed the motion to dismiss because the Court has no authority to make any ruling until it transforms itself into an Article II Occupation Court. Article III Courts can only operate within the territory of the United States and not outside of it unless it is an Article II Occupation Court.

On June 9, 2022, Judge Kobayashi filed her Order granting the Federal Defendants’ motion to dismiss the Hawaiian Kingdom’s amended complaint claiming she doesn’t have to transform into an Article II Occupation Court because of the Lorenzo doctrine! Today the Hawaiian Kingdom filed its Motion to Amend or Alter the Order because Judge Kobayashi used the Lorenzo doctrine in error. In its Motion, the Hawaiian Kingdom concluded with:

Without citing any rebuttable evidence to the presumption of continuity of the Hawaiian State, the Court relied on Fonoti. This case, however, is not judge-made law or federal common law like Banco Nacional de Cuba v. Sabbatino regarding international relations. The Fonoti case was a decision that did not comply with the Lorenzo doctrine and, therefore, cannot be used by this Court as if it is federal common law. While the Court cited the Fonoti case in its granting of the Defendants’ cross-motion to dismiss, which was based on the Lorenzo doctrine, albeit in error, the Court willfully disregarded international law and the Lorenzo doctrine to the detriment of the Plaintiff Hawaiian Kingdom, being a manifest error of law and fact and a manifest injustice. The Court has willfully avoided the Lorenzo doctrine that calls for evidence that the Hawaiian Kingdom does not exist “as a state in accordance with recognized attributes of a state’s sovereign nature.” The Lorenzo doctrine does not seek to determine whether the government of the Hawaiian State exists. Notwithstanding the restoration of the government of the Hawaiian State three years after State of Hawai‘i v. Lorenzo in 1994 as a Council of Regency and Plaintiff in this case, the Lorenzo doctrine’s evidentiary burden was not altered except by the application of international law.

The Court has provided no legal basis to grant Defendants’ cross-motion to dismiss first amended complaint. Therefore, this Court is bound by treaty law to take affirmative steps to transform itself into an Article II Court by virtue of Article 43 of the 1907 Hague Regulations, just as the International Bureau of the PCA established the arbitral tribunal by virtue of Article 47 of the 1907 Hague Convention on the Pacific Settlement of International Disputes because of the juridical fact of the Hawaiian Kingdom’s existence as a State. This Court is also bound to transform itself into an Article II Court because it is situated within the territory of the Hawaiian Kingdom and not within the territory of the United States pursuant to the Lorenzo doctrine. Furthermore, Federal Defendants have provided no rebuttable evidence that the Hawaiian Kingdom as a State was extinguished under international law other than invoking its internal laws as justification for not complying with its international obligations, which are barred by customary international law and treaty law.

For 28 years the State of Hawai‘i courts and the U.S. federal court in Hawai‘i have been applying the Lorenzo doctrine, which they created, wrong. This is not a matter of reading the fine print in the Lorenzo Court’s decision. It was in plain view when the Lorenzo Court stated that “the court’s rationale is open to question in light of international law.”

As a federal judge, Judge Kobayashi is obligated to apply international law to the Lorenzo doctrine, because the U.S. Supreme Court, in the The Paquette Habana case, stated, “International law is part of our law, and must be ascertained and administered by the courts of justice of appropriate jurisdiction as often as questions of right depending upon it are duly presented for their determination.”

Reaping the Fruits of Labor – Strategic Plan of the Council of Regency

The Council of Regency, serving as the provisional government of the Hawaiian Kingdom, was established within Hawaiian territory—in situ, and not in exile. The Hawaiian government was established in accordance with the Hawaiian constitution and the doctrine of necessity to serve in the absence of the office of Executive Monarch. Queen Lili‘uokalani was the last Executive Monarch from 1891-1917.

By virtue of this process the Hawaiian government is comprised of officers de facto. According to U.S. constitutional scholar Thomas Cooley:

A provisional government is supposed to be a government de facto for the time being; a government that in some emergency is set up to preserve order; to continue the relations of the people it acts for with foreign nations until there shall be time and opportunity for the creation of a permanent government. It is not in general supposed to have any authority beyond that of a mere temporary nature resulting from some great necessity, and its authority is limited to the necessity.

During the Second World War, like other governments formed during foreign occupations of their territory, the Hawaiian government did not receive its mandate from the Hawaiian legislature, but rather by virtue of Hawaiian constitutional law as it applies to the Cabinet Council, which is comprised of the constitutional offices of the Minister of Interior, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Finance and the Attorney General.  

Although Article 33 of the 1864 Constitution, as amended, provides that the Cabinet Council “shall be a Council of Regency, until the Legislative Assembly, which shall be called immediately [and] shall proceed to choose by ballot, a Regent or Council of Regency, who shall administer the Government in the name of the King, and exercise all the Powers which are constitutionally vested in the King,” the convening of the Legislative Assembly was not possible in light of the prolonged occupation. The impossibility of convening the Legislative Assembly during the occupation did not prevent the Cabinet from becoming the Council of Regency because of the operative words “shall be a Council of Regency, until…,” but only prevents, for the time being of occupation, the Legislature from electing a Regency or Regency. That election will take place when the occupation comes to an end.

Therefore, the Council was established in similar fashion to the Belgian Council of Regency after King Leopold was captured by the Germans during the Second World War. As the Belgian Council was established under Article 82 of its 1821 Constitution, as amended, in exile, the Hawaiian Council was established under Article 33 of its 1864 Constitution, as amended, not in exile but rather in situ. As Professor Oppenheim explained:

As far as Belgium is concerned, the capture of the king did not create any serious constitutional problems. According to Article 82 of the Constitution of February 7, 1821, as amended, the cabinet of ministers have to assume supreme executive power if the King is unable to govern. True, the ministers are bound to convene the House of Representatives and the Senate and to leave it to the decision of the united legislative chambers to provide for a regency; but in view of the belligerent occupation it is impossible for the two houses to function. While this emergency obtains, the powers of the King are vested in the Belgian Prime Minister and the other members of the cabinet.

The existence of the restored government in situ was not dependent upon diplomatic recognition by foreign States, but rather operated on the presumption of recognition these foreign States already afforded to the Hawaiian government as of 1893.

The recognition of the Hawaiian Kingdom as a State on November 28, 1843, was also the recognition of its government—a constitutional monarchy, as its agent. Successors in office to King Kamehameha III, who at the time of international recognition was King of the Hawaiian Kingdom, did not require diplomatic recognition. These successors included King Kamehameha IV in 1854, King Kamehameha V in 1863, King Lunalilo in 1873, King Kalākaua in 1874, and Queen Lili‘uokalani in 1891. The legal doctrines of recognition of new governments only arise “with extra-legal changes in government” of an existing State. Successors to King Kamehameha III were not established through “extra-legal changes,” but rather under the constitution and laws of the Hawaiian Kingdom. According to Professor Peterson:

A government succeeding to power according to the constitution, basic law, or established domestic custom is assumed to succeed as well to its predecessor’s status as international agent of the state. Only if there is legal discontinuity at the domestic level because a new government comes to power in some other way, as by coup d’état or revolution, is its status as an international agent of the state open to question.

The Hawaiian Council of Regency is a government restored in accordance with the constitutional laws of the Hawaiian Kingdom as they existed prior to the unlawful overthrow of the previous administration of Queen Lili‘uokalani. It was not established through “extra-legal changes,” and, therefore, did not require diplomatic recognition to give itself validity as a government. It was a successor in office to Queen Lili‘uokalani as the Executive Monarch.

According to Professor Lenzerini in his legal opinion, based on the doctrine of necessity, “the Council of Regency possesses the constitutional authority to temporarily exercise the Royal powers of the Hawaiian Kingdom.” He also concluded that the Regency “has the authority to represent the Hawaiian Kingdom as a State, which has been under a belligerent occupation by the United States of America since 17 January 1893, both at the domestic and international level.”

After all four offices of the Cabinet Council were filled on September 26, 1999, a strategic plan was adopted based on its policy: first, exposure of the prolonged occupation; second, ensure that the United States complies with international humanitarian law; and, third, prepare for an effective transition to a completely functioning government when the occupation comes to end. The Council of Regency’s strategic plan has three phases to carry out its policy.

Phase I: Verification of the Hawaiian Kingdom as an independent State and subject of International Law

Phase II: Exposure of Hawaiian Statehood within the framework of international law and the laws of occupation as it affects the realm of politics and economics at both the international and domestic levels.

Phase III: Restoration of the Hawaiian Kingdom as an independent State and a subject of International Law, which is when the occupation comes to an end.

This Grand Strategy of the Council of Regency is long term, not short term, and can be compared to China’s Grand Strategy, which is also long term. As Professors Flynt Leverett and Wu Bingbing explain in their article The New Silk Road and China’s Evolving Grand Strategy:

What is grand strategy, and what does it mean for China? In broad terms, grand strategy is the culturally shaped intellectual architecture that structures a nation’s foreign policy over time. It is, in Barry Posen’s aphoristic rendering, “a state’s theory of how it can best ‘cause’ security for itself.” Put more functionally, grand strategy is a given political order’s template for marshalling all elements of national power to achieve its self-defined long-term goals. Diplomacy—a state’s capacity to increase the number of states ready to cooperate with it and to decrease its actual and potential adversaries—is as essential to grand strategy as raw military might. So too is economic power. For any state, the most basic goal of grand strategy is to protect that state’s territorial and political integrity. Beyond this, the grand strategies of important states typically aim to improve their relative positions by enhancing their ability to shape strategic outcomes, maximize their influence, and bolster their long-term economic prospect.

Phase I was completed when the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) acknowledged the continued existence of the Hawaiian Kingdom as a State for the purposes of its institutional jurisdiction under Article 47 of the 1907 Hague Convention, I, for the Pacific Settlement of International Disputes prior to forming the arbitration tribunal on June 9, 2000. This acknowledgment of the Hawaiian Kingdom as a State can be found at its case repository for Larsen v. Hawaiian Kingdom and on its website. The non-participation of the United States in the arbitration proceedings occurred “after” the PCA already acknowledged the continued existence of Hawaiian Kingdom Statehood.

On the day when the arbitration tribunal was formed, Phase II was initiated—exposure. Phase II would be guided by Section 495—Remedies of Injured Belligerent, United States Army FM 27-10, which states, “In the event of violation of the law of war, the injured party may legally resort to remedial action of…Publication of the facts, with a view to influencing public opinion against the offending belligerent.” The exposure began with the filings of the Hawaiian Kingdom in the arbitration proceedings and its oral arguments on December 8 and 11, 2000, at the PCA, in The Hague, Netherlands, which can be seen in this mini-documentary of the proceedings.

After the last day of the Larsen hearings were held at the PCA on December 11, 2000, the Council was called to an urgent meeting by Dr. Jacques Bihozagara, Ambassador for the Republic of Rwanda assigned to Belgium. Ambassador Bihozagara had been attending a hearing before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on December 8, Democratic Republic of the Congo v. Belgium, where he became aware of the Hawaiian arbitration case taking place in the hearing room of the PCA across the hall of the Peace Palace. Both the PCA and the ICJ are housed in the same building.

The following day, the Council, which included David Keanu Sai, acting Minister of Interior and Chairman of the Council of Regency, as Agent, and two Deputy Agents, Peter Umialiloa Sai, acting Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Mrs. Kau‘i P. Sai-Dudoit, formerly known as Kau‘i P. Goodhue, acting Minister of Finance, met with Ambassador Bihozagara in Brussels. In that meeting, the Ambassador explained that since he accessed the pleadings and records of the Larsen case on December 8 from the PCA’s Secretariat, he had been in communication with his government in Kigali. This prompted our meeting where the Ambassador conveyed to the Council that his government was prepared to bring to the attention of the United Nations General Assembly the prolonged occupation of the Hawaiian Kingdom by the United States and to place our situation on the agenda. The Council requested a short break from the meeting to discuss this offer.

After careful deliberation, the Council of Regency decided that it could not, in good conscience, accept this offer. The Council felt that the timing was premature because Hawai‘i’s population remained ignorant of the Hawaiian Kingdom’s profound legal position due to institutionalized denationalization through Americanization by the United States for over a century. The Council graciously thanked the Ambassador for his government’s offer but stated that the Council first needed to address over a century of denationalization. After exchanging salutations, the meeting ended, and the Council returned that afternoon to The Hague. The meeting also constituted recognition of the restored government.

Since the Council of Regency returned home from the Netherlands, it was agreed that David Keanu Sai would enter the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa to pursue a Masters Degree in Political Science, specializing in international relations and law, and then a Ph.D. Degree in Political Science with particular focus on the continued existence of the Hawaiian Kingdom as a State. Dr. Sai is currently a Lecturer in Political Science and Hawaiian Studies at the University of Hawai‘i Windward Community College and Affiliate Faculty of the Graduate Division of the University of Hawai‘i College of Education.

Kau‘i Sai-Dudoit would work for the Hawaiian newspaper project and she is currently Programs Director for Awaiaulu, Inc. Awaiaulu is dedicated to developing resources and resource people that can bridge Hawaiian knowledge from the past to the present and the future. Historical resources are made accessible so as to build the knowledge base of both Hawaiian and English-speaking audiences, and young scholars are trained to understand and interpret those resources for modern audiences today and tomorrow.

Since Phase II of Exposure began:

In a documentary film on the Council of Regency, Donovan Preza, an Instructor at the University of Hawai‘i Kapi‘olani Community College stated:

Keanu was a boxer. He attended New Mexico [Military Institute] on a boxing scholarship so this is where I like to use this metaphor. Keanu has been brilliant about if the ring is this big-this is the boxing ring-when you’re standing here and America is standing there you’re not going to punch, you’re not going to land your knockout punch from across the ring. And America has been evading, dancing and sidestepping, not answering the question. You bring anything up in an American court and the political strategy used by the court is to make it a political question. Political question, the courts don’t have to answer it. So they kept dancing around not answering the question and Hawai‘i has never gotten close enough to force them to answer the question. And that’s what Keanu and the acting Council of Regency has been doing is systematically making that ring smaller, and smaller, and smaller, day by day, step by step, inch by inch. Everybody wants the ring to be this small now but small steps, increments, they’ve been doing that incrementally. If you’ve been paying attention to what they’ve been doing they have been making the ring smaller. Everybody wants to watch the knockout punch. Have some patience. Watch the ring get smaller until America has to answer the question. When they have to answer the question that’s when you can knock them out.

In the latest filings in Hawaiian Kingdom v. Biden et al., the Hawaiian Kingdom delivered the “knockout punch.” Judge Leslie Kobayashi was forced to answer the question of whether the Hawaiian Kingdom’s continued existence as a State under international law was extinguished by the United States. Because of the international rule of the presumption of continuity of a State despite the overthrow of its government, the question was not whether the Hawaiian Kingdom “does” continue to exist but rather can Judge Kobayashi state with evidence that the Hawaiian Kingdom “does not” continue to exist.

Under international law, according to Judge James Crawford, there “is a presumption that the State continues to exist, with its rights and obligations despite a period in which there is no effective, government,” and that belligerent “occupation does not affect the continuity of the State, even where there exists no government claiming to represent the occupied State.”

As Professor Matthew Craven explains, “If 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 sustaining its rebuttal. The continuity of the Hawaiian Kingdom, in other words, may be refuted only by reference to a valid demonstration of legal rights, or sovereignty, on the part of the United States, absent of which the presumption remains.” According to Craven, only by the Hawaiian Kingdom’s “incorporation, union, or submission” to the United States, which is by treaty, can the presumption of continuity be rebutted.

After eleven months of these court proceedings, the Hawaiian Kingdom was finally able to corner Judge Kobayashi to legally compel her to answer the question of extinguishment after she made it an issue in her Order of March 30, 2022 and Order of March 31, 2022. In these two Orders, Judge Kobayashi made the terse statement “there is no factual (or legal basis) for concluding that the [Hawaiian] Kingdom exists as a state in accordance with recognized attributes of a state’s sovereign nature.” This statement runs counter to international law where an international rule exists regarding the continued existence of the Hawaiian Kingdom as a State despite the United States admitted illegal overthrow of its government on January 17, 1893. She provided no evidence to back up her one line statement in these Orders but she did, however, open the door for the Hawaiian Kingdom to respond.

The Hawaiian Kingdom responded with a Motion for Reconsideration filed on April 11, 2022, that legally compelled Judge Kobayashi to provide a “valid demonstration of legal rights, or sovereignty, on the part of the United States, absent of which the presumption remains.” In her Order of April 19, 2022, denying the Hawaiian Kingdom’s Motion for Reconsideration, Judge Kobayashi provided no “valid demonstration of legal rights, or sovereignty, on the part of the United States.” She simply stated, “Although Plaintiff argues there are manifest errors of law in the 3/30/22 Order and the 3/31/22 Order, Plaintiff merely disagrees with the Court’s decision.” This statement without any evidence is not a rebuttal of the presumption of the continuity of the Hawaiian Kingdom.

As a United States District Court Judge, by not providing any evidence in these proceedings that the Hawaiian Kingdom was extinguished, she simultaneously acknowledged its continued existence. This is the power of the international rule of the presumption of continuity that operates no different than the presumption of innocence in a criminal trial. Just as a defendant does not have the burden to prove his/her innocence but rather the prosecution has the burden to prove with evidence the guilt of the defendant, the Hawaiian Kingdom does not have the burden to prove its continued existence but rather the opposing party has the burden to prove with evidence that the United States extinguished the Hawaiian Kingdom as a State under international law.

These federal proceedings have now come to a close and the records have been preserved when the Hawaiian Kingdom filed a Notice of Appeal on April 24, 2022, to be taken up by an Article II Occupation Court of Appeals that has yet to be established by the United States. By preserving the record, the Hawaiian Kingdom can utilize Judge Kobayashi’s statements against the United States and the State of Hawai‘i and its Counties.

Dr. Keanu Sai to Deliver Statement on the U.S. Occupation of Hawai‘i to UN Human Rights Council on March 21

On March 21, 2022, the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) in Geneva, Switzerland, will be convening for its General Debate. On this day, Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) with accreditation to the United Nations Economic and Social Council will be delivering oral statements by video recording on situations that require the attention of the HRC. The public can view the General Debate online at the United Nations Web TV. Recordings will be uploaded the day after.

UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

The International Association of Democratic Lawyers and the American Association of Jurists—Asociación Americana de Juristas (AAJ), both of whom are accredited NGOs, will be jointly sponsoring an oral statement to be delivered by Dr. Keanu Sai on the subject of the prolonged occupation of the Hawaiian Kingdom and the violation of human rights of Hawaiian subjects as a result of the unlawful imposition of American laws, being the war crime of usurpation of sovereignty, over the territory of the Hawaiian Kingdom for over a century. The IADL-AAJ have been assigned the 10th slot to deliver the oral statement on Monday.

The IADL and the AAJ uploaded the following information on the Hawaiian Kingdom’s prolonged occupation to accompany its oral statement: the PCA Case Repository of Larsen v. Hawaiian Kingdom (1999-2001), the National Lawyers Guild’s (NLG) Resolution on the prolonged occupation of the Hawaiian Kingdom (2019), the Position Statement by the NLG (2020), the ebook Royal Commission of Inquiry (2020), the NLG’s letter to State of Hawai‘i Governor David Ige (2020), the IADL resolution (2021), and a copy of the IADL-AAJ joint letter to the ambassadors accredited to the United Nations in New York City and Geneva (2022).

National Holiday – Independence Day (November 28)

November 28th is the most important national holiday in the Hawaiian Kingdom. It is the day Great Britain and France formally recognized the Hawaiian Islands as an “independent state” in 1843, and has since been celebrated as “Independence Day,” which in the Hawaiian language is “La Ku‘oko‘a.” Here follows the story of this momentous event from the Hawaiian Kingdom Board of Education history textbook titled “A Brief History of the Hawaiian People” published in 1891.

**************************************

George Simpson
Haalilio

The First Embassy to Foreign Powers—In February, 1842, Sir George Simpson and Dr. McLaughlin, governors in the service of the Hudson Bay Company, arrived at Honolulu on business, and became interested in the native people and their government. After a candid examination of the controversies existing between their own countrymen and the Hawaiian Government, they became convinced that the latter had been unjustly accused. Sir George offered to loan the government ten thousand pounds in cash, and advised the king to send commissioners to the United States and Europe with full power to negotiate new treaties, and to obtain a guarantee of the independence of the kingdom.

Accordingly Sir George Simpson, Haalilio, the king’s secretary, and Mr. Richards were appointed joint ministers-plenipotentiary to the three powers on the 8th of April, 1842.

William Richards

Mr. Richards also received full power of attorney for the king. Sir George left for Alaska, whence he traveled through Siberia, arriving in England in November. Messrs. Richards and Haalilio sailed July 8th, 1842, in a chartered schooner for Mazatlan, on their way to the United States*

*Their business was kept a profound secret at the time.

Proceedings of the British Consul—As soon as these facts became known, Mr. Charlton followed the embassy in order to defeat its object. He left suddenly on September 26th, 1842, for London via Mexico, sending back a threatening letter to the king, in which he informed him that he had appointed Mr. Alexander Simpson as acting-consul of Great Britain. As this individual, who was a relative of Sir George, was an avowed advocate of the annexation of the islands to Great Britain, and had insulted and threatened the governor of Oahu, the king declined to recognize him as British consul. Meanwhile Mr. Charlton laid his grievances before Lord George Paulet commanding the British frigate “Carysfort,” at Mazatlan, Mexico. Mr. Simpson also sent dispatches to the coast in November, representing that the property and persons of his countrymen were in danger, which introduced Rear-Admiral Thomas to order the “Carysfort” to Honolulu to inquire into the matter.

Daniel Webster

Recognition by the United States—Messres. Richards and Haalilio arrived in Washington early in December, and had several interviews with Daniel Webster, the Secretary of State, from whom they received an official letter December 19th, 1842, which recognized the independence of the Hawaiian Kingdom, and declared, “as the sense of the government of the United States, that the government of the Sandwich Islands ought to be respected; that no power ought to take possession of the islands, either as a conquest or for the purpose of the colonization; and that no power ought to seek for any undue control over the existing government, or any exclusive privileges or preferences in matters of commerce.” *

*The same sentiments were expressed in President Tyler’s message to Congress of December 30th, and in the Report of the Committee on Foreign Relations, written by John Quincy Adams.

Aberdeen

Success of the Embassy in Europe—The king’s envoys proceeded to London, where they had been preceded by the Sir George Simpson, and had an interview with the Earl of Aberdeen, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, on the 22d of February, 1843.

Lord Aberdeen at first declined to receive them as ministers from an independent state, or to negotiate a treaty, alleging that the king did not govern, but that he was “exclusively under the influence of Americans to the detriment of British interests,” and would not admit that the government of the United States had yet fully recognized the independence of the islands.

Sir George and Mr. Richards did not, however, lose heart, but went on to Brussels March 8th, by a previous arrangement made with Mr. Brinsmade. While there, they had an interview with Leopold I., king of the Belgians, who received them with great courtesy, and promised to use his influence to obtain the recognition of Hawaiian independence. This influence was great, both from his eminent personal qualities and from his close relationship to the royal families of England and France.

Encouraged by this pledge, the envoys proceeded to Paris, where, on the 17th, M. Guizot, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, received them in the kindest manner, and at once engaged, in behalf of France, to recognize the independence of the islands. He made the same statement to Lord Cowley, the British ambassador, on the 19th, and thus cleared the way for the embassy in England.

They immediately returned to London, where Sir George had a long interview with Lord Aberdeen on the 25th, in which he explained the actual state of affairs at the islands, and received an assurance that Mr. Charlton would be removed. On the 1st of April, 1843, the Earl of Aberdeen formally replied to the king’s commissioners, declaring that “Her Majesty’s Government are willing and have determined to recognize the independence of the Sandwich Islands under their present sovereign,” but insisting on the perfect equality of all foreigners in the islands before the law, and adding that grave complaints had been received from British subjects of undue rigor exercised toward them, and improper partiality toward others in the administration of justice. Sir George Simpson left for Canada April 3d, 1843.

Recognition of the Independence of the Islands—Lord Aberdeen, on the 13th of June, assured the Hawaiian envoys that “Her Majesty’s government had no intention to retain possession of the Sandwich Islands,” and a similar declaration was made to the governments of France and the United States.

At length, on the 28th of November, 1843, the two governments of France and England united in a joint declaration to the effect that “Her Majesty, the queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and His Majesty, the king of the French, taking into consideration the existence in the Sandwich Islands of a government capable of providing for the regularity of its relations with foreign nations have thought it right to engage reciprocally to consider the Sandwich Islands as an independent state, and never to take possession, either directly or under the title of a protectorate, or under any other form, of any part of the territory of which they are composed…”

John C Calhoun

This was the final act by which the Hawaiian Kingdom was admitted within the pale of civilized nations. Finding that nothing more could be accomplished for the present in Paris, Messrs. Richards and Haalilio returned to the United States in the spring of 1844. On the 6th of July they received a dispatch from Mr. J.C. Calhoun, the Secretary of State, informing them that the President regarded the statement of Mr. Webster and the appointment of a commissioner “as a full recognition on the part of the United States of the independence of the Hawaiian Government.”

Press Release: Czech Republic Temporarily Closes its Hawai‘i Consulate After Being Notified that its Consulate Stands in Violation of International Law and Hawaiian Kingdom Law

PRESS RELEASE

For immediate release – 23 August 2021
Contact: Dr. David Keanu Sai, Ph.D.
E-mail: interiorhk@hawaiiankingdom.org

Czech Republic Temporarily Closes its Hawai‘i Consulate After Being Notified that its Consulate Stands in Violation of International Law and Hawaiian Kingdom Law

HONOLULU, 23 August 2021 — In a letter dated 14 July 2021, U.S. Federal Magistrate Judge Rom Trader, who has been assigned the Hawaiian Kingdom v. Biden et al. lawsuit, was notified by Josef Smycek, Deputy Consul General for the Czech Republic’s Consulate General in Los Angeles, that after receiving the Hawaiian Kingdom’s complaint where the Czech Republic’s Hawai‘i Consulate was named as a defendant it temporarily closed its “Honorary Consulate of the Czech Republic” after consulting with “the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic in Prague.”

Two weeks prior to the filing of the complaint, H.E. David Keanu Sai, Minister of Foreign Affairs ad interim, sent a letter of correspondence dated 20 April 2021 to H.E. Hynek Kmoníček, Czech Republic’s Ambassador to the United States, notifying him:

The Czech Republic’s Honorary Consulate within the territory of the Hawaiian Kingdom is by virtue of ‘American municipal laws,’ which stand in violation of Hawaiian sovereignty and independence, and, therefore, constitutes an internationally wrongful act. As an occupied State, Hawaiian independence and sovereignty is preserved under the rules and principles of international law despite over a century of effective occupation and control of Hawaiian territory by the United States. In order to rectify this internationally wrongful act, the Council of Regency is ready to receive Mrs. Ching’s credentials as Honorary Consul and is prepared to grant an execquatur to the same.

Other Countries whose Ambassadors who were also notified that their Consulates in Hawai‘i are maintained in violation of international law include Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, and Thailand. Of these countries, the Hawaiian Kingdom has treaties with Australia, Austria-Hungary, who is the predecessor State of the Czech Republic, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden-Norway, Spain, and Switzerland.

After receiving no response from the Czech Republic nor any of the other countries, the Council of Regency filed its complaint with the United States District Court for the District of Hawai‘i. The complaint read:

§458 of the Hawaiian Civil Code states, “[n]o foreign consul, or consular or commercial agent shall be authorized to act as such, or entitled to recover his fees and perquisites in the courts of this Kingdom, until he shall have received his exequatur.” These consulates have not presented their credentials to the HAWAIIAN KINGDOM in order to receive exequaturs but rather received their exequaturs from the Defendant UNITED STATES OF AMERICA under the municipal laws of the United State.

In its amended complaint filed with the Court on 11 August 2021, the Hawaiian Kingdom acknowledges the closure of the Czech Republic’s Consulate as conforming to international law. The complaint read:

On June 30, 2021, the Czech Republic filed a letter to this Court announcing the temporary closure of its Honorary Consulate in the Hawaiian Kingdom. The Hawaiian Kingdom acknowledges this act of State to be in conformity with Article 30(a) of Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts (2001), whereby “[t]he State responsible for the internationally wrongful act is under an obligation (a) to cease that act, if it is continuing.” Article 30(b), however, states that the responsible State shall “offer appropriate assurances and guarantees of non-repetition, if circumstances so require.” The Czech Republic has yet to assure the government of the HAWAIIAN KINGDOM guarantees of non-repitition. Furthermore, Article 31 provides that the “responsible State is under an obligation to make full reparation for the injury caused by the internationally wrongful act,” and that the “[i]njury includes any damage, whether material or moral, caused by the internationally wrongful act of State.”

According to Minister Sai, “all of the foreign consulates named in the complaint are Contracting States to the 1907 Convention that established the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA). These defendants are also members of PCA Administrative Council, which include the Czech Republic, that publishes the PCA Annual Reports of 2000 through 2011 that acknowledge the Hawaiian Kingdom as a non-Contracting State in the arbitral dispute Larsen v. Hawaiian Kingdom.” “In other words,” stated Minister Sai, “these defendants were aware of the American occupation since, at least, the PCA Annual Report of 2000, and willfully and unlawfully maintained their Consulates in violation of international law.”

Minister Sai also served as lead agent for the Council of Regency in Larsen v. Hawaiian Kingdom, PCA case no. 1999-01, from 1999-2001, where the PCA explicitly acknowledged the Hawaiian Kingdom as a “State.” He is also the Head of the Royal Commission of Inquiry that recently published an eBook The Royal Commission of Inquiry: Investigating War Crimes and Human Rights Violations Committed in the Hawaiian Kingdom.

Professor Federico Lenzerini, a professor of international law at the University of Siena, Italy, explains, “As a scholar of international law, like most of my colleagues in Europe, I was not aware about the legal status of Hawai‘i as an independent State. Like most people, I considered Hawai‘i to be a State of the United States Federal Union. However, after a more in-depth research, and after having had the good fortune to interact with the people who struggle day after day for the recovery of the political and cultural identity of the Hawaiian Islands, I was amazed about the rich history of the Hawaiian Kingdom as a sovereign country and its political and diplomatic relations with Italy and many other countries of Europe, mainly based on treaties which are still valid today. In my legal opinion, I explain why the Hawaiian Kingdom continues to exist as an independent State according to the rules of international law, and also provide the arguments confirming the full legitimacy of the Council of Regency, which possesses the authority of representing the Hawaiian Kingdom at the domestic as well as at the international level.”

For an authoritative legal explanation on the continuity of the Hawaiian Kingdom and the authority of the Council of Regency see Professor Federico Lenzerini’s legal opinion on this subject. Professor Lenzerini was quoted by the Lidovky’s story, Surfem ke svobodě. Havajané se chtějí osamostatnit, na olympiádě touží mít vlastní vlajku. Professor Lenzerini is also Deputy Head of the Royal Commission of Inquiry. He can be contacted by email at: federico.lenzerini@unisi.it.

On January 13, 2020, the National Lawyers Guild (NLG), the oldest and largest progressive bar association in the United States, called upon the United States to immediately begin to comply with international humanitarian law in its prolonged and illegal occupation of the Hawaiian Kingdom since 1893. As the longest running occupation of a foreign country in the history of international relations, the United States has been in violation of international law for over a century.

In a letter to State of Hawai‘i Governor Ige dated November 10, 2020, the NLG called “upon the State of Hawai‘i and its County governments, as the proxy of the United States, which is in effective control of Hawaiian territory, to immediately comply with international humanitarian law while the United States continues its prolonged and illegal occupation of the Hawaiian Kingdom since 1893.”

The position taken by the NLG was supported by a resolution that was passed by the International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL) on February 7, 2021. The IADL is a non-governmental organization of human rights lawyers founded in 1946, with member associations throughout the world and with consultative status in the United Nations Economic and Social Committee. It’s headquarters is in Brussels, Belgium, and is dedicated to upholding international law and promoting the tenets of the UN Charter in furtherance of peace and justice.

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