The United States has had its footprint in the Hawaiian Kingdom since U.S. troops unlawfully landed on Hawaiian territory on January 16, 1893, in order to secure protection for a puppet government, calling themselves the Committee of Safety. The puppet government was created by the U.S. diplomat John Stevens. The following day, Stevens extended de facto recognition to this small group of roughly 30 individuals calling themselves the provisional government and ordered the U.S. troops to protect them from arrest by the Hawaiian police force for treason. Their stated purpose was to seek annexation to the United States.
A treaty of annexation was signed in Washington, D.C. between the insurgency and President Benjamin Harrison on February 14, 1893 and submitted to the U.S. Senate for ratification. On March 4th, President Grover Cleveland replaced Harrison and after receiving a diplomatic protest from Queen Lili’uokalani on the 9th he removed the treaty from the Senate and initiated a presidential investigation into the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom government. His investigator, James Blount, who was the former Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, reported “The American minister and the revolutionary leaders had determined on annexation to the United States, and had agreed on the part each was to act to the very end.” The investigation was completed on December 18, 1893 and determined the United States was responsible for the unlawful overthrow of a friendly government.
Negotiations took place between the Queen and the President’s diplomat, Albert Willis, in Honolulu beginning on November 13, 1893, and an agreement was reached on December 18th that obligated the United States to reinstate the Queen in her constitutional authority and thereafter the Queen to grant a pardon to the insurgents. This agreement, which under international law is a treaty, was not carried out. This allowed the illegal regime to hire American mercenaries in order continue to intimidate and coerce government officials in the executive and judicial branches of the Hawaiian government to sign oaths of allegiance. This illegal regime changed its name to the so-called Republic of Hawai‘i on July 4, 1894.
On August 12, 1898, the United States disguised the military occupation during the Spanish-American War as if Hawai‘i ceded its territory and sovereignty by a treaty. There is no treaty. According to Marek’s Identity and Continuity of States in Public International Law, p. 110, “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.”
The regime’s name has since been changed to the Territory of Hawai‘i in 1900 and then to the State of Hawai‘i in 1959. For the past 121 years the United States footprint has never left the islands and because of its deliberate failure to administer the laws of the Hawaiian Kingdom through its illegal regimes since 1893 it has created a state of emergency that called for a comprehensive plan for transition from an illegal regime to a military government before the occupation can come to an end.
When a State is illegally occupying territory and has established an illegal regime, all official acts of the occupying State are null and void except for the registration of births, marriages and deaths. This is referred to as the Namibia exception, which was formulated by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) during the existence of an illegal regime established by South Africa when it unlawfully occupied Namibia. Examples of official acts include, but are not limited to, the function of notaries, registration of land titles, decisions by judicial and administrative courts, enactment of laws, licensing, etc. In his comment on the Namibia exception, the United Nations Secretary General noted that the determination of any legal validity of South Africa’s illegal presence would be the prerogative of the Namibian Legislative Assembly.
When a country’s territory is occupied by a foreign State, acts of a political nature are suspended throughout the duration of the occupation, which includes the right to vote. And when neutral territory is occupied by a belligerent State, the 1907 Hague Convention IV is not applied in its entirety. According Takahashi’s International Law Applied to the Russo-Japanese War, p. 251, and acknowledged by the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General (JAG) School’s Text no. 11, Law of Belligerent Occupation, p. 4, the only sections of the Hague Convention IV that apply to neutral territory under occupation by a belligerent State are:
Article 42—on the elements and sphere of military occupation;
Article 43—on the duty of the occupant to respect the laws in force in the country;
Article 46—concerning family honour and rights, the lives of individuals and their private property as well as their religious convictions and the right of public worship;
Article 47—on prohibiting pillage;
Article 49—on collecting the taxes;
Article 50—on collective penalty, pecuniary or otherwise;
Article 51—on collecting contributions;
Article 53—concerning properties belonging to the state or private individuals, which may be useful in military operations;
Article 54—on material coming from neutral states; and
Article 56—on the protection of establishments consecrated to religious, warship, charity, etc.
The occupant State’s “authority may be exercised in every field of government activity, executive, administrative, legislative and judicial,” as stated in the JAG’s Law of Belligerent Occupation, p. 38. “The occupant’s laws and regulations which find justification in military necessity or in his duty to maintain law and safety are legitimate under international law. Conversely, the acts of the occupant which have no reasonable relation to military necessity or the maintenance of order and safety are illegitimate.”
The United States use of illegal regimes to further entrench the disguised occupation of the Hawaiian Kingdom is a direct violation of the laws of occupation and general international law. As such, it has drawn to the forefront the Namibia exception with regard to these violations, which renders every executive, administrative, legislative and judicial acts done by these regimes since January 17, 1893 to be invalid and void except for the registration of births, marriages and deaths. As the national and international communities are becoming aware of the profound legal and economic ramifications of the United States’ failure to abide by international law, the situation in the Hawaiian Kingdom is cataclysmic.
In response to a course heading to unrivaled calamity for the country and the world at large, the acting Council of Regency could find no other recourse but to decree provisional laws for the Hawaiian Kingdom on October 10, 2014 in light of the United States’ violation of international law and the law of occupation for the past 121 years. Included in the decree of provisional laws are those laws having emanated from the Hawaiian legislatures that were convened under the so-called Bayonet Constitution of July 6, 1887, which was the beginning of the insurgency. This so-called constitution was not proclaimed in accordance with Hawaiian constitutional law.
For a detailed analysis of the formation of the acting Council of Regency under the doctrine of necessity download “The Continuity of the Hawaiian State and the Legitimacy of the acting Government of the Hawaiian Kingdom.”
As a result of an effective American occupation, the acting Council of Regency does not have the capacity or the ability to enforce the provisional laws proclaimed under the doctrine of necessity. It is the United States that must carry this out. Failure to do so would only lead to economic ruination for not only the United States, but also for the Hawaiian Kingdom and its citizenry, being the victims of these egregious and criminal violations.
This is analogous to the United States having stepped on a land mine called Hawai‘i’s sovereignty on January 16, 1893. That foot has not moved since then, and for the United States to remove its foot from this land mine and begin to comply with the international laws of occupation would consequently admit to the illegality of 121 years and the land mine would blow up legally and economically. That explosion would not only severely injure the United States, but it could also do the same to the Hawaiian Kingdom and everyone residing in these Islands to include those who are legally and economically tied to these islands who live abroad. What’s needed is a means by which the weight of the United States as a government could be replaced by an equal weight so that the land mine can be disarmed. Only a government could do such a thing, and in this case it could only be done by the acting Government of the Hawaiian Kingdom, which itself was established in 1997 by the doctrine of necessity. The decree of provisional laws is this equal weight needed in order for the United States to remove its foot and begin to administer the laws of the occupied State according to the 1907 Hague Convention IV and the 1949 Geneva Convention IV.
The decree of provisional laws is a practical and comprehensive plan for transition from an illegal regime to a military government that relies on international law, which includes treaties, international customs, general principles of law recognized around the world, the decisions of international courts, scholarly writing, and the laws of the Hawaiian Kingdom. It is not intended to end the occupation, but rather to bring compliance to the laws of occupation. It is the responsibility of the acting government to ensure implementation of these provisional laws by any and all lawful means.