49 not 50 States of the United States of America

There is a common misunderstanding among the world that Hawai‘i is the 50th state of the American union. The historical and legal revealing of evidence that Hawai‘i is not the 50th state, but rather the continued existence of the Hawaiian Kingdom as an independent State, has shattered this belief for those who have come to know. To better understand the why, here is the history of the formation of the 49 States of the American union that many don’t know.

All 49 states of the American union were acquired through international law because these territories were formerly the territories of other independent States. The first 13 states, which were formerly British Crown colonies, were acquired from the British Crown by the 1783 Treaty of Paris that brought the revolution to an end. Article I provided, “His Brittanic Majesty acknowledges the said United States, viz., New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, to be free sovereign and Independent States; that he treats with them as such, and for himself his Heirs & Successors, relinquishes all claims to the Government, Propriety, and Territorial Rights of the same and every Part thereof.”

In 1789, as a result of the federalist movement, these 13 sovereign and independent States collectively gave their independence to the federal government, which came to be known as the American union. These states held what was referred to as residual sovereignty but no longer retained independence. The instrument that formed this union was the federal constitution. Prior to this consolidation, these independent States were in a loose union called a confederacy according to the terms of the 1777 Articles of Confederation.

The other states of the union were formed out of territories acquired by the federal government through international treaties, with the exception of Hawai‘i, which was unilaterally annexed by a congressional statute in 1898.

There is also a common misunderstanding that the State of Texas came about as a result of a joint resolution of Congress in 1845. The truth of the matter is that this congressional action is what sparked the Mexican-American war in 1846. The State of Texas was on Mexican territory and not United States territory. In the 1848 Peace Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo that ended the war, the new border between the two Republics began from the Gulf of Mexico along the Rio Grande river, which is the southern border of the State of Texas, then by a surveyed boundary line that runs along the southern borders of what are now States of New Mexico, Arizona and California. Article V of the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo states:

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, or Opposite the mouth of its deepest branch, if it should have more than one branch emptying directly into the sea; from thence up the middle of that river, following the deepest channel, where it has more than one, to the point where it strikes the southern boundary of New Mexico; thence, westwardly, along the whole southern boundary of New Mexico (which runs north of the town called Paso) to its western termination; thence, northward, along the western line of New Mexico, until it intersects the first branch of the river Gila; (or if it should not intersect any branch of that river, then to the point on the said line nearest to such branch, and thence in a direct line to the same); thence down the middle of the said branch and of the said river, until it empties into the Rio Colorado; thence across the Rio Colorado, following the division line between Upper and Lower California, to the Pacific Ocean.

If Texas was annexed in 1845, then the boundary would not have begun from the Gulf of Mexico, but rather from the surveyed boundary line that would have begun from the mid-southern border of what is now the State of New Mexico, which is adjacent to the city of El Paso, Texas. From El Paso, the Rio Grande river goes north into the State of New Mexico.

In 1988, the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) published a legal opinion regarding the annexation of Hawai‘i. The OLC’s memorandum opinion was written for the Legal Advisor for the Department of State regarding legal issues raised by the proposed Presidential proclamation to extend the territorial sea from a three-mile limit to twelve miles. The OLC concluded that only the President and not the Congress possesses “the constitutional authority to assert either sovereignty over an extended territorial sea or jurisdiction over it under international law on behalf of the United States.” As Justice Marshall stated, “[t]he President is the sole organ of the nation in its external relations, and its sole representative with foreign nations,” and not the Congress.

The OLC also stated, “we doubt that Congress has constitutional authority to assert either sovereignty over an extended territorial sea or jurisdiction over it under international law on behalf of the United States.” The OLC then concluded that it is “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.”

That territorial sea referred to by the OLC was to be extended from three to twelve miles under the 1982 United Nations Law of the Sea Convention. In other words, the Congress could not extend the territorial sea an additional nine miles by statute because its authority was limited up to the three-mile limit. Furthermore, the United States Supreme Court, in The Apollon, concluded that the “laws of no nation can justly extend beyond its own territories.”

Arriving at this conclusion, the OLC cited constitutional scholar Professor 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 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 enacted it.” Professor Willoughby also stated, “The incorporation of one sovereign State, such as was Hawaii prior to annexation, in the territory of another, is…essentially a matter falling within the domain of international relations, and, therefore, beyond the reach of legislative acts.”

Under international law, what was illegally overthrown on January 17, 1893, was the Hawaiian Kingdom government and not the Hawaiian Kingdom as an independent State. International law distinguishes between the independent State and its government. For one State to acquire the territory of another State there needs to be a treaty like the United States treaty of cessions with Great Britain, France, Mexico, Russia and Spain. When the United States unilaterally annexed Hawai‘i by a congressional joint resolution in 1898, the act was no different than Iraq unilaterally annexing Kuwait in 1990 during the First Gulf War, or Nazi Germany unilaterally annexing Luxembourg during the Second World War. Both were illegal under international law and so is the annexation of Hawai‘i.

In 1997, the Hawaiian government was constitutionally restored by a Council of Regency that serves in the absence of the Monarch. Two years later, both the Hawaiian Kingdom, as a State, and the Council of Regency, as its government, was acknowledged in 1999 by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, Netherlands, in Larsen v. Hawaiian Kingdom.

Hawaiian Kingdom Files Motion in Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to Compel United States to Prove the Hawaiian Kingdom Does Not Exist

Because people “believe” that the Hawaiian Islands are a part of the United States as the 50th State of the American Union, it does not mean that it is true, especially from a “legal” standpoint. As Abraham Lincoln once asked, how many legs does a calf have if you call its tail a leg? Five, the questioner responded. Lincoln said no. Calling a calf’s tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg.

When the Hawaiian Kingdom filed its Notice of Appeal with the Clerk of the United States District Court for the District of Hawai‘i on April 24, 2022, it specifically stated that the Hawaiian Kingdom was appealing to a competent Court of Appeals to be hereafter established by the United States as an Occupying Power here in the territory of the Hawaiian Kingdom. It was the Clerk that transferred the Notice of Appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, and not the Hawaiian Kingdom.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals can only hear appeals that come from one of the District Courts within its circuit. These District Courts are located within the United States. The District Court in Honolulu is not situated in the territory of the United States but rather in the territory of the Hawaiian Kingdom.

The Hawaiian Kingdom drew attention to the illegality of the District Court in its Amended Complaint that was filed on August 11, 2021, which led to an amicus brief filed on October 6, 2011, by the International Association of Democratic Lawyers, the National Lawyers Guild, and the Water Protectors Legal Collective as to why the District Court had to transform from an Article III Court to an Article II Occupation Court because it is in occupied territory of a foreign State—the Hawaiian Kingdom.

The Notice of Appeal was filed in response to District Court Judge Leslie Kobayashi’s ruling on a motion to dismiss from the Swedish Honorary Consul without first transforming into an Article II Occupation Court. Judge Kobayashi stated that she didn’t need to transform into an Article II Occupation Court because in seventeen previous cases that came before the District Court of Hawai‘i since 1993, the federal judges in these cases all ruled that the Hawaiian Kingdom does not exist as a State.

Her reasoning was flawed so the Hawaiian Kingdom requested Judge Kobayashi to reconsider her decision in light of international law, but she responded that the Hawaiian Kingdom just disagrees with her decision. This resulted in the filing of the Notice of Appeal to an Article II Occupation Appellate Court to be hereafter established by the United States as an Occupying State. The Hawaiian Kingdom filed the appeal so that the records of its case can be preserved for future proceedings. Kobayashi did not dismiss the case.

On May 3, 2022, the Clerk of the Ninth Circuit filed an Order that stated, “Within 21 days after the date of this order, appellant shall either move for voluntary dismissal of the appeal or show cause why it should not be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction.” In response to this Order, the Hawaiian Kingdom today, May 20th, filed a Motion to Dismiss for Forum Non Conveniens. Because the Ninth Circuit is a bona fide Appellate Court in the United States, it allows the Hawaiian Kingdom to file this type of a Motion to Dismiss and can fully argue its case. Normally defendants named in an appeal would file, if appropriate, a Motion to Dismiss for Forum Non Conveniens, and not the plaintiff in an appeal to dismiss its appeal. This case, however, is a truly unique situation.

This type of motion is filed when an appeals court in a foreign country should be hearing the appeal, and not, in this case, the Ninth Circuit. The appropriate court would be an Article II Occupation Appellate Court in the Hawaiian Kingdom, which hasn’t been established yet. In its Motion to Dismiss, the Hawaiian Kingdom explained:

Under international law there is a presumption that an established sovereign and independent State, being a subject of international law, continues to exist despite the overthrow of its government. See Professor Quincy Wright, “The Status of Germany and the Peace Proclamation,” 46, no. 2 American Journal of International Law 299, 307 (April 1952) (“[i]nternational law distinguishes between a government and the state it governs. This distinction makes it clear that the extinction of the Nazi Government and the temporary absence of any German Government did not necessarily mean that Germany as a state ceased to exist”); see also Professor Yejoon Rim, “State Continuity in the Absence of Government: The Underlying Rationale in International Law,” 20(20) European Journal of International Law 1, 4 (2021) (the State continues “to exist even in the factual absence of government so long as the people entitled to reconstruct the government remain”). According to Professor Ian Brownlie, Principles of Public International Law, 109 (4th ed., 1990):

“Thus after the defeat of Nazi Germany in the Second World War the four major Allied powers assumed supreme power in Germany. The legal competence of the German state did not, however, disappear. What occurred is akin to legal representation or agency of necessity. The German state continued to exist, and, indeed, the legal basis of the occupation depended on its continued existence.”

Therefore, the Hawaiian Kingdom as a State is presumed to continue to exist despite its government being unlawfully overthrown by the Defendant Appellee UNITED STATES OF AMERICA’s military on January 17, 1893. As such, the District Court of Hawai‘i is not a properly constituted court in accordance with international humanitarian law, and, therefore, had to transform itself into an Article II Occupation Court.

If the U.S. District Court of Hawai‘i did not have jurisdiction or authority to rule in the case, the Ninth Circuit, as an appeals court, wouldn’t have authority as well. This is because the Hawaiian Kingdom continues to exist as a State despite the unlawful overthrow of its government by the United States military on January 17, 1893. This is not the State of Hawai‘i.

According to Judge James Crawford from the International Court of Justice, “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.” He also stated that “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 Matthew 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.”

A legal title under international law would be a treaty between the Hawaiian Kingdom and the United States where the Hawaiian State would merge with the State of the United States called a treaty of cession. In other words, the question is not whether the Hawaiian Kingdom continues to exist, but rather can “the party opposing that continuity” establish factual evidence, i.e., treaty cession, that it “does not exist.” In the absence of the evidence that it “does not exist,” the Hawaiian Kingdom “continues to exist” as a State under international law.

This is precisely why the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA), in Larsen v. Hawaiian Kingdom, acknowledged the presumption of the continued existence of the Hawaiian Kingdom as a State when the proceedings were initiated on November 8, 1999. The PCA could find no evidence under international law that the Hawaiian Kingdom “does not exist,” therefore, it continues to exist.

The “presumption of the continuity of a State” is similar to the “presumption of innocence.” A person on trial does not have the burden to prove their innocence. Rather, the prosecutor has to prove beyond all reasonable doubt that the person “is not” innocent. Without proof of guilt, the person remains innocent. In international law, a recognized sovereign and independent State does not have the burden to prove it continues be a State after its government was overthrown and subjected to being belligerently occupied for over a century. Rather, the party opposing the presumption has to prove with evidence under international law that the State was extinguished. Absent the evidence, the State continues to exist.

When the seventeen federal cases that ruled the Hawaiian Kingdom doesn’t exist as a State, it cited a precedent case in 1994 that was heard by the State of Hawai‘i Intermediate Court of Appeals called State of Hawai‘i v. Lorenzo. In the federal courts it is known as the “Lorenzo principle.” As the District Court in 2002 stated, in United States v. Goo:

Since the Intermediate Court of Appeals for the State of Hawaii’s decision in Hawaii v. Lorenzo, the courts in Hawaii have consistently adhered to the Lorenzo court’s statements that the Kingdom of Hawaii is not recognized as a sovereign state by either the United States or the State of Hawaii. See Lorenzo, 77 Haw. 219, 883 P.2d 641, 643 (Haw. App. 1994); see also State of Hawaii v. French, 77 Haw. 222, 883 P.2d 644, 649 (Haw. App. 1994) (stating that “presently there is no factual (or legal) basis for concluding that the [Hawaiian] Kingdom exists as a state in accordance with recognizing attributes of a state’s sovereign nature”) (quoting Lorenzo, 883 P.2d at 643). This court sees no reason why it should not adhere to the Lorenzo principle.

According to the Lorenzo principle, the burden of proof was on the defendants in the seventeen cases, and that these defendants did not provide evidence of the Hawaiian Kingdom’s existence as a State. In the 1994 Lorenzo decision, however, the Appellate Court did acknowledge that its “rationale is open to question in light of international law.” The federal judges in the seventeen cases were not correctly applying the Lorenzo principle with international law.

Because the presumption of State continuity is a rule of international law, the Lorenzo principle turns it into a rule of evidence that shifts the burden of proof away from the defendants to prove the Hawaiian Kingdom “exists” as a State, to those opposing the presumption of Hawaiian State continuity to prove that the Hawaiian Kingdom “does not exist” as a State under international law. The only evidence to show that the Hawaiian Kingdom “does not exist” is that there must be a treaty of cession where the Hawaiian Kingdom ceded itself to the United States. There exists no such treaty!

This is a radical shift of the burden of proof and not only were the seventeen federal cases wrongly decided, but every case that came before the federal courts in Hawai‘i since 1900 are all void because the United States did not extinguish the Hawaiian Kingdom as a State under international law before it created, by Congressional legislation, the so-called Territory of Hawai‘i in 1900 and the so-called State of Hawai‘i in 1959. This is why in the Lorenzo decision, the Appellate Court stated that the “illegal overthrow leaves open the question whether the present governance system should be recognized” under international law. This is not just federal court decisions since 1900, Territory of Hawai‘i court decisions since 1900, and State of Hawai‘i court decisions since 1959, but all decisions made by an illegal American government that span from unlawful taxation, business regulations to land titles.

In its Motion to Dismiss, the Hawaiian Kingdom is setting the stage for the United States, as a defendant in this case, to provide evidence that the Hawaiian Kingdom was extinguished as a State under international law. To do this, the Hawaiian Kingdom is invoking the Lorenzo principle, by applying international law, in order for the Ninth Circuit Court to schedule an evidentiary hearing that will compel the United States to provide the evidence of a treaty of cession and prove that the seventeen cases using the Lorenzo principle were “not in error.”

But here is the catch, for the United States to provide evidence is to directly acknowledge the presumption that the Hawaiian Kingdom continues to exist and that the United States federal government and the State of Hawai‘i are unlawful. This rule of international law was triggered on January 17, 1893.

As Sir Walter Scott wrote, “Oh what a tangled web we weave/When first we practice to deceive.”

Don’t Become a Statistic: Be Healthy and Thrive for the Good of Your Country—the Hawaiian Kingdom

The practical value of history, is that it is a film of the “past,” run through the projector of “today,” onto the screen of “tomorrow.” The film can never change, but a projector can be updated to process the film, which will change your view of the future. I ke au i hala ka lamaku o ke ala i ke kupukupu—the past is the beacon that will guide us into the future.

The past is very important to Hawaiians. So much so where the Hawaiian word for future is “ka wā ma hope,” which is literally translated to the time of the past. In the past that begins from a second ago to three hundred years ago are the stories or mo‘olelo of our people. This is where one can learn from past mistakes and capitalize on past sucesses.

The influx of diseases and viruses in the Hawaiian Islands after 1778 devestated the Hawaiian population. From measles, influenza, whooping cough and small pox, Hawaiian governmental authorities had to deal with the decimation of Hawaiian lives. It wasn’t a matter of politics or finger pointing, it was about how to protect Hawai‘i’s people from death knocking on Hawai‘i’s door.

Governor Mataio Kekūanāoʻa

On December 2, 1848, Governor Mataio Kekuanāo‘a, published a report on the carnage from disease and virus across the islands in the Ka Elele Hawaii newspaper. The report was in Hawaiian, but an English translation is provided by Awaiaulu, Inc.

Regarding Illness in Hilo. Regards to you, the Elele. All of the students of this school are afflicted with the contagious smallpox. Previously, some individuals had coughs. They did not have whooping cough. At church service yesterday, there was one boy with whooping cough. Some had fevers, perhaps two, almost exactly like the illness of 1847. Many are somewhat fatigued. Different sick ones may have frequent cramps or headaches.

Malo is carrying out his duties among the folks of this area. In a nearby land area, there are perhaps 80 who are doing required public service. 18 of them have died since the contagious smallpox got here. Most were strong and able-bodied.

Illness at Lahaina. Lahaina has illness much like what is seen here in Honolulu. There is smallpox and whooping cough. Earlier, all the children had whooping cough, and afterwards, all the adults had already contracted it, and we heard that some have died.

Illness at Molokaʻi. Most of the people here are very ill. Some have died, and many more have the coughing illness. There are many sick folk at Hālawa. Someone dies there nearly every day. Few individuals went to church services on the last Sabbath. At services in the new month, there were none. There is no school at this time. All of the teachers are sick, as are most of the students. There have been no deaths among those who drank the medicine that we provided.

Illness at Honolulu. Here below is the letter from the Governor, M. Kekūanāoʻa, regarding those who died in the two week period from the 1st to the 15th of this November.

Fort of Honolulu. 18 November, 1848. Regards. I am reporting to you about the number those who died from Waikīkī to Moanalua in these past two weeks of November. Waikīkī, 7 dead. Honolulu area and Honolulu town, 271 dead. Kapālama, 7 dead. Kalihi, 24 dead. Moanalua, 7 dead.

You should publish this in the Elele Hawaii, and announce it in churches during services, which all I have to say to you, with appreciation. M. Kekūanāoʻa.

If those numbers of the reported deaths are added up, it equals 380. And if you divide it by the 15 days, you get 25, that being the number of people who died each single day.

Illness at Waialua (Oʻahu). A letter from there states thus: Everyone here is ill, and some, if not ill, are recovering. Not many have actually died. There were perhaps ten that I heard of, and some of them had been infirm previously.

Extensive death has just hit here in Honolulu. Chiefs are dying, as are their people. Those of status great and small are entering the house of darkness. The wrongdoers and the righteous all end up falling.

This last Sabbath, Iakoba Malo, an attendant of Leleiōhoku, passed on. He was born on Hawaiʻi; he had always been a chiefs attendant, and was nearly 70 when he died. For many years he had been a servant of God, and appeared to be truly pious, steadfast to the oath he had made. It was never heard about him being in trouble, though he was connected to the royal circles, but did not get involved in pleasure seeking or wantonness because of where he resided. That was because his faith in Almighy God was sincere. He died with hope on God’s holy day. Smallpox and its resulting diarrhea were the causes of his death.

Here is another death: Mose Kekūāiwa, the son of Kekūanāoʻa and Kīnaʻu, died on the 24th of November; He was 19 years and four months old. He attended the Chiefs’ Children’s School for seven years, and mastered the English language. His body had been weakened previously by this illness, and when he contracted smallpox again, along with a cough, he passed on. How tragic is the death of the young!

Here is another: Ioana Kaʻiminaʻauao, the foster daughter of Kalama, wife of the king. She was three years and two days old. Kapaʻakea and Keohokālole were her actual parents. Liver failure was the cause of her death.

This as well: On the 19th of November, John Meek Jr. died, he being the firstborn of Captain J. Meek, and being 27 years old.

Because the printers have been ill, the Elele was not published at its usual time. Perhaps it will be published at its customary time in the future. Those who want a good paper should write articles for it. There are few who are writing articles; some have nearly abandoned this.  Those who care about the Elele should give this careful consideration.

COVID-19 and the Delta variant is a new virus but an old story of Hawaiians dying. The vaccine, which has been approved by science and not politics is crucial for Hawaiians to understand and to make informed decisions. The State of Hawai‘i and the United States federal government have a history of not being trusted by Hawaiians and and for good reason. They are an illegal occupier. Medical science, however, should be trusted as you would trust your own doctorʻs recommendations when he or she is treating you for sepsis or a case of bronchitis.

There are medical doctors who are Hawaiian and private organizations that provide medical support for Hawaiians such as Papa Ola Lokahi, Hui Mālama Ola Nā ʻŌiwi, Ke Ola Mamo, or The Queenʻs Medical Center-Native Hawaiian Health Center. During this crisis, get advice from people you trust, know, and that you can rely on.

Donʻt become a statistic. Be healthy and thrive for the good of your country, the Hawaiian Kingdom.

Press Release: WPLC, IADL, and NLG file joint Amicus Brief Supporting the Hawaiian Kingdom’s Complaint Against the US Requesting a Declaratory Judgment and Effective End of U.S. Occupation

July 30, 2021

Contact:

Natali Segovia, Staff Attorney, WPLC: defense@waterprotectorlegal.org

NLG International Committee: international@nlg.org

Download the amicus brief here.

Honolulu—The Water Protector Legal Collective (WPLC), alongside the International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL) and National Lawyers Guild (NLG), filed an amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) brief today in support of the Hawaiian Kingdom’s complaint against the United States government, President Joe Biden, and other defendants, due to the unlawful occupation of Hawai‘i by the United States since January 17, 1893. The complaint and the amicus brief request Declaratory and Injunctive Relief, namely for the US to end the occupation of the Hawaiian Kingdom. 

Hawai‘i has been illegally occupied by the US since 1893, when businessmen and politicians helped John Stevens overthrow Queen Lili‘uokalani and the Hawaiian government. One-hundred years later, President Clinton would apologize and the US would acknowledge that Hawaiian Kingdom never relinquished their land. That is not enough. The people of the Hawaiian Kingdom have remained continuously opposed to the illegal occupation of the US and its effects, including de-nationalization, the exploitation of natural resources, legacy of racial unrest sown by colonialism, and over-tourism at the expense of Native Hawaiians. 

Mr. Dexter Ke`eaumoku Ka`iama, Acting Attorney General for the Hawaiian Kingdom who filed the original complaint, described the amicus brief filed by the three legal organizations: “The amicus transcends over 128 years of the illegal occupation of the Hawaiian Kingdom, the violations of international law and international humanitarian law and political pressures and trappings brought to maintain this illegality.  Instead, the amicus rightly directs our attention to the undisputed history of the Hawaiian Kingdom and proper application of international law, US Constitutional law and compacts (treaties) between the sovereign States of the Hawaiian Kingdom and the United States.” 

While relief in this matter would seemingly be barred by the political question doctrine, the amicus brief states the federal and state courts of Hawai’i are de facto Article II courts since 1893 because the US occupation of the Hawaiian Kingdom has never ended or been resolved through an operative peace treaty. Experts in international law and human rights have determined that without some type of transfer of sovereignty, the Hawaiian Kingdom and its people have the sole right to that land. There is judicial precedent of at least 12 Article II executive “occupation” courts in U.S. legal and political history since the Mexican War in 1846, provisional courts during the Civil War, and through 1971 when the United States returned Okinawa and Ryukyu Islands to Japan after WWII. 

“At its core,” says WPLC Staff Attorney Natali Segovia, “this case is about the sovereignty of the Hawaiian Kingdom and the right of self-determination of an entire Nation. I don’t mean luke-warm self-determination within the boundaries of a settler state; I mean the self-determination that is at the heart of international law: the right of nations to self-govern to freely determine their political status, their economic, social, and cultural development within their own territory. Standing Rock, Line 3, and the #Landback movement share this in common. WPLC began at Standing Rock, where the fight for the water and for future generations was a manifestation and exercise of self-determination of the Oceti Sakowin Oyate and Indigenous Peoples and allies around the world that answered their call. WPLC is committed to supporting those struggles for sovereignty and self-determination of Indigenous Peoples and Original Nations wherever we can.” 

“As an organization that values human rights and the rights of ecosystems over property interests, the NLG supports all Native peoples’ right to self-determination and resistance against settler-colonial oppression—whether it be in Palestine, Standing Rock, or Hawai’i. The US is no exception to standards set by international and humanitarian law, and must end its occupation of the Hawaiian Kingdom,” said NLG President Elena Cohen.

IADL President Jeanne Mirer said, “As an international organization of human rights lawyers dedicated to the furtherance of peace, justice, and the rule of law, the IADL reiterates its support for the Hawaiian Kingdom and the people of Hawai‘i in their ongoing struggle for sovereignty, and self-determination. The United States has an obligation to comply with international humanitarian law and the law of occupation.”

Mr. Ka`iama concluded, “Filing of the amicus coincides with the formal restoration of the Hawaiian Kingdom from the British Government on July 31, 1843.  A day that is remembered and celebrated as Lā Hoʻihoʻi Ea (“Restoration Day”).  So too, this amicus will be forever marked and fondly remembered in the annals of the Hawaiian Kingdom. Aloha ‘Āina.” 

“Aloha ‘Āina” is Hawaiian for “love of the land.” As legal organizations committed to human rights, international law, and the rule of law, we stand — for the land, for the water, and for future generations.

Counsel for Amici Curiae NLG, IADL, and WPLC are Natali Segovia, Joseph (Joey) Chase, and Charles Heaukulani.

#Landback #HawaiianKingdom #AlohaAina

The International Association of Democratic Lawyers (“IADL”) is an international organization of human rights lawyers and jurists founded in 1946, with member associations and individual members in over 90 countries 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 National Lawyers Guild (“NLG”) was formed in 1937 as the first national racially integrated bar association in the U.S. to advocate for the protection of constitutional, human, and civil rights.

The Water Protector Legal Collective (“WPLC”) is an Indigenous-led legal non-profit organization that began in 2016 as the on-the-ground legal team at Oceti Sakowin camp at Standing Rock in defense of Water Protectors in frontline resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline. WPLC continues to provide legal support and advocacy to Indigenous Peoples and Original Nations, the Earth, and climate justice movements.

Support the Hawaiian Kingdom. To learn more, visit: 

Lessons for Hawai‘i: Historic War Crimes Trial Opens in Switzerland and Finland

GENEVA (Reuters)—The trial of a former Liberian commander accused of rape, pillage, assassinations, and an act of cannibalism opens in Switzerland this week.

The trial of Alieu Kosiah, who denies the charges, is one of just a handful of cases brought before international courts in relation to the West African country’s 1989-2003 conflict, which killed nearly a quarter of a million people, often at the hands of child soldiers.

He is accused of war crimes listed as “recruitment and use of a child soldier, forced transportation, looting, cruel treatment of civilians, attempted murder, murder (directly or by order), desecration of a corpse and rape”.

It is Switzerland’s first war crimes trial to be heard outside a military court.

“This is historic for Switzerland and Liberia,” said Alain Werner, a Swiss lawyer at Geneva-based NGO Civitas Maxima which filed the complaint on behalf of victims.

The NGO was researching war crimes with a Liberian partner when they discovered a rebel commander was living near Lake Geneva. Kosiah was arrested in 2014 and Switzerland filed an indictment against him in 2019.

The case involves dozens of witnesses, thousands of pages of testimony and has been complicated, according to the Swiss Attorney general’s office, by a lack of official Liberian cooperation. The trial is set to open on Thursday at the Federal Criminal Court in Bellinzona.

Kosiah, 45, says he wants to clear his name. Some of the charges are attributed to troops under his command.

“According to Mr. Alieu Kosiah, one of the big problems with this case is he had not yet arrived in Lofa (county) at the time of the crimes he supposedly committed there,” his lawyer Dimitri Gianoli told Reuters.

“What counts for (him) is to be able to officially re-establish his honour by making himself heard openly and clearly,” he said. “(He) has always been very clear on his whereabouts in Liberia and the court filings include testimonies collected in Switzerland that confirm it.”

Unlike neighbour Sierra Leone which had its own civil war in the 1990s, Liberian perpetrators have never faced prosecution at home despite a recommendation by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to create a war crimes court.

Liberia’s former President Charles Taylor was sentenced in 2012 for war crimes in Sierra Leone, but was never convicted for Liberian acts.

Others arrested in Europe have yet to appear in court.

Former warlords retain positions of power in Liberia and witnesses have been reluctant to come forward amid threats.

“This trial gives hope to victims, to the survivors, and gives voice to the dead,” said Hassan Bility who collected evidence for the case and was himself tortured in the conflict.

Human Rights Watch’s Elise Keppler said she hoped the trial would serve as a “wake-up call” for Liberia.

The court will hear Kosiah next week.

Liberian plaintiffs cannot attend due to COVID restrictions and will instead testify in 2021. Kosiah faces a maximum possible sentence of 20 years.

HELSINKI (AP) — A trial has started in Finland for a Sierra Leone man charged with committing serious war crimes, including several murders, and crimes against humanity during Liberia’s bloody second civil war from 1999 through 2003.

Gibril Massaquoi, who has been living in Finland for more than 10 years, is alleged by Finnish prosecutors to have held a leading position in the Revolutionary United Front, a rebel army in Sierra Leone that was involved in the Liberian civil war in West Africa.

The mask-wearing Massaquoi, known to have used the alias “Angel Gabriel,” was present at the Pirkanmaa District Court in the southern Finnish city of Tampere where the main handling of the case started Wednesday. Finnish media reported the 51-year-old defendant didn’t say anything at the court.

Prosecutors are seeking a life sentence — which is usually around 14 years in Finland — for Massaquoi, who has denied all charges. Those charges include his alleged direct or indirect participation in rapes, murders, cannibalism and using child soldiers during the conflict in Liberia.

Massaquoi was arrested in March last year by Finland’s National Bureau of Investigation in Tampere, a main industrial and university city, where according to Finnish media reports he held a job and had a family with children.

Massaquoi is allegedly the first non-Liberian to be held accountable in connection with Liberia’s brutal first and second civil wars, which are estimated to have killed at least 500,000 people. He ended up in Finland under a witness relocation scheme.

Later this month, the Finnish court, in a rare move, will temporarily relocate to Liberia and neighboring Sierra Leone to hear testimony from dozens of witnesses on the alleged atrocities carried out by Massaquoi himself or by others on his orders.

A verdict in the case is expected next fall.

PROSECUTING WAR CRIMINALS UNDER UNIVERSAL JURISDICTION

Both Switzerland and Finland are State parties to the International Criminal Court Rome Statute. 123 countries are States Parties to the Rome Statute. 33 are African States, 19 are Asia-Pacific States, 18 are from Eastern Europe, 28 are from Latin American and Caribbean States, and 25 are from Western European and other States.

In the preamble of the Rome State, it states “that the most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole must not go unpunished and that their effective prosecution must be ensured by taking measures at the national level and by enhancing international cooperation.” This provision is called complementarity jurisdiction, where the State parties are obligated to first use their institutions and courts to prosecute war crimes instead of the International Criminal Court.

If the alleged war criminal is not a citizen of a State party and that the war crime occurred outside of its territory, the State party can exercise universal jurisdiction to prosecute. All of the State parties to the Rome Statute have the ability to exercise universal jurisdiction, which Switzerland and Finland are doing.

This is significant regarding the war crimes that have been and are currently be committed in the Hawaiian Islands that the Royal Commission of Inquiry is investigating. If Hawai‘i’s alleged war criminals find themselves, whether as a resident or in transit, in the territory of one of the 123 countries who are State parties to the Rome Statute, they may find themselves in a similar situation as Kosiah in Switzerland or Massaquoi in Findland.

Americans are Protected Persons in the Hawaiian Kingdom

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In its judgment in 1999, the Appeals Chamber concluded:

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

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

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

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

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

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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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 George Simpsonon 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 aHaalilio 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 RichardsMr. 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.

Recognition by the United States—Messres. Richards and Haalilio arrived in Washington early in December, and had several interviews with Daniel Webster, theDaniel Webster 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.

Success of the Embassy in Europe—The king’s envoys proceeded to London, whereAberdeen 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 CalhounThis 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.”

Hawaiian Kingdom files Application Instituting Proceedings at the International Court of Justice

THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS, 27 September 2013 — The acting Government of the Hawaiian Kingdom filed with the Registrar of the International Court of Justice an Application Instituting Proceedings against the Republic of Austria, Barbados, the Kingdom Peace Palaceof Belgium, the Republic of Botswana, the Republic of Bulgaria, the Republic of Costa Rica, the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Kingdom of Denmark, the Republic of Djibouti, the Commonwealth of Dominica, the Dominican Republic, the Arab Republic of Egypt, the Republic of Finland, Gambia, Georgia, the Hellenic Republic of Greece, the Republic of Guinea, the Republic of Guinea-Bissau, the Republic of Haiti, the Republic of Honduras, the Republic of Ireland, the Republic of Kenya, the Kingdom of Lesotho, the Republic of Liberia, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, the Republic of Madagascar, the Republic of Malawi, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the United Mexican States, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Kingdom of Norway, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the Republic of Paraguay, the Republic of Peru, the Republic of Senegal, the Republic of South Sudan, the Republic of Suriname, the Kingdom of Swaziland, the Kingdom of Sweden, the Swiss Confederation, the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, the Togolese Republic, the Republic of Uganda, and the Oriental Republic of Uruguay for treaty violations and serious breaches of peremptory norms. Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland have treaties with the Hawaiian Kingdom. All (45) States have accepted the jurisdiction of the Court beforehand, including the Hawaiian Kingdom.

The filing of the Application is directly tied to the Hawaiian Kingdom’s Protest and Demand filed with the President of the United Nations General Assembly on August 10, 2012. The Application is seeking enforcement of the Hawaiian Kingdom’s Demand that States comply with their treaty obligations and obligations under customary international law.

Also submitted with the Application was a Request for the Indication of Provisional Measures of Protection. The request states the “fact that serious breaches of rules of jus cogens have been ongoing for over a century only amplifies the urgent request that the Court indicate provisional measures to protect and preserve the rights of the Hawaiian Kingdom.” The Court is requested to declare that:

a)    All member States of the United Nations, which includes the States herein named, in compliance with the duty of non-recognition imposed under Articles 41(1) and 41(2) of the Articles of State Responsibility for International Wrongful Acts, are under an obligation:

1)    to recognize the illegality and invalidity of the United States of America’s continued presence in the Hawaiian Kingdom;

2)    to refrain from lending any support or any form of assistance to the United States of America with reference to its illegal occupation of the Hawaiian Kingdom;

3)    to abstain from entering into treaty relations with the United States of America in all cases whereby the government of the United States of America purports to act on behalf of or concerning the Hawaiian Kingdom;

4)    to abstain from sending consular agents to the territory of the Hawaiian Kingdom, purportedly under arrangements and/or agreements with the United States of America, and to withdraw any such agents already there;

5)    to abstain from entering into economic, military and any other form of relationship or dealing with the United States of America on behalf of or concerning the Hawaiian Kingdom, which may entrench its authority over the territory;

b)    With respect to existing bilateral treaties, member States of the United Nations, which includes the States herein named, in compliance with the duty of non-recognition imposed under Articles 41(1) and 41(2) of the Articles of State Responsibility for International Wrongful Acts, must abstain from invoking or applying those treaties or provisions of treaties concluded by the United States of America on behalf of or concerning the Hawaiian Kingdom, which include and/or involve active intergovernmental co-operation.

c)     With respect to multilateral treaties, however, the same rule cannot be applied to certain general conventions such as those of a humanitarian character, the non-performance of which may adversely affect the people of the Hawaiian Kingdom;

d)    All member States of the United Nations, which includes the States herein named, in compliance with the duty of non-recognition imposed under Articles 41(1) and 41(2) of the Articles of State Responsibility for International Wrongful Acts, should not result in depriving the people of the Hawaiian Kingdom of any advantages derived from international co-operation. In particular, while official acts performed by the Government of the United States of America on behalf of or concerning the Hawaiian Kingdom since the occupation began on 12 August 1898 are illegal and invalid, this invalidity cannot be extended to those acts, such as, for instance, the registration of births, deaths and marriages, the effects of which can be ignored only to the detriment of the inhabitants of the Territory.

e)     With respect to non-member States of the United Nations, the illegality of the United States of America’s presence in the Hawaiian Kingdom is opposable to all States in the sense of barring erga omnes the legality of a situation which is maintained in violation of international law: in particular, no State which enters into relations with the United States of America concerning the Hawaiian Kingdom may expect the United Nations or its Members to recognize the validity or effects of such relationship, or of the consequences thereof.

The acting Government of the Hawaiian Kingdom  designated David Keanu Sai, Ph.D., its Ambassador-at-large, as Agent for these proceedings, and Dexter Ke‘eaumoku Ka‘iama, Esq., its Attorney General, as Deputy Agent. Dr. Sai served as lead Agent for the Hawaiian Kingdom in Larsen v. Hawaiian Kingdom (1999-2001) and presented oral arguments at the Peace Palace on December 7, 8, and 11, 2000. Members of the arbitral tribunal included Professor James Crawford, SC, as presiding arbitrator, with Mr. Gavan Griffith, QC, and Professor Christopher Greenwood, QC, serving as associate arbitrators. Professor Greenwood is now a Judge of the International Court of Justice. Both the Permanent Court of Arbitration and the International Court of Justice are located in the Peace Palace, The Hague, Netherlands.

Sai_ICCWhile in The Hague, Dr. Sai also met with a member of the International Criminal Court’s Information & Evidence Unit at the Court’s headquarters to inquire into the status of the Hawaiian Kingdom’s Referral to initiate an investigation for war crimes. He confirmed that it is still under review and that the Office of the Prosecutor will be in communication shortly.

Dr. Keanu Sai to Present Hawai‘i’s Occupation to Swiss Diplomats in Zurich

Zurich FlyerThe Swiss Diplomats – Zurich Network has invited Dr. Keanu Sai to the city of Zurich to give a presentation on the prolonged and illegal occupation of the Hawaiian Kingdom. The title of Dr. Sai’s presentation is “Hawai‘i – An American State or a State Under American Occupation.” Professor Niklaus Schweizer, a former Swiss Consul for Hawai‘i and a professor at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa, will be giving the introduction. After the presentation there will be a panel discussion comprised of Dr. Sai, Professor Schweizer, and former Swiss Ambassador to the United States and Germany, Dr. Christian Blickenstorfer. The presentation and panel is scheduled for Monday, November 11, 2013.

On July 20, 1864, the Hawaiian Kingdom entered into a Treaty of Friendship, Establishment and Commerce with Switzerland that established perpetual peace and reciprocal liberties. Article 1 states: “Hawaiians shall be received and treated in every canton of the Swiss Confederation, as regards their persons and their properties, on the same footing and in the same manner as now are or may hereafter be treated, the citizens of other cantons. The Swiss shall enjoy in the Hawaiian Islands all the same rights as Hawaiians in Switzerland.” The treaty was negotiated on behalf of the Hawaiian Kingdom by Sir John Bowring, who was a Knight Bachelor of Great Britain and Commander of the Order of Leopold of Belgium. The Hawaiian-Swiss Treaty has not been terminated by either the Hawaiian Kingdom or the Swiss Confederation.

The Diplomatic Network is aware of the Hawaiian-Swiss Treaty, the Hawaiian arbitration, Larsen v. Hawaiian Kingdom, at the Permanent Court of Arbitration at the Hague, Netherlands, from 1999-2001, the Hawaiian complaint filed with the United Nations Security Council in 2001, and the Hawaiian protest and demand filed with the United Nations General Assembly in 2012. Dr. Sai served as lead agent in the arbitration proceedings and the filings with the United Nations.

The Hawaiian National Flag and Royal Flag

Another example of misinformation centers on the Hawaiian national flag. Lately, there is a common misunderstanding that the current flag that has the Union Jack at the top left corner is not Hawaiian, but rather British that was imposed here in the islands in 1843 by British Naval Officer Lord Paulet. According to the story published in the Honolulu Adverstiser in 2001, Gene Simeona of Honolulu, stated “he resurrected the ‘original’ Hawaiian green, red and yellow striped flag, destroyed by British navy Capt. Lord George Paulet when he seized Hawai‘i for five months in 1843.” Sonoda calls this flag the Kanaka Maoli flag.

Kanaka Maoli Flag

A very simple way to falsify or refute this claim is to show that the flag with the Union Jack existed before 1843. There is a lot of evidence that refutes this claim such as ship logs of foreign ships that visited the islands since 1816, which is the date the flag was created by order of Kamehameha I. Below are two portraits painted around 1819. The first portrait was painted in 1819 of the baptism of Kalanimoku, the Hawaiian Kingdom’s former Prime Minister on board the French ship Uranie after the death of Kamehameha I, and the second portrait was done sometime after 1819 of the Hawaiian ship commanded by Captain Alexander Adams during the reign of Kamehameha II. Both ships had the presence of Kamehameha II.

Baptism of Kalanimoku

Hawn Flag (Adams Collection)

The second portrait is also called a flagship that has both the national flag and the royal flag. The royal flag, also called the royal ensign, is a flag that signals the presence of the Hawaiian monarch and in this portrait it signaled the presence of  Kamehameha II on board. The royal ensign also flies at the residence of the Hawaiian monarch and wherever the monarch travels.

Royal Ensign

Sonoda’s claim that the Union Jack symbolizes British colonialism in Hawai‘i is also not accurate, because Kamehameha I joined the British Empire voluntarily, along with his principle chiefs, on February 25, 1794, when Kamehameha entered into an agreement with British Captain George Vancouver. The agreement provided that the British government would not interfere with the kingdom’s religion, government and economy—“the chiefs and priests, were to continue as usual to officiate with the same authority as before in their respective stations.”

If the island Kingdom of Hawai‘i was colonized, Kamehameha would not have maintained the status of King, but would have been replaced by a British Governor-General. Queen Victoria recognized the Hawaiian Kingdom as an independent and sovereign State on November 28, 1843 after Lord Paulet’s seizure from February to July 1843. Therefore, Sonodo’s other claim of Lord Paulet’s seizure is true, but there is no evidence that the green, red and yellow striped flag ever existed.