Czech Republic Closes Its Hawai‘i Consulate As a Result of the Hawaiian Kingdom’s Complaint Alleging an Internationally Wrongful Act

In a letter dated July 14, 2021, to Magistrate Judge Rom A. Trader who is presiding over the federal case of Hawaiian Kingdom v. Biden, et al., the Czech Republic’s Deputy Consul General in Los Angeles, Josef Smycek, wrote:

In Case #CV 21-00243LEK-RT (Civil Action No. 1-21-cv-00243), the Honorary Consul of the Czech Republic in Honolulu, Ms. Ann Suzuki Ching, received “Notice of a lawsuit and request to waive service of a summons,” and “Waiver of the service of summons,” both issued by the United States District Court for the District of Hawaii [in Hawaiian Kingdom v. Biden, et al.].

Ms. Ching referred the Notice/Waiver to the Consulate General of the Czech Republic in Los Angeles, her overseeing (career) consulate.

Our Consulate General consulted the Notice/Waiver with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic in Prague.

As a formal response to the Notice/Waiver, the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Washington, DC, issued a Note Verbale to the US Department of State (Note no. 2101-1/2021-Wash of June 30, 2021.

While it is expected that the US Department of State will notify the Court about the contents of said Note Verbale, for the sake of good order, informally, I am attaching a scan of the Note Verbale to this e-email for your reference, in particular ahead of the telephonic hearing of the Case, scheduled for July 19, 2021.

I also wish to inform you that all consular functions of Ms. Ching terminated on June 30, 2021, and the Honorary Consulate of the Czech Republic in Honolulu is temporarily closed.

Thank you in advance for confirming the receipt of this e-mail and of the scan of the Note Verbale in enclosure.

The Czech Republic is a member of the Consular Corps Hawai‘i along with 37 other foreign consulates in Hawai‘i. The closure of the Czech Republic’s Consulate in Hawai‘i was in direct response to paragraphs 99-101 of the Hawaiian Kingdom’s Complaint filed with the U.S. District Court of Hawai‘i on May 20, 2021. In its Complaint, which included the Czech Republic’s Honorary Consulate as a defendant, the Hawaiian Kingdom stated:

“99. The Consular Corps Hawai‘i is comprised of 38 countries, 32 of which are also members of the PCA Administrative Council in The Hague, Netherlands. These countries include, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Czech Republic, 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, Thailand and the United Kingdom via the Australian Consulate.

100. §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 States.

101. In diplomatic packages sent to the foreign embassies in Washington, D.C., that maintain consulates in the territory of the HAWAIIAN KINGDOM by DAVID KEANU SAI, as Minister of Foreign Affairs ad interim, on April 15th and 20th of 2021, the Ambassadors were notified that their Consulates ‘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.’ The diplomatic note further stated that the ‘Council of Regency acknowledges that [foreign] nationals should be afforded remedial prescriptions regarding defects in their real estate holdings that have resulted from the illegal occupation in accordance with ‘laws and established customs’ of the Hawaiian Kingdom.’ This subject is covered in the Royal Commission of Inquiry’s Preliminary Report re Legal Status of Land Titles throughout the Realm and its Supplemental Report re Title Insurance.’”

The diplomatic packages referred to in paragraph 101 of the Complaint included a letter to the Czech Republic’s Ambassador His Excellency Hynek Kmoníček dated April 20 2021. In its recent filing with the U.S. District Court this past Friday (July 23, 2021), the Hawaiian Kingdom addressed the closing of the Czech Republic’s Consulate by stating:

“The maintenance of Defendant foreign Consulates in the territory of the Hawaiian Kingdom also constitutes acts of belligerency. Regarding the Czech Republic’s recent letter to this Court announcing the temporary closure of its Honorary Consulate in the Hawaiian Kingdom on June 30, 2021, the Hawaiian Kingdom acknowledges this act to be in conformity with Article 30(a) and (b) 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 [and] (b) to offer appropriate assurances and guarantees of non-repetition, if circumstances so require.’”

Hawaiian Kingdom files Complaint against the United States and the State of Hawai‘i in U.S. Federal Court

Since the United States Congress enacted a joint resolution purporting to annex the Hawaiian Islands, which was signed by President McKinley into U.S. law on July 7, 1898, American municipal laws have been illegally imposed within the territorial jurisdiction of the Hawaiian Kingdom. U.S. constitutional scholar, Westel Willoughby, wrote at the time of the purported annexation by legislative act:

The constitutionality of the annexation of Hawaii, by a simple legislative act, was strenuously contested at the time both in the Congress and by the press. The right to annex by treaty was not denied, but it was denied that this might be done by a simple legislative act…Only by means of treaties, it was asserted, can the relations between States be governed, for a legislative act is necessarily without extraterritorial force—confined in its operation to the territory of the State by whose legislature it is enacted.

westel woodbury willoughby, the constitutional law of the United states §239 (1929).

Along the same lines, the Hawaiian Kingdom Supreme Court, in In re Francis de Flanchet in 1858, stated that the “laws of a nation cannot have force to control the sovereignty or rights of any other nation within its own jurisdiction. And however general and comprehensive the phrases used in the municipal laws may be, they must always be restricted in construction, to places and persons upon whom the Legislature have authority and jurisdiction.” There is no treaty transferring Hawaiian territory to the United States. As such, the Hawaiian Kingdom continued to exist as an independent State that was acknowledged by the United States in arbitral proceedings before the Permanent Court of Arbitration in Larsen v. Hawaiian Kingdom despite the unlawful overthrow of its government by the United States on January 17, 1893.

On the subject of the 1898 joint resolution of annexation of the Hawaiian Islands, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel, after covering the territorial limits of legislative acts, concluded in a 1988 legal opinion, “It is therefore unclear which constitutional power Congress exercised when it acquired Hawaii by joint resolution. Accordingly, it is doubtful that the acquisition of Hawaii can serve as an appropriate precedent for a congressional assertion of sovereignty over an extended territorial sea.” The complaint states:

If it was unclear how Hawai‘i was annexed by legislation, it would be equally unclear how the Congress could create a territorial government, under an An Act to provide a government for the Territory of Hawaii in 1900, within the territory of a foreign State by legislation. It would also be unclear how the Congress could rename the Territory of Hawai‘i to the State of Hawai‘i in 1959, under an Act To provide for the admission of the State of Hawai‘i into the Union by legislation.

International law at the time obligated the United States to administer Hawaiian Kingdom law after it unlawfully overthrew the Hawaiian Kingdom Government. The law of occupation was triggered after the United States, as the occupying State, secured effective control over Hawaiian territory. This effective control began when Queen Lili‘uokalani conditionally surrendered to the United States President on January 17, 1893. The Queen stated:

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 representatives and reinstate me in the authority which I claim as the constitutional sovereign of the Hawaiian Islands.

UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 53RD CONGRESS, EXECUTIVE DOCUMENTS ON AFFAIRS IN HAWAII: 1894-95 (1895), 586.

President Cleveland initiated a presidential investigation on March 11, 1893 by appointing Special Commissioner James Blount to travel to the Hawaiian Islands and to provide periodic reports to the U.S. Secretary of State Walter Gresham. Commissioner Blount arrived in the Islands on March 29th, where he “directed the removal of the flag of the United States from the government building and the return of the American troops to their vessels.” His first report was dated April 6, 1893, and his final report was dated July 17, 1893. On October 18, 1893, Secretary of State Gresham notified the President:

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. …

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…

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.

UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 53RD CONGRESS, EXECUTIVE DOCUMENTS ON AFFAIRS IN HAWAII: 1894-95 (1895), 462-463.

When negotiations began at the U.S. Legation in Honolulu on November 13, 1893, U.S. Minister Albert Willis stated to the Queen the position taken by the President after a full investigation. Willis expressed “the President’s sincere regret that, through the unauthorized intervention of the United States, she had been obliged to surrender her sovereignty, and his hope that, with her consent and cooperation, the wrong done to her and to her people might be redressed.” “To this,” Willis noted, “she bowed her acknowledgements.” Negotiations continued for another month. The illegality of the overthrow was due to the international principle of non-intervention in the internal affairs of another State.

President Cleveland delivered a manifesto to the Congress on his investigation into the overthrow of the Hawaiian Government on December 18, 1893.  The President concluded that the “military occupation of Honolulu by the United States…was wholly without justification, either as an occupation by consent or as an occupation necessitated by dangers threatening American life and property.” He also determined “that the provisional government owes its existence to an armed invasion by the United States.” Finally, the President admitted that by “an act of war…the Government of a feeble but friendly and confiding people has been overthrown.” Referring to the annexation plot of the insurgents, Cleveland concluded “that the United States could not, under the circumstances disclosed, annex the islands without justly incurring the imputation of acquiring them by unjustifiable methods.”

Unbeknownst to the President, an agreement of peace was reached on the very same day Cleveland gave his manifesto to the Congress. Gresham acknowledged receipt of Willis’ dispatch of the agreement dated December 20, 1893, in a telegram of January 12, 1894, in which he stated, “Your reports show that on further reflection the Queen gave her unqualified assent in writing to the conditions suggested.” According to the executive agreement, by exchange of notes, the President committed to restoring the Queen as the constitutional sovereign, and the Queen agreed, after being restored, to grant a full pardon to the insurgents. As a constitutional monarch, however, the agreement required an additional signature of a cabinet minister to make it binding under Hawaiian constitutional law. Article 42 of the 1864 Constitution provides, “No act of the [Monarch] shall have any effect unless it be countersigned by a Minister, who by that signature makes himself responsible.”

The United States neither complied with international humanitarian law and the law occupation nor did it carry out the international agreement of restoring Queen Lili‘uokalani as the Executive Monarch. Instead, the United States concealed this history and the unlawful seizure of Hawaiian territory by embarking on a sinister plan of denationalization through Americanization across the Hawaiian Islands in 1906. This plan was implemented throughout the schools, both public and private, in a deliberate effort to brainwash school children into believing they are American citizens and that Hawai‘i sought to be incorporated as a U.S. territory.

Within three generations since its implementation, the national consciousness of the Hawaiian Kingdom had become erased. This was the ultimate aim of the insurgency, which was evidenced in the record of a Council of State meeting of the so-called Republic of Hawai‘i in 1895. Samuel Damon, who served as the group’s Vice-President, stated, “If we are ever to have peace and annexation the first thing to do is to obliterate the past.” According to political scientist Lorenz Gonschor,

American indoctrination of the people of Hawai‘i had profound negative consequences not only on Hawaiian culture and identity, but also on the islands’ historiography. As soon as the Missionary Party—or, as loyalist newspaper editor Edmund Norrie called them, the American Mafia—had taken the reins of power, they began to systemically rewrite the country’s history and obscure and discredit the achievements of the Hawaiian Kingdom.

Lorenz Gonschor, a Power in the world: the Hawaiian Kingdom in Oceania (2019), 158.

This obliteration of Hawaiian national consciousness had effectively erased, in the minds of generations to date, the United States invasion of the Hawaiian Kingdom on January 16, 1893, and the unlawful overthrow of Hawaiian government the day after. In order to better understand the effects of denationalization download Dr. Keanu Sai’s article published by the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa’s Hawaiian Journal of Law and Politics titled “Setting the Record Straight on Hawaiian Indigeneity.”

International humanitarian law views denationalization within the occupied territory as a war crime. According to Professor William Schabas, denationalization is one of the war crimes currently being committed in Hawai‘i, which are “actions directed at the destruction of the national identity and national consciousness of the population” of the Hawaiian Kingdom. The unlawful imposition of American municipal laws for over a century since 1898 is also the war crime of usurpation of sovereignty. Professor Schabas also stated, “the Occupying Power must not change the demographic, social and political situation in the territory it has occupied to the social and economic detriment of the population living in the occupied territory.” The unlawful imposition of American municipal laws did radically change the “demographic, social and political situation” of the Hawaiian Kingdom.

To fully understand the scope and magnitude of the prolonged American occupation of the Hawaiian Kingdom download the free eBook titled “The Royal Commission of Inquiry: Investigating War Crimes and Human Rights Violations Committed in the Hawaiian Kingdom (2000). Activities and reports by the Royal Commission of Inquiry can be accessed here.

On May 20, 2021, Dexter Ka‘iama, Attorney General for the Hawaiian Kingdom, filed a complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief (Hawaiian Kingdom v. Biden et al.). Defendants named in the complaint include President Joseph Biden and other officers of the United States Federal government, the State of Hawai‘i and Counties and its officers, as well as 32 foreign consulates unlawfully established in the Hawaiian Kingdom, which include Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Czech Republic, 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.

What is significant about this action taken by the Council of Regency, as the government of the Hawaiian Kingdom, is that the United States Federal Court cannot invoke the political question doctrine that would be the basis for dismissal. The political question doctrine is where there is a question as to the sovereignty of a country, the federal courts will defer the answer to this question by the President as head of the executive branch. Once the President, through its Department of State, explicitly recognizes the sovereignty of a country the courts are bound by that recognition.

In other words, since the United States, by its embassy in the Netherlands which is a member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) Administrative Council, explicitly recognized the Hawaiian Kingdom as a non-Contracting State in accordance with article 47 of the 1907 PCA Convention in the Administrative Council’s annual reports from 2000 to 2011, it answered the political question in the affirmative that the Hawaiian Kingdom continues to exist as an independent State and the Council of Regency is its government. The complaint explains:

102. The explicit recognition by the United States of the continued existence of the HAWAIIAN KINGDOM as a State and the Council of Regency as its government prevents the denial of this civil action in the courts of the United States under the political question doctrine. In Williams v. Suffolk Insurance Co., the Supreme Court rhetorically asked whether there could be “any doubt, that when the executive branch of the government, which is charged with our foreign relations…assumes a fact in regard to the sovereignty of any island or country, it is conclusive on the judicial department. In Sai v. Clinton and in Sai v. Trump the court erred when it invoked the political question doctrine. In both cases the plaintiff provided evidence of the Hawaiian Kingdom’s continuity by virtue of the proceedings at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in Larsen v. Hawaiian Kingdom.

103. In Jones v. United States, the Supreme Court concluded that “[w]ho is the sovereign, de jure or de facto, of a territory is not a judicial, but is a political, question, the determination of which by the legislative and executive departments of any government conclusively binds the judges, as well as all other officers, citizens, and subjects of that government. This principle has always been upheld by this Court, and has been affirmed under a great variety of circumstances.” As a leading constitutional scholar, Professor Corwin, concluded, “[t]here is no more securely established principle of constitutional practice than the exclusive right of the President to be the nation’s intermediary in its dealing with other nations.” The ‘executive’ did determine ‘[w]ho is the sovereign’ of the HAWAIIAN KINGDOM, and, therefore, since there is no political question, it ‘binds the judges, as well as all other officers, citizens, and subjects of that government.’

Not only did the United States explicitly recognized the continuity of the Hawaiian Kingdom as a member of the PCA Administrative Council but also the other 32 countries that have unlawfully established foreign consulates in Hawaiian territory. These 32 countries along with the United States are members of the PCA Administrative Council. As a result, the named defendants and the U.S. Federal Court are prevented from raising the political question doctrine. To understand how the United States explicitly recognized the continuity of the Hawaiian Kingdom see the Preliminary Report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry.

Under the first Count (Supremacy Clause) of the cause of action in the complaint, the Defendant State of Hawai‘i is prohibited from “any curtailment or interference” of the Defendant United States of America’s explicit recognition of the Council of Regency as the government of the Hawaiian Kingdom.

Under the second Count (Usurpation of Sovereignty) of the cause of action in the complaint, in enacting and implementing the laws of the United States, to include the laws of the State of Hawai‘i and its Counties, i.e., the United States constitution, State of Hawai‘i constitution, Federal and State of Hawai‘i statutes, County ordinances, common law, case law, administrative law, and the maintenance of United States military installations, Defendants who are officers of the Federal, State and County governments have exceeded their statutory authority, engaged in violating the 1849 Hawaiian-American Treaty of Friendship, Commerce and Navigation, the 197 Hague Regulations, the 1907 Hague Convention, V, and the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention, and has failed to comply with international humanitarian law by administering the laws of the Hawaiian Kingdom, which include the 1864 constitution, statutes, common law, case law, and administrative law.

Under the third Count (Pillaging and Destruction of Property) of the cause of action in the complaint, international humanitarian law prohibits pillaging and destruction of property through the collection of taxes that are exacted from the residents of the Hawaiian Kingdom by the Internal Revenue Service of the Defendant United States of America and the Department of Taxation of the Defendant State of Hawai‘i in violation of Article 8 of the 1849 Hawaiian-American Treaty of Friendship, Commerce and Navigation, Article 43 of the 1907 Hague Regulations, and Article 64 of the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention.

Under the final Count (Exequaturs) of the cause of action in the complaint, international humanitarian law prohibits usurpation of sovereignty by granting exequaturs to foreign consulates under American municipal law within the territory of the Hawaiian Kingdom in violation of the Article 8 of the 1849 Hawaiian-America Treaty of Friendship, Commerce and Navigation, Article 43 of the 1907 Hague Regulations, and Article 64 of the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention.

The Hawaiian Kingdom is asking the Court to:

Declare that all laws of the Defendants United States of America and the State of Hawai‘i and its Counties, to include the United States constitution, State of Hawai‘i constitution, Federal and State of Hawai‘i statute, County ordinances, common law, case law, administrative law, and the maintenance of Defendant United States of America’s military installations are unauthorized by, and contrary, to the Constitution and Treaties of the United States;

Enjoin Defendants from implementing or enforcing all laws of the Defendant United States of America and the State of Hawai‘i and its Counties, to include the United States constitution, State of Hawai‘i constitution, Federal and State of Hawai‘i statute, County ordinances, common law, case law, administrative law, and the maintenance of Defendant United States of America’s military installations across the territory of the Hawaiian Kingdom, to include its territorial sea;

Enjoin Defendants who are or agents of foreign diplomats from serving as foreign consulates within the territorial jurisdiction of the Hawaiian Kingdom until they have presented their credentials to the Hawaiian Kingdom Government and received exequaturs; and

Award such additional relief as the interests of justice may require.

On May 21, 2021, an Order was signed by Chief Judge J. Michael Seabright setting a scheduling conference over the telephone at 9:00am on July 19, 2021 before Magistrate Judge Rom Trader.

The Hawaiian Journal of Law and Politics at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa

The Hawaiian Journal of Law and Politics (HJLP) at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa just published its third volume. Itʻs last edition, volume 2, was published back in the summer of 2006. The journal is published by the Hawaiian Society of Law and Politics (HSLP) which is a student organization at the university comprised of students, faculty and staff at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa.

HSLP was founded as a registered independent organization under Co-curricular Activities, Programs, and Services at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa in October 30, 2003. In 2014, the organization had disbanded, only to be revived in the Spring of 2021 with an all-new membership.

Volume 3 of the HJLP has three original articles and reprints of articles and chapters that were authored by alumni of HSLP. These alumni all have Ph.D. degrees. Of the original articles, Dr. Kalawai‘a Moore is the Editor of HJLP and is the author of the “Editorʻs Notes,” and the article “American Hegemonic Discourse in Hawai‘i: Rhetorical Strategies in Support of American Control Over Hawai‘i.” Dr. Keanu Sai is the author of “Setting the Record Straight on Hawaiian Indigeneity.” And Dr. Umi Perkins is the author of “Negotiating Native Tenant Rights.”

Authors of the reprint of articles and chapters include Dr. Keao NeSmith who is the author of “Tūtūtʻs Hawaiian and the Emergence of a Neo Hawaiian Language.” Dr. Sydney Iaukea is the author of “The Queen and I: a Story of Dispossessions and Reconnections in Hawai‘i.” And Dr. Lorenz Gonschor is the author of “The Subtleties of a Map and a Painting.”

Professor Niklaus Schweizer is the author of a book review of the “Royal Commission of Inquiry: Investigating War Crimes and Human Rights Violations Committed in the Hawaiian Kingdom.”

Dr. Keanu Sai is the author of “The Royal Commission of Inquiry.” Professor William Schabas is the author of the “Legal Opinion on War Crimes Related to the United States Occupation of the Hawaiian Kingdom since 17 January 1893.” And Professor Federico Lenzerini is the author of the “Legal Opinion on the Authority of the Council of Regency of the Hawaiian Kingdom.”

It is recommended to first read Dr. Kalawaiʻa’s “Editor’s Note” where he explains the hiatus of the HJLP since 2006 and why this volume is dedicated to the late Professor Kanalu Young who served as the faculty advisor for HSLP. Followed by Dr. Sai’s article “Setting the Record Straight on Hawaiian Indigeneity,” Dr. Kalawai’s article “American Hegemonic Discourse,” and Dr. Perkins’ article “Negotiating Native Tenant Rights.”

Dr. Keanu Sai to Present on the Hawaiian Kingdom, United States and International Law on April 8

Dr. Keanu Sai will be covering in his presentation some of the subjects in his latest article “Setting the Record Straight on Hawaiian Indigeneity” that was recently published in volume 3 of the Hawaiian Journal of Law and Politics at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa. Dr. Sai asked that everyone read the article before his presentation on April 8, 2021.

7:30pm Indian Standard Time (IST) is:

10:00am Eastern Time

7:00am Pacific Time

4:00am Hawai‘i Time

Dr. Sai’s presentation will be via Zoom:

Zoom Linkhttps://zoom.us/j/93879471109
Password: JGU

U.S. Explicitly Recognizes the Continued Existence of the Hawaiian Kingdom and its restored government

Explicit Recognition by the United States of America of the Continued Existence of the Hawaiian Kingdom and its government—the Council of Regency

HONOLULU, 5 April 2021 — On 15 March 2021, Dr. David Keanu Sai, Chairman of the Council of Regency, and Mrs. Kau‘i Sai-Dudoit, Minister of Finance, was notified that the “Securities Commission of the State of Hawaii is about to commence an enforcement action against [them] based upon the sale of unregistered Kingdom of Hawaii Exchequer Bonds, in violation of HRS § 485A-301.” In § 485A-201(2) of the statute it states that bonds issued “by a foreign government with which the United States maintains diplomatic relations” are exempt.

The State of Hawai‘i has taken the dubious position that the Council of Regency is not a government and that the Hawaiian Kingdom does not exist. This position, however, runs counter to the United States explicit recognition of the continuity of the Hawaiian Kingdom, as a State, and its government—the Council of Regency, when arbitral proceedings were instituted at the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) on 8 November 1999 in Larsen v. Hawaiian Kingdom. This explicit recognition by the United States has serious consequences for the State of Hawai‘i because it triggered the Supremacy Clause under federal law, where “all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.”

The United States Supreme Court, in United States v. Curtiss-Wright Export Corp., stated that the rule of the Supremacy Clause holds “in the case of international compacts and agreements [when it forms] the very fact that complete power over international affairs is in the National Government and is not and cannot be subject to any curtailment or interference on the part of the several States.”

Attached to this press release is a Preliminary Report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry that explains not only the United States explicit recognition of the Council of Regency and the continued existence of the Hawaiian Kingdom, but also by the explicit recognition by the other treaty partners of the Hawaiian Kingdom, which includes Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

The Supremacy Clause has rendered the State of Hawai‘i incapacitated because under international law, congressional acts, which includes the 1959 Statehood Act, have no effect in the territory of a foreign State unless it has the consent by the government of that State. There is no consent from the Hawaiian government since 1893 that would allow American municipal laws to have any effect within the territory of the Hawaiian Kingdom. This was precisely the dispute between Larsen and the Council of Regency. As the PCA stated:

Lance Paul Larsen, a resident of Hawaii, brought a claim against the Hawaiian Kingdom by its Council of Regency (“Hawaiian Kingdom”) on the grounds that the Government of the Hawaiian Kingdom is in continual violation of: (a) its 1849 Treaty of Friendship, Commerce and Navigation with the United States of America, as well as the principles of international law laid down in the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, 1969 and (b) the principles of international comity, for allowing the unlawful imposition of American municipal laws over the claimant’s person within the territorial jurisdiction of the Hawaiian Kingdom.

American municipal laws include the constitution and laws of the State of Hawai‘i. Under international criminal law, the unlawful imposition of American municipal laws within the territory of the Hawaiian Kingdom constitutes the war crime of usurpation of sovereignty. War crimes have no statute of limitation and a person who commits a war crime can be prosecuted even after 50 years from the time the war crime was committed. Under international law, war criminals are subjected to be prosecuted by all States when they enter the State’s territory even though the crimes were committed outside of their territories. Finland and Switzerland are currently prosecuting war criminals for crimes committed in Liberia.

The only way for the State of Hawai‘i and its Counties to continue to govern is in accordance with international humanitarian law and the law of occupation. From a domestic standpoint, the Supremacy Clause renders the existence of the State of Hawai‘i unconstitutional and void because its existence is in conflict with treaties that the United States has ratified, which includes the 1849 Hawaiian-American Treaty of Friendship, Commerce and Navigation. To continue to govern would be to transform themselves into an occupying government within the limits and what is allowed under international law.

In a letter of correspondence from Dr. Sai, as Head of the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI), to State of Hawai‘i Attorney General Clare E. Connors, dated 2 June 2020, the Attorney General was notified that:

I am not aware whether you were informed of three meetings I had in 2015 with Mike McCartney, former chief of staff for Governor David Ige, at his office in the Executive Chambers regarding the subject of war crimes and the American occupation. This prompted a report I submitted to him that summarized what we discussed in those three meetings and how the State of Hawai‘i has a duty, under international humanitarian law, to transform itself into a Military government by virtue of Article V, section 5 of the Constitution of the State of Hawai‘i. United States practice for Military government is covered in United States Army and Navy FM 27-5, and occupation of an occupied State is covered in FM 27-10. The Adjutant General, MG Kenneth Hara, should be aware of these regulations and the function of a Military government.

These are not normal times but you are the legal advisor to the Governor, and due to the severity of the situation under international criminal law and the material elements of mens rea and actus reus, I respectfully implore you to carefully review the information I have provided you and to advise the office of the Governor accordingly. Under international humanitarian law, decisions on this matter are not with the federal government nor is it with its military here in the islands, but solely on the shoulders of the State of Hawai‘i as it is the entity in effective control of Hawaiian territory thereby triggering the law of occupation. I should also note that the governmental infrastructure of the State of Hawai‘i is that of the Hawaiian Kingdom. The only change was in name, e.g. the Department of Land and Natural Resources is the Ministry of the Interior. All that was changed in 1893 was the Queen and her cabinet, and the top law enforcement of the kingdom, being forcibly replaced by insurgents calling themselves the Executive and Advisory Councils.

Both the National Lawyers Guild (NLG) and the International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL) have called upon the State of Hawai‘i to transform itself into an occupying government. In its letter to Governor David Ige of 10 November 2020, the NLG stated:

We urge you, Governor Ige, to proclaim the transformation of the State of Hawai‘i and its Counties into an occupying government pursuant to the Council of Regency’s proclamation of June 3, 2019, in order to administer the laws of the Hawaiian Kingdom. This would include carrying into effect the Council of Regency’s proclamation of October 10, 2014 that bring the laws of the Hawaiian Kingdom in the nineteenth century up to date. We further urge you and other officials of the State of Hawai‘i and its Counties to familiarize yourselves with the contents of the recent eBook published by the RCI and its reports that comprehensively explains the current situation of the Hawaiian Islands and the impact that international humanitarian law and human rights law have on the State of Hawai‘i and its inhabitants.”

In its resolution of 7 February 2021, the “IADL fully supports the NLG’s November 10, 2020 letter to State of Hawai‘i Governor David Ige urging him to ‘proclaim the transformation of the State of Hawai‘i and its Counties into an occupying government pursuant to the Council of Regency’s proclamation of June 3, 2019, in order to administer the laws of the Hawaiian Kingdom. This would include carrying into effect the Council of Regency’s proclamation of October 10, 2104 that bring the laws of the Hawaiian Kingdom in the nineteenth century up to date.”

The NLG letter and the IADL resolution are attached to this press release.

The actions taken by the State of Hawai‘i against government officials of the Hawaiian Kingdom also constitutes a violation of Article 54 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which states, “The Occupying Power may not alter the status of public officials…in the occupied territories, or in any way apply sanctions to or take any measures of coercion or discrimination against the them.” The Fourth Geneva Convention was ratified by the United States Senate on 6 July 1955 and came into force on 2 February 1956. As such, the Fourth Geneva Convention comes under the Supremacy Clause.

In light of the awareness of the occupation by the leadership of the State of Hawai‘i, these allegations against the Hawaiian government officials constitute malicious intent. As pointed out by Professor Lenzerini, under the rules of international law, “the working relationship between the Regency and the administration of the occupying State would have the form of a cooperative relationship aimed at guaranteeing the realization of the rights and interests of the civilian population and the correct administration of the occupied territory.” This unwarranted attack is a violation of the law of occupation, and as a proxy for the United States, it also constitutes an international wrongful act.

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IADL Resolution on the US Occupation of the Hawaiian Kingdom

The following resolution was adopted by the IADL Council, in virtual session, on 7 February 2021:

IADL RESOLUTION CALLING UPON THE UNITED STATES TO IMMEDIATELY COMPLY WITH INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN LAW IN ITS PROLONGED OCCUPATION OF THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS—THE HAWAIIAN KINGDOM

The International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL) is a non-governmental organization of human rights lawyers founded in 1946, with member associations throughout the world and with consultative status in ECOSOC. IADL is dedicated to upholding international law and promoting the tenets of the UN Charter in furtherance of peace and justice.

The IADL strongly condemns the January 1893 invasion of the Hawaiian Kingdom by the United States and its subsequent unlawful and prolonged occupation to date, a clear violation of customary international law at the time, which is currently set out in Article 2(4) of the Charter of the United Nations prohibiting the use of force. The IADL has always been a proponent of the rule of law and a State’s obligation to comply with international humanitarian law, which includes the law of occupation.

In 2001, the Permanent Court of Arbitration, in Larsen v. Hawaiian Kingdom, stated “in the nineteenth century the Hawaiian Kingdom existed as an independent State recognized as such by the United States of America, the United Kingdom and various other States, including by exchanges of diplomatic or consular representatives and the conclusion of treaties.” [1] The Hawaiian Kingdom currently has treaties with Austria, Belgium, Bremen, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hamburg, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States. [2] The Hawaiian Kingdom also became a member of the Universal Postal Union on January 1, 1882.

After completing an investigation into the United States role in the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom government on January 17, 1893, President Cleveland apprised the Congress of his findings and conclusions. In his message to the Congress, he stated, “And so it happened that on the 16th day of January, 1893, between four and five o’clock in the afternoon, a detachment of marines from the United States steamer Boston, with two pieces of artillery, landed at Honolulu. The men, upwards of 160 in all, were supplied with haversacks and canteens, and were accompanied by a hospital corps with stretchers and medical supplies. This military demonstration upon the soil of Honolulu was of itself an act of war.” [3] The President concluded, that “the military occupation of Honolulu by the United States on the day mentioned was wholly without justification, either as an occupation by consent or as an occupation necessitated by dangers threatening American life and property.” [4]

This invasion coerced Queen Lili‘uokalani, executive monarch of the Hawaiian Kingdom, to conditionally surrender to the superior power of the United States military, where she stated, “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 representatives and reinstate me in the authority which I claim as the constitutional sovereign of the Hawaiian Islands.” The President acknowledged that by “an act of war…the Government of a…friendly and confiding people has been overthrown.” [5]

Through executive mediation between the Queen and the new U.S. Minister to the Hawaiian Islands, Albert Willis, that lasted from November 13, 1893 through December 18, 1893, an agreement of peace was reached. [6] According to the executive agreement, by exchange of notes, the President committed to restoring the Queen as the constitutional sovereign, and the Queen agreed, after being restored, to grant a full pardon to the insurgents. Political wrangling in the Congress, however, blocked President Cleveland from carrying out his obligation of restoration of the Queen.

Five years later, at the height of the Spanish-American War, President Cleveland’s successor, William McKinley, signed a congressional joint resolution of annexation on July 7, 1898, unilaterally seizing the Hawaiian Islands for military purposes. In the Lotus case, the Permanent Court of International Justice stated that “the first and foremost restriction imposed by international law upon a State is that…it may not exercise its power in any form in the territory of another State.” [7]

This rule of international law was acknowledged by the Supreme Court in United States v. Curtiss-Wright, Corp. (1936), when the court stated, “Neither the Constitution nor the laws passed in pursuance of it have any force in foreign territory unless in respect of our own citizens, and operations of the nation in such territory must be governed by treaties, international understandings and compacts, and the principles of international law.” [8] In 1988, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel concluded, it is “unclear which constitutional power Congress exercised when it acquired Hawaii by joint resolution.” [9]

Under international law, “a disguised annexation aimed at destroying the independence of the occupied State, represents a clear violation of the rule preserving the continuity of the occupied State.” [10]

Despite the limitations of United States legislation, the Congress went ahead and enacted the Territorial Act (1900) changing the name of the governmental infrastructure to the Territory of Hawai‘i. [11] Fifty-nine years later, the Congress changed the name of the Territory of Hawai‘i to the State of Hawai‘i in 1959 under the Statehood Act. [12] The governmental infrastructure of the Hawaiian Kingdom continued as the governmental infrastructure of the State of Hawai‘i.

On February 25, 2018, United Nations Independent Expert, Dr. Alfred M. deZayas, in his communication with members of the State of Hawai‘i Judiciary wrote, “I have come to understand that the lawful political status of the Hawaiian Islands is that of a sovereign nation-state in continuity; but a nation-state that is under a strange form of occupation by the United States resulting from an illegal military occupation and a fraudulent annexation. As such, international laws (the Hague and Geneva Conventions) require that governance and legal matters within the occupied territory of the Hawaiian Islands must be administered by the application of the laws of the occupied state (in this case, the Hawaiian Kingdom), not the laws of the occupier (the United States).” [13]

The IADL fully supports the National Lawyers Guild’s 2019 resolution that “calls upon the United States of America immediately to begin to comply with international humanitarian law in its prolonged and illegal occupation of the Hawaiian Islands.” [14] Together with the National Lawyers Guild (NLG):

  • IADL strongly condemns the prolonged and illegal occupation of the Hawaiian Islands.
  • IADL also condemns the unlawful presence and maintenance of the United States Indo-Pacific Command with its 118 military sites throughout the Hawaiian Islands.
  • IADL calls for the United States to immediately comply with international humanitarian law and begin to administer the laws of the Hawaiian Kingdom as the occupied State.
  • IADL calls on the legal and human rights community to view the United States presence in the Hawaiian Islands through the prism of international law and to roundly condemn it as an illegal occupation under international law.
  • IADL supports the Hawaiian Council of Regency, who represented the Hawaiian Kingdom at the Permanent Court of Arbitration, in its efforts to seek resolution in accordance with international law as well as its strategy to have the State of Hawai‘i and its Counties comply with international humanitarian law as the administration of the Occupying State.
  • IADL calls on all United Nations member States and non-member States to not recognize as lawful a situation created by a serious violation of international law, and to not render aid or assistance in maintaining the unlawful situation. As an internationally wrongful act, all States shall cooperate to ensure the United States complies with international humanitarian law and consequently bring to an end the unlawful occupation of the Hawaiian Islands.

The IADL recognizes that the United States’ violations of international humanitarian law have led to the commission of war crimes and human rights violations in the Hawaiian Islands. The IADL also recognizes that the civilian population in the Hawaiian Islands are “protected persons” and their rights during a belligerent occupation are vested in the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention and the 1977 Additional Protocol.

For the restoration of international law and the tenets of the UN Charter, the IADL calls upon the United States to immediately comply with international humanitarian law and the law of occupation in its prolonged and illegal occupation of the Hawaiian Islands.

The IADL fully supports the NLG’s November 10, 2020 letter to State of Hawai‘i Governor David Ige urging him to “proclaim the transformation of the State of Hawai‘i and its Counties into an occupying government pursuant to the Council of Regency’s proclamation of June 3, 2019, in order to administer the laws of the Hawaiian Kingdom. This would include carrying into effect the Council of Regency’s proclamation of October 10, 2014 that bring the laws of the Hawaiian Kingdom in the nineteenth century up to date.” [15]

IADL reiterates that supporting the tenets of the UN Charter also means that member States must comply with the Articles of State Responsibility for Internationally Wrongful Acts (2001). [16] The U.S. violation of the Hawaiian Kingdom’s sovereignty and its failure to comply with international humanitarian law for over a century is an internationally wrongful act. As such, member States have an obligation to not “recognize as lawful a situation created by a serious breach…nor render aid or assistance in maintaining that situation,” [17] and member States “shall cooperate to bring to an end through lawful means any serious breach [by a member State of an obligation arising under a peremptory norm of general international law].” [18]

To download a copy of the IADL resolution go to this link.

[1] Larsen v. Hawaiian Kingdom, 119 Int’l L. Reports 566, 581 (2001). Case description for the Larsen case online at https://pca-cpa.org/en/cases/35/.

[2] International Treaties between the Hawaiian Kingdom and other Powers (online at https://hawaiiankingdom.org/treaties.shtml).

[3] President Cleveland’s Message to the Congress 451 (December 18, 1893) (online at https://hawaiiankingdom.org/pdf/Cleveland’s_Message_(12.18.1893).pdf).

[4] Id., 452.

[5] Id., 456.

[6] Executive Agreement, by exchange of notes, between President Cleveland and Queen Lili‘uokalani (December 18, 1893) (online at https://hawaiiankingdom.org/pdf/EA_2(HI%20Claim).pdf).

[7] Lotus, PCIJ Series A, No. 10, 18 (1927).

[8] United States v. Curtiss-Wright, Corp., 299 U.S. 304, 318 (1936)

[9] Douglas W. Kmiec, “Legal Issues Raised by Proposed Presidential Proclamation To Extend the Territorial Sea,” 12 Op. O.L.C. 238, 252 (1988) (online at https://hawaiiankingdom.org/pdf/1988_Opinion_OLC.pdf).

[10] Krystyna Marek, Identity and Continuity of State in Public International Law 110 (2nd ed., 1968).

[11] An Act To provide a government for the Territory of Hawaii, 31 Stat. 141 (1900).

[12] An Act To provide for the admission of the State of Hawaii into the Union, 73 Stat. 4 (1959).

[13] Letter from U.N. Independent Expert Dr. deZayas to Members of the Judiciary of the State of Hawai‘i (25 Feb. 2018) (online at https://hawaiiankingdom.org/pdf/Dr_deZayas_Memo_2_25_2018.pdf).

[14] NLG Calls Upon US to Immediately Comply with International Humanitarian Law in its Illegal Occupation of the Hawaiian Islands (January 13, 2020) (online at https://www.nlg.org/nlg-calls-upon-us-to-immediately-comply-with-international-humanitarian-law-in-its-illegal-occupation-of-the-hawaiian-islands/).

[15] NLG letter urges implementation on international law in U.S.-occupied Hawaiian Kingdom (2020) (online at https://nlginternational.org/2020/11/nlg-letter-urges-implementation-of-international-law-in-u-s-occupied-hawaiian-kingdom/).

[16] United Nations, Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts (2001) (online at https://legal.un.org/ilc/texts/instruments/english/draft_articles/9_6_2001.pdf).

[17] Id., Article 41(2).

[18] Id., Article 41(1).

National Lawyers Guild Annual Convention (2020): The Law of Occupation – Hawai‘i, Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine

Join the NLG International Committee’s CLE program on Monday, Sept. 21, 2020, as part of the NLG Convention!

The four-hour CLE will take place at 9 am Pacific/12 pm Eastern time. To participate in the CLE, you must register for the NLG Convention. You can attend all Convention events as part of your registration – just follow the directions to create your schedule!

Register online: https://nlg.org/convention/

Please note, the NLG Convention is open to members and non-members! Sliding scale registration is available, with registration for the entire, all-digital convention beginning at $25 for NLG members and $50 for non-members. If you need a fee waiver in order to attend the CLE or the Convention as a whole, please contact registration@nlg.org to request a fee waiver or reduction.

Four CLE credits are available for this program, with presentations on humanitarian and human rights law and the U.S. occupations of Hawai’i, Afghanistan and Iraq, and Israel’s occupation of Palestine.  (CLE Credit will be given through the State Bar of CA. After the convention, the NLG will be emailing out attendance verification forms to all attendees.)

On January 17, 1893, the Hawaiian Kingdom was invaded and its government overthrown by the United States empire, beginning a 126-year occupation and unlawful annexation of the Pacific nation. On October 7, 2001, the United States invaded the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, overthrew its government, and began a 19-year occupation of that Middle Eastern nation. Less than two years later on March 20, 2003, under the pretext that the Republic of Iraq had failed to abandon its weapons of mass destruction, the United States led the invasion, overthrow and continuing occupation of Iraq. The Israeli occupation of Palestine, continuing since 1947 and marked by the Nakba in 1948 when more than 700,000 Palestinians were forceably expelled from their homes and lands, has evolved, with full political and economic support of the U.S., into a belligerent expansion and occupation of territory of Palestine, Jordan, and Syria.

International humanitarian law, also known as the law of war or armed conflict, is the legal framework applicable to situations of armed conflict and occupation. An esteemed panel of international law experts will discuss and examine the application of these rules of law to illegal wars and occupations involving the United States. The panel will discuss the law of occupation which governs the relationship between the occupying power and those subject to belligerent occupation as well as the interplay between humanitarian law and international human rights law. The panel will also cover the legal mechanisms and remedies available to occupied peoples and nations, including Hawaii, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Palestine, to challenge continuing occupation and violations of humanitarian and human rights.

Speakers:

Valentina Azarova, Ph.D. is an international legal academic and practitioner, who teaches and writes on foreign territorial control and the law of third state responsibility.  She is Visiting Academic at the University of Manchester International Law Centre (England) and Associate Editor of the Oxford Reports on International Human Rights Law and United Nations Treaty Bodies. Dr. Azarova is legal advisor to the Global Legal Action Network and has over a decade of experience documenting and engaging in legal actions and advocacy to challenge processes of structural violence of armed conflict and occupation with a focus on third party complicity.  She has worked with and regularly advises UN bodies and fact-finding missions, states and non-governmental organizations.  She is the author of numerous articles on humanitarian law including that law of prolonged belligerent occupations and Israel’s occupation of Palestine.  She co-founded the Human Rights and International law program at Al-Quds Bard College (Palestine) and has held positions at Birzeit University (Ramallah), and in Lebanon, Budapest, and Istanbul.  She received her Ph.D. from the National University of Ireland’s Irish Centre for Human Rights.

Marjorie Cohn is professor emerita at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law (San Diego) and a former president of the National Lawyers Guild. Professor Cohn has written extensively on war and humanitarian law, particularly on torture and targeted killings. She is the author of numerous law review articles and five books. In 2010, Professor Cohn debated the legality of the war in Afghanistan at the prestigious Oxford Union. A lifelong peace activist, Professor Cohn has provided expert testimony on the law of war and is the recipient of 2008 Peace Scholar of the Year Award from the Peace and Justice Studies Association among other awards for her work. She received her J.D. from the Santa Clara University School of Law.

Federico Lenzerini, Ph.D., is an associate professor of public international law and international human rights law at the University of Siena (Italy), a professor in the intercultural human rights program of the St. Thomas University School of Law (Miami). He is a UNESCO consultant and has served as a Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. He is the author or editor of over one hundred academic articles and seven books. He received his Doctor of Law degree from the University of Siena and his Ph.D. degree in international law from the University of Bari (Italy).

Keanu Sai, Ph.D. is the Chairman of the Council of Regency and Acting Minister of the Interior of the provisional government of the Hawaiian Kingdom.  Dr. Sai served as Agent for the Hawaiian Kingdom at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in Larsen v. Hawaiian Kingdom.  He is the editor of the recent book, Investigating War Crimes and Human Rights Violations Committed in the Hawaiian Kingdom.  Dr. Sai received his Ph.D. and M.A. degrees in political science specializing in international relations and public law from the University of Hawai’i where he also teaches. Dr. Sai co-chairs the Hawaiian Kingdom Subcommittee of the International Committee of the NLG.

First Publication of the Royal Commission of Inquiry

In response to the prolonged occupation of the Hawaiian Kingdom by the United States since 1893, and the commission of war crimes and human rights violations that continue to take place with impunity, the Royal Commission of Inquiry was established by the Council of Regency on April 17, 2019. The Council of Regency represented the Hawaiian Kingdom at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in Larsen v. Hawaiian Kingdom, PCA case no. 1999-01, from 1999-2001. The Royal Commission’s mandate is 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.”

Dr. David Keanu Sai was appointed as Head of the Royal Commission and he has commissioned recognized experts in various fields of international law who are the authors of chapters 3, 4 and 5 of this publication. These experts include Professor Matthew Craven, University of London, SOAS; Professor William Schabas, Middlesex University London; and Professor Federico Lenzerini, University of Siena.

Its first 378 page publication, Royal Commission of Inquiry: Investigating War Crimes and Human Rights Violations in the Hawaiian Kingdom, provides information on the Royal Commission of Inquiry, Hawaiian Constitutional Governance, the United States Belligerent Occupation of the Hawaiian Kingdom, the Continuity of the Hawaiian Kingdom as a State, Elements of War Crimes committed in the Hawaiian Kingdom, and Human Rights violations and Self-determination. The Royal Commission will provide periodic reports of its investigation of war crimes committed by individual(s) that meet the constituent elements of mens rea and actus reus, and human rights violations.

There is no statute of limitation for war crimes but it is customary for individual(s) to be prosecuted for the commission of war crimes up to 80 years after the alleged war crime was committed given the life expectancy of individuals. As a matter of customary international law, States are under an obligation to prosecute individuals for the commission of war crimes committed outside of its territory or to extradite them for prosecution by other States or international courts should they enter their territory.

**The book is free of charge and authorization is given, in accordance with its copyright under Hawaiian law, to print in soft-cover or hard-cover so long as the content of the book is not altered or edited.

Attorneys for Mauna Kea Protectors Argue State of Hawai‘i is Engaging in “War Crimes”

This past Monday defense lawyers Dexter Kaiama and Stephen Laudig filed their response to the State of Hawai‘i Attorney General’s opposition to their clients’ motion to dismiss. They argued that the Attorney General “cannot be allowed to knowingly and with intent benefit from the ‘war crime’ of usurpation of sovereignty that consists in the ‘imposition of legislation or administrative measures by the occupying power,’ which, in effect, leads to the violation of international law by denying a Protected Person of the right to a fair and regular trial by a properly constituted court. The prohibition of ‘war crimes’ is a jus cogens norm under customary international law and neither the [Attorney General] nor this Court can derogate from these peremptory norms.”

Kaiama and Laudig represent Deena Oana-Hurwitz, Loretta and Walter Ritte, Pualani Kanakaole-Kanahele, Kaliko Kanaele, Gene P.K. Burke, Alika Desha and Desmon Haumea. Both attorneys are also members of the National Lawyers Guild that “provides legal support to the movement demanding that the U.S., as the occupier, comply with international humanitarian and human rights law within Hawaiian Kingdom territory, the occupied.”

After state law enforcement officers arrested 39 Kia‘i Mauna (protectors of the mountain) who were opposing the building of the Thirty-Meter Telescope (TMT) on Mauna Kea on July 17, 2019, the Attorney General filed charges of obstruction in the Hilo District Court. On behalf of the 8 defendants, Kaiama and Laudig filed their motions to dismiss on November 13, 2019, which provided clear and unequivocal evidence that because the Hawaiian Kingdom continues to exist under international law the District Court “is not a regularly constituted court” and therefore does not have lawful jurisdiction to preside over the case.

An opposition to the motion to dismiss was filed by the Attorney General on December 6, 2019. In its opposition, the Attorney General provided no counter evidence of the Hawaiian Kingdom’s existence and that the Hawaiian Islands have never been lawfully a part of the United States. Instead, the Attorney General argues three points as to why Judge Kanani Lauback should deny defendants’ motion to dismiss. The first argument is that the political question doctrine prevents courts from adjudicating the legality of the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom and the validity of the State of Hawai‘i. Second, the legal status of the State of Hawai‘i has been adjudicated. And, third, international law does not override acts of Congress.

On December 9, Kaiama and Laudig filed a reply that starts off by stating that the Attorney General’s “statement of relevant facts violates the principle of jus cogens and is not relevant to the Court’s consideration of the instant motion.” Jus cogens is a legal term that federal courts say “enjoy[s] the highest status within international law,” and as such cannot be denigrated. International crimes, which includes war crimes, are jus cogens norms.

In its reply, the defense pointed out that the unlawful imposition of United States laws and administrative policies constitute a war crime under customary international law. For their evidence, the defense cited a legal opinion written by Professor William Schabas, a leading expert in international criminal law and war crimes, titled Legal opinion on war crimes related to the United States occupation of the Hawaiian Kingdom since 17 January 1893. The defense argues that all “three fit squarely within the provisions of United States internal law—being legislation and administrative rules, which customary international law precludes a State from invoking as justification for its failure to comply with Article 43 of the Hague Regulations.” Article 43 of the Hague Regulation is a ratified treaty by the United States that obligates an Occupying State to administer the laws of the Occupied State. In this case the Occupying State is the United States and the Occupied States is the Hawaiian Kingdom.

A hearing on the motion to dismiss is scheduled for 8:30am on Friday, December 13, 2019, at the Hilo District Court.

UH’s Lease from State of Hawai‘i for the Summit of Mauna Kea is Invalid

The following is one of the topics covered by Dr. Sai in his letter of July 9, 2019. Maui County Council member Tamara Paltin requested of Dr. Sai his insights into the proposed construction of the Thirty-Meter Telescope. Dr. Sai’s letter is an attachment to Council member Paltin’s letter to University of Hawai‘i President David Lassner on July 12, 2019.

Invalidity of General Lease No. S-4191

Under General Lease No. S-4191 dated June 21, 1968, the Board of Land and Natural Resources of the State of Hawai‘i, as lessor, issued a 65-year lease to the University of Hawai‘i with a commencement date of January 1, 1968 and a termination date of December 31, 2033. The lease is comprised of 11,215.554 acres, more or less, being a portion of Government lands of the ahupua‘a of Ka‘ohe situated at Hamakua, Island of Hawai‘i identified under Tax May Key: 3rd/4.4.15:09.

The State of Hawai‘i claims to have acquired title under Section 5(b) of the 1959 Hawai‘i Admissions Act, Public Law 86-3 (73 Stat. 4), whereby “the United States grants to the State of Hawaii, effective upon its admission into the Union, the United States’ title to all public lands and other public property within the boundaries of the State of Hawaii, title to which is held by the United States immediately prior to its admission into the Union.” The United States derives its title from the 1898 Joint Resolution of Annexation (30 Stat. 750), which states “Whereas the Government of the Republic of Hawaii having, in due form, signified its consent, in the manner provided by its constitution…to cede and transfer to the United States the absolute fee and ownership of all public, Government, or Crown lands.”

The Republic of Hawai‘i proclaimed itself on July 3, 1894, by a convention comprised of appointed members of the Provisional Government and eighteen “elected” delegates. The Provisional Government proclaimed itself on January 17, 1893 and claimed to be the successor of the Hawaiian Kingdom. The Hawaiian Kingdom’s title derives from the 1848 Act Relating to the Lands of His Majesty The King and of the Government, whereby the ahupua‘a of Ka‘ohe is “Made over to the Chiefs and People, by our Sovereign Lord the King, and we do hereby declare those lands to be set apart as the lands of the Hawaiian Government, subject always to the rights of tenants.”

According to President Grover Cleveland, in his message to the Congress after investigating the illegal overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom government that took place on January 17, 1893, the Provisional Government “was neither a government de facto nor de jure.”[1] He did not consider it a government. The President also concluded that “the provisional government owes its existence to an armed invasion by the United States.”[2] Being a creature, or creation, of the US, it could not claim to be the lawful successor of the Hawaiian Kingdom government with vested title to the ahupua‘a of Ka‘ohe. As the successor to the Provisional Government, the Republic of Hawai‘i, as it self-declared successor, could not take any better title than the Provisional Government and hence did not have title to Ka‘ohe. The U.S. Congress in the 1993 Apology Resolution noted that the Republic of Hawai‘i was “self-declared.”[3]

The United States claims to have acquired title to Ka‘ohe, by cession, from the Republic of Hawai‘i under the 1898 Joint Resolution of Annexation. International law recognizes that the “only form in which a cession can be effected is an agreement embodied in a treaty between the ceding and the acquiring State.”[4] The Joint Resolution of Annexation is not “an agreement embodied in a treaty.” It is a U.S. municipal law from the Congress merely asserting that cession took place. The situation is not unlike a neighbor holding a family meeting and claiming that they have agreed that your house is now their house.

In a debate on the Senate floor on July 4, 1898, Senator William Allen stated:

The Constitution and the statutes are territorial in their operation; that is, they can not have any binding force or operation beyond the territorial limits of the government in which they are promulgated. In other words, the Constitution and statutes can not reach across the territorial boundaries of the United States into the territorial domain of another government and affect that government or persons or property therein.[5]

The joint resolution is ipso facto null and void.[6]

In 1988, the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Legal Counsel (“OLC”) issued a legal opinion on the lawfulness of the annexation of Hawai‘i by a joint resolution.[7] In its opinion, it cited constitutional scholar Westel Willoughby:

The constitutionality of the annexation of Hawaii, by a simple legislative act, was strenuously contested at the time both in Congress and by the press. The right to annex by treaty was denied, but it was denied that this might be done by a simple legislative act … Only by means of treaties, it was asserted, can the relations between States be governed, for a legislative act is necessarily without extraterritorial force—confined in its operation to the territory of the State by whose legislature it is enacted.[8]

The OLC concluded, “It is therefore unclear which constitutional power Congress exercised when it acquired Hawaii by joint resolution. Accordingly, it is doubtful that the acquisition of Hawaii can serve as an appropriate precedent for a congressional assertion of sovereignty over an extended territorial sea.”[9] The United States cannot produce any evidence of a conveyance of the ahupua‘a of Ka‘ohe from a grantor, vested with the title. All it can produce is a joint resolution of Congress. This is not a conveyance from a foreign State ceding territory.

Instead of providing evidence of a conveyance of territory, i.e. treaty of cession, the State of Hawai‘i Supreme Court in its October 30, 2018 majority decision In Re Conservation District Use Application for TMT, SCOT-17-0000777, quoted from a book titled Who Owns the Crown Lands of Hawai‘i written by Professor Jon Van Dyke.

The U.S. Supreme Court gave tacit recognition to the legitimacy of the annexations of Texas and Hawaiʻi by joint resolution, when it said in De Lima v. Bidwell, 182 U.S. 1, 196 (1901), that “territory thus acquired [by conquest or treaty] is acquired as absolutely as if the annexation were made, as in the case of Texas and Hawaii, by an act of Congress.” See also Texas v. White, 74 U.S. (7 Wall.) 700 (1868), stating that Texas had been properly admitted as a state in the United States.[10]

It is unclear what Professor Van Dyke meant when he stated that the U.S. Supreme Court “gave tacit recognition to the legitimacy of the annexation of Texas and Hawai‘i by joint resolution,” because tacit, by definition, is to be “understood without being openly expressed or stated.”[11] Furthermore, this statement is twice irrelevant: first, the Court as a third party to any cession of foreign territory has no standing to make such a conclusion as to what occurred between the ceding and receiving States; and, second, its opinion is a fabrication or what American jurisprudence calls a legal fiction. Legal fictions treat “as true a factual assertion that plainly was false, generally as a means to avoid changing a legal rule that required a particular factual predicate for its application.”[12]

According to Professor Smith, a “judge deploys a new legal fiction when he relies in crafting a legal rule on a factual premise that is false or inaccurate.”[13] These “new legal fictions often serve a legitimating function, and judges may preserve them—even in the face of evidence that they are false—if their abandonment would have delegitimating consequences.”[14]

The proposition that Texas and Hawai‘i were both annexed by joint resolutions of Congress is clearly false. In the case of Texas, Congress consented to the admission of Texas as a State by joint resolution on March 1, 1845 with the following proviso, “Said State to be formed, subject to the adjustment by this government of all questions of boundary that may arise with other governments.” This condition was referring to Mexico because as Texas was comprised of insurgents who were fighting for their independence, Mexico still retained sovereignty and title to the land. In its follow up joint resolution on December 29, 1845 that admitted Texas as a State of the Union, it did state that the Congress consented “that the territory properly included within, and rightfully belonging to, the Republic of Texas.” These actions taken by the Congress is what sparked the Mexican-American War in 1846.

Congress’ statement of “rightfully belonging” is an opinion and the resolution mentions no boundaries. The transfer of title to the territory, which included the territory comprising Texas, came three years later on February 2, 1848 in a treaty of peace that ended the Mexican-American War.

Under Article V of the treaty, the new boundary line between the United States and Mexico was to be drawn. “The boundary line between the two republics shall commence in the Gulf of Mexico, three leagues from land, opposite the mouth of the Rio Grande, otherwise called Rio Bravo del Norte.”[15] Rio Brava del Norte is the southern tip of Texas. If Texas was indeed annexed in 1845 by a joint resolution with its territory intact, there was no reason for the treaty to specifically include the territory of Texas. If it were true that Texas territory was ceded in 1845, Article V of the treaty would have started the boundary line just west of the Texas city of El Paso, which is its western border, and not from the Gulf of Mexico at its southern border. The truth is that the territory of Texas was not annexed by Congress in 1845 but was ceded by Mexico in 1848. The Rio Grande river is the southern border for the State of Texas.

With regard to the so-called annexation of Hawai‘i in 1898 by Congress, there is no treaty ceding Hawaiian territory as in the case of Texas. Like the Texas resolution, Congress stated,

Whereas the Government of the Republic of Hawaii having, in due form, signified its consent, in the manner provided by its constitution to ceded absolutely and without reserve to the United States of America all rights of sovereignty of whatsoever kind in and over the Hawaiian Islands and their dependencies, and also to cede and transfer to the United States the absolute fee and ownership of all public, Government, or Crown lands, public buildings or edifices, ports, harbors, military equipment, and all other public property of every kind and description belonging to the Government of the Hawaiian Islands, together with every right and appurtenance thereunto appertaining…

The reference to consent by its constitution is specifically referring to Article 32, which states, the “President, with the approval of the Cabinet, is hereby expressly authorized and empowered to make a Treaty of Political or Commercial Union between the Republic of Hawaii and the United States of America, subject to the ratification of the Senate.”[16] There is no treaty between the so-called Republic of Hawai‘i and the United States. Furthermore, a constitutional provision is not an instrument of conveyance as a treaty would be. So without a treaty from the Hawaiian Kingdom government as the ceding State vested with the sovereignty and title to government lands, which includes the ahupua‘a of Ka‘ohe, there was no change in the ownership of the government lands.

Furthermore, Hawaiians of the day knew there was no treaty as evidenced in the Maui News newspaper published October 20, 1900. The Editor wrote,

Thomas Clark, a candidate for Territorial senator from Maui holds that it was an unconstitutional proceeding on the part of the United States to annex the Islands without a treaty, and that as a matter of fact, the Island[s] are not annexed, and cannot be, and that if the democrats come into power they will show the thing up in its true light and demonstrate that that the Islands are de facto independent at the present time.

The legal fiction that Texas and Hawai‘i were annexed by a joint resolution of the Congress is just a patently false when measured “against the results of existing empirical research.”[17] For the State of Hawai‘i Supreme Court to restate, and embrace, this falsifiable legal fiction is simply a trick that allows it to fabricate its own false and falsifiable fiction regarding the State of Hawai‘i. In its TMT decision the Court, in conflict with overwhelming evidence, stated, “[W]e reaffirm that ‘[w]hatever may be said regarding the lawfulness’ of its origins, ‘the State of Hawai‘i…is now a lawful government.’”[18] For the State of Hawai‘i to be a “lawful government” it must be vested with lawful authority absent of which it is not lawful. The State of Hawai‘i Supreme Court, being a branch of the State of Hawai‘i itself, cannot declare it “is now a lawful government” without making reference to some intervening factor that vested the State of Hawai‘i with lawful authority.

When addressing the lawful authority and sovereignty of the United States of America, the United States Supreme Court specifically referred to a particular and significant intervening factor. It stated that as “a result of the separation from Great Britain by the Colonies, acting as a unit, the powers of external sovereignty passed from the Crown not to the Colonies severally, but to the Colonies in their collective and corporate capacity as the United States of America.” The Court was referring to “the Treaty of Paris of September 3, 1783, by which Great Britain recognized the independence of the United States.”[19]

It has been erroneously assumed that the US Congress vested the State of Hawai‘i with lawful authority in the 1959 Statehood Act[20] in an exercise of the constitutional authority of Congress to admit new States into the Federal union under Article IV, section 3, clause 1. There is no provision in the US constitution for the admission of a state to the union that is on territory not owned by the US. So before the US Congress can admit a new State to the US the US must “own” the territory. According to the United States Supreme Court:

Neither the Constitution nor the laws passed in pursuance of it have any force in foreign territory unless in respect of our own citizens…, and operations of the nation in such territory must be governed by treaties, international understandings and compacts, and the principles of international law.[21]

Since the Hawaiian Islands were never annexed by the United States via treaty, Congressional acts, which are municipal laws, may only operate on the territory of the United States. The United States Supreme Court is relatively clear on this point and has stated that the “municipal laws of one nation do not extend in their operation beyond its own territory except as regards its own citizens.”[22] In another decision, the United States Supreme Court reiterated, that “our Constitution, laws and policies have no extraterritorial operation unless in respect of our own citizens.”[23]

Under international law, the United States is an occupying power in the Hawaiian Islands and as such the occupying Power is obligated, under Article 43 of the 1907 Hague Convention, IV, and Article 64 of the 1949 Geneva Convention, IV, to administer Hawaiian Kingdom laws. In his communication to the members of the Judiciary of the State of Hawai‘i of February 25, 2018, the United Nations Independent Expert, Dr. Alfred deZayas, reiterated this obligation under international law.

I have come to understand that the lawful political status of the Hawaiian Islands is that of a sovereign nation-state in continuity; but a nation-state that is under a strange form of occupation by the United States resulting from an illegal military occupation and fraudulent annexation. As such, international laws (the Hague and Geneva Conventions) require that governance and legal matters within the occupied territory of the Hawaiian Islands must be administered by the application of the laws of the occupied state (in this case, the Hawaiian Kingdom), not the domestic laws of the occupier (the United States) (Enclosure “6”).

The United States never acquired any kind of title to Ka‘ohe and, since one can only convey what one has, it could not convey what it did not have to the State of Hawai‘i under Section 5(b) of the 1959 Admissions Act. Thus the State of Hawai‘i was never lawfully vested with any title to the ahupua‘a of Ka‘ohe, and therefore its so-called general lease no. S-4191 to the University of Hawai‘i dated June 21, 1968 is defective. Under Hawaiian Kingdom law, the ahupua‘a of Ka‘ohe is government land under the management of the Ministry of  the Interior and not the State of Hawai‘i Board of Land and Natural Resources. Consequently, all 10 subleases from the University of Hawai‘i that extend to December 31, 2033 are defective as well, which include:

  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration dated November 29, 1974;
  • Canada-France-Hawai‘i Telescope Corporation dated December 18, 1975;
  • Science Research Council dated January 21, 1976;
  • California Institute of Technology dated December 20, 1983;
  • Science and Engineering Research Council dated February 10, 1984;
  • California Institute of Technology dated December 30, 1985;
  • Associated Universities, Inc., dated September 28, 1990;
  • National Astronomical Observatory of Japan dated June 5, 1992;
  • National Science Foundation dated September 26, 1994; and
  • Smithsonian Institution dated September 28, 1995.

 As such, the University of Hawai‘i’s sublease to TMT International Observatory, LLC, is also defective. Therefore, the University of Hawai‘i cannot sublease what it does not have to TMT International Observatory LLC.


[1] President Cleveland’s Message to the Congress (Dec. 18, 1893), p. 453, available online at https://hawaiiankingdom.org/pdf/Cleveland’s_Message_(12.18.1893).pdf.

[2] Id., p. 454.

[3] 107 Stat. 1510.

[4] L. Oppenheim, International Law, vol. 1, second edition, 286 (1912).

[5] 31 Cong. Rec. 6635 (1898).

[6] 33 Cong. Rec. 2391 (1900).

[7] Douglas Kmiec, Department of Justice, “Legal Issues Raised by Proposed Presidential Proclamation to Extend the Territorial Sea,” 12 Opinions of the Office of Legal Counsel 238 (1988).

[8] Id., p. 252.

[9] Id.

[10] In Re Conservation District Use Application for TMT, SCOT-17-0000777, Opinion, State of Hawai‘i Supreme Court (Oct. 30, 2018), p. 46.

[11] Black’s Law, 6th ed. (1990), p. 1452.

[12] Peter J. Smith, “New Legal Fictions,” 95 The Georgetown Law Journal 1435, 1437 (2007).

[13] Id.

[14] Id., p. 1440.

[15] Treaty of Guadalup Hidalgo, 9 Stat. 926 (1848).

[16] Constitution of the Republic of Hawai‘i, Roster Legislatures of Hawaii, 1841-1918 (1918) p. 198.

[17] Smith, “New Legal Fictions,” p. 1439.

[18] In Re Conservation District Use Application for TMT, SCOT-17-0000777, Opinion, State of Hawai‘i Supreme Court (Oct. 30, 2018), p. 46.

[19] United States v. Louisiana et al., 363 U.S. 1, 68 (1960).

[20] 73 Stat. 4.

[21] United States v. Curtiss-Wright Export Corp., 299 U.S. 304, 318 (1936).

[22] The Appollon, 22 U.S. (9 Wheat.) 362 (1824).

[23] United States v. Belmont, 301 U.S. 324, 332 (1936).

Maui County Council member Tamara Paltin Sought Dr. Keanu Sai’s Expertise and Calls upon UH President Lassner to halt TMT Construction Due to Invalidity of General Lease and War Crimes

WAILUKU, Hawaii – In an urgent plea, Maui County Council member Tamara Paltin announced that she has asked University of Hawaii President David Lassner to put a hold on moving forward with the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope (“TMT”) planned for the summit of Mauna Kea. 

Paltin issued a letter of inquiry to President Lassner on Friday, July 12th in response to Governor Ige’s news conference last week announcing that construction would begin next week on July 15th.  In her letter Paltin expressed “grave concerns for the safety of Maui County’s residents and all individuals mobilizing to access and assemble atop Mauna Kea.”    

It is anticipated that kupuna to keiki and all ages in betweenfrom all islands will be present to exercise traditional Native Hawaiian cultural and religious access, as well as protest the construction of the TMT.  With emotions high, extreme weather conditions, law enforcement presence and talk of the potential deployment of LRAD (Long-Range Acoustic Hailing Devices) for crowd control, Councilmember Paltin fears for the safety and protection of all who will be present on the summit.     

Councilmember Paltin sought out insight from Dr. Keanu Sai who has served as a resource for and provided training presentations to the Council’s Planning and Sustainable Land Use Committee, of which Paltin chairs, concerning the proposed construction of the TMT on the summit of Mauna Kea, in light of the ahupua`a of Ka`ohe being so-called ceded lands.  

Paltin’s letter reiterates Dr. Sai’s focus on three topics underlying the proposed TMT construction: the invalidity of General Lease No. S-4191 between the State of Hawai`i Board of Land and Natural Resources, as the lessor, and the University of Hawai`i, as the lessee; the war crime of destruction of property on the summit of Mauna Kea by the previous telescopes; and the third topic of native tenant rights within the  ahupua`a of Ka`ohe, and describes Dr. Sai’s response as “quite illuminating to say the least.”

Councilmember Paltin requested that President Lassner have the University’s legal counsel review Dr. Sai’s assessment of the situation, and stated that, “this is not a political issue, but an issue of the rule of law, which is foundational, and for our communities throughout the islands to have confidence that the State of Hawai`i officials, to include the Counties, believe in and abide by.”

A full copy of Councilmember Tamara Paltin’s letter to UH President Lassner can be located at mauicounty.us/paltin/.

For more information, please contact Councilmember Paltin’s office.