Council of Regency Lays Out Plan for the State of Hawai‘i to be a Military Government

For 130 years the United States violated international law and the sovereignty of the Hawaiian Kingdom. These violations were concealed by a false narrative that the Hawaiian Islands became a part of the United States in 1898, which led to the establishment of the Territory of Hawai‘i in 1900, and then the State of Hawai‘i in 1959.

These three acts were done by congressional legislation, which have no effect beyond the borders of the United States. This is analogous to Congress enacting legislation that establishes an American government in Ottawa, Canada. Without a treaty where the Hawaiian Kingdom ceded its territory to the United States like the Mexican government ceded its northern territory to the United States in 1848, congressional laws have no effect within Hawaiian territory. This legal principle of United States law is a pulled grenade pin that renders these acts not only unlawful under international law but are also considered the war crime of usurpation of sovereignty during military occupation.

Usurpation of sovereignty during military occupation was listed as a war crime in 1919 report by the Commission on Responsibilities of the Paris Peace Conference that was established by the Allied and Associated Powers at war with Germany and its allies during World War I. The Commission was especially concerned with acts perpetrated in occupied territories against non-combatants and civilians. Usurpation of sovereignty during military occupation is the imposition of the laws and administrative policies and measures of the Occupying State over the territory of the Occupied State.  

When the United States unlawfully overthrew the government of the Hawaiian Kingdom on January 17, 1893, the Hawaiian Kingdom continued to exist as a State, which the Permanent Court of Arbitration, in Larsen v. Hawaiian Kingdom, acknowledged in 1999. The law of occupation mandated the United States to establish a military government in order to temporarily administer the laws of the Hawaiian Kingdom until a treaty of peace comes into force.

In 1828, U.S. Chief Justice John Marshall, in American Insurance Company v. Canter, wrote that “the holding of conquered territory is mere military occupation, until its fate shall be determined at the treaty of peace. If it be ceded by the treaty, the acquisition is confirmed and the ceded territory becomes a part of the nation to which it is annexed, either on the terms stipulated in the treaty of cession or on such as its new master shall impose.” There is no treaty of cession between the Hawaiian Kingdom and the United States.

Because military occupations do not last for long periods, the cornerstone of the law of occupation is to maintain the status quo of the occupied State. This means that the occupying State cannot impose its laws over occupied territory, change the governmental institutions of the occupied State, or transfer its own citizens into the occupied State. For the past 130 years, the United States did exactly that, which complicates the situation today. However, the laws of occupation and the principles of necessity are flexible enough to come up with a comprehensive plan of compliance. It is said that necessity is the mother of all inventions.

The first step is to identify what entity of the occupying State is responsible for establishing a military government. Is it the United States federal government or the State of Hawai‘i and its Counties? Article 42 of the 1907 Hague Regulations states that territory is occupied when it comes under the effective control of the occupying State, which triggers the law of occupation. Of the 4 million acres that comprise Hawaiian territory, the State of Hawai‘i is in effective control of 94%, while the United States federal government is in control of 6%. Having met the requirement of effective control of occupied territory, the State of Hawai‘i and not the federal government has the responsibility to established the military government to temporarily administer the laws of the Hawaiian Kingdom.

With a view to bringing compliance with international humanitarian law by the State of Ha­wai‘i and its Counties and recognizing their effective control of Hawaiian territory in accordance with Article 42 of the 1907 Hague Regulations, the Council of Regency pro­claimed and recognized their existence as the administration of the occupying State on June 3, 2019.

The State of Hawai‘i and its Counties, under the laws and customs of war during occupation, can now serve as the administrator of Hawaiian Kingdom laws. Prior to the proclamation, the State of Hawai‘i and its Counties were established by virtue of U.S. Congressional legislation unlawfully imposed within Hawaiian territory, being the war crime of usurpation of sovereignty during military occupation. According to Professor Schabas, the action or conduct “of the offense of ‘usurpation of sovereignty’ would consist of the imposition of legislation or administrative measures by the occupying power that go beyond those required by what is necessary for military purposes of the occupation.”

The next step is to address the fact that Hawaiian Kingdom laws in 1893 are not up to date because of the non-compliance by the United States at the time of international law. Nevertheless, it is still a rule of international law that Hawaiian laws must be administered and not American laws, which is a war crime.

To address this issue, the Council of Regency on October 10, 2014, proclaimed provisional laws of the kingdom to be any and all American laws, whether federal, State of Hawai‘i or the Counties, that are not “contrary to the express, reason and spirit of the laws of the Hawaiian Kingdom prior to July 6, 1887, the international laws of occupation and international humanitarian law.” Accompanying the proclamation of provisional laws is a memorandum by the Chairman of the Council of Regency who provides a formula to be used when determining which American municipal laws can be the provisional laws of the kingdom.

In determining which American municipal laws shall constitute a provisional law of the kingdom, the following questions need to be answered. If any question is answered with “yes,” with the exception of question 5, then it is not to be considered a provisional law.

1. The first consideration begins with Hawaiian constitutional alignment. Does the American municipal law violate any provisions of the 1864 Constitution, as amended?

2. Does it run contrary to a monarchical form of government? In other words, does it promote a republican form of government.

3. If the American municipal law has no comparison to Hawaiian Kingdom law, would it run contrary to the Hawaiian Kingdom’s police power?

4. If the American municipal law is comparable to Hawaiian Kingdom law, does it run contrary to the Hawaiian statute?

5. Does the American municipal law infringe vested rights secured under Hawaiian law?

6. And finally, does it infringe the obligations of the Hawaiian Kingdom under customary international law or by virtue of it being a Contracting State to its treaties? The last question would also be applied to Hawaiian Kingdom laws enumerated in the Civil Code, together with the session laws of 1884 and 1886, and the Penal Code.

In his memorandum, the Chairman applied the formula to determine whether the State of Hawai‘i statutes on murder, manslaughter, and negligent homicide can be considered provisional laws of the kingdom. His conclusion was yes. The memo states that the State of Hawai‘i laws on murder, manslaughter and negligent homicide are not “’contrary to the express, reason and spirit of the laws of the Hawaiian Kingdom prior to July 6, 1887, the international laws of occupation and international humanitarian law.’ To the extent that the felony murder rule is omitted, the State of Hawai‘i law on murder would be consistent with the Hawaiian Kingdom law on murder.”

The final step is to draft a comprehensive plan of action for the State of Hawai‘i to transform itself into a military government to administer the laws of 1893 that are augmented with provisional laws while the State of Hawai‘i and its Counties are in effective control of Hawaiian territory. On April 7, 2023, the Chairman authored another memorandum on the role and function of the military government of Hawai‘i.

The memo first dispels with the American annexation of the Hawaiian Islands in 1898, the establishment of the Territory of Hawai‘i in 1900, and the changing of the name of the Territory to the State of Hawai‘i in 1959. Each of these acts stem from legislation by the United States Congress, which has no legal effect beyond the borders of  the United States. The memo then addresses the law of occupation and the duty of a military government of the occupying State to administer the laws of the occupied State. The legal status of the State of Hawai‘i under international humanitarian law is then addressed.

Under international law, the State of Hawai‘i is not an American government but rather a civilian armed force of the occupying State. It can claim no authority under American law because the American law that established the State of Hawai‘i in 1959 has no effect outside of United States borders, and when it is imposed in Hawaiian territory it constitutes the war crime of usurpation of sovereignty during military occupation. However, according to the memo, “Article 1 of the 1907 Hague Regulations provides that the laws, rights and duties of war apply not only to the occupying State’s army but also to its civilian armed forces. In other words, the State of Hawai‘i can exist within the confines of international humanitarian law and not American municipal laws.”

The memo then addresses the role and function of a military government. Under the heading of Military Government, the memo explains that there “is a difference between military government and martial law. While both comprise military jurisdiction, the former is exercised over territory of a foreign State under military occupation, and the latter over loyal territory of the State enforcing. Actions of a military government are governed by international humanitarian law while martial law is governed by the domestic laws of the State enforcing it.”

The memo then explains that according to the practice of the United States when establishing a military government in foreign territory, that responsibility is the Army and not the Navy, Marines or Air Force. Military governments usually take over the governmental infrastructure of the occupied State and can augment certain aspects of the infrastructure in order to effectively carry out the mission of a military occupation. In the Hawaiian situation, the memo states that there are four “essential tasks set forth in the Hague and Geneva Conventions […] as follows: (1) Restore and ensure public order and safety, (2) provide medical care, supplies and subsistence, (3) ensure the care and education of children, [and] (4) respect private property and properly manage public property.”

Because the Army is responsible for this function of the occupying State, it “took steps to prepare for military occupations by publishing two field manuals—FM 27-10, The Law of Land Warfare, and FM 27-5, Civil Affairs Military Government. Chapter 6 of FM 27-10 covers military occupation. Section 355 of FM 27-10 states, ‘[m]ilitary occupation is a question of fact. It presupposes a hostile invasion, resisted or unresisted, as a result of which the invader has rendered the invaded government incapable of publicly exercising its authority, and that the invader has successfully substituted its own authority for that of the legitimate government in the territory invaded.’ FM 27-10 has been superseded by FM 6-27, The Commander’s Handbook on the Law of Land Warfare. Chapter 6 covers occupation.”

The State of Hawai‘i official with the duty and obligation to transform the State of Hawai‘i and the Counties into a military government by proclamation is the Adjutant General who is in charge of the Army and Air National Guard. The memo explains that the “Adjutant General is trained in Army doctrine and regulations, to include the 1907 Hague Regulations and the 1949 Fourth Geneva Conventions, for this type of a situation in occupied territory, where a civilian is not. The Adjutant General would be the military governor that presides over a military government.”

The memo makes reference to the 1893 proclamation by the provisional government as an example to use in drafting a proclamation today. “Although unlawful, the proclamation of 17 January 1893 by the so-called provisional government can be useful as to the wording of the military governor’s proclamation today because government officials continued in place with the exception of Queen Lili‘uokalani, her Cabinet, and the Marshal of the police force. The laws were also continued to be in effect. In the situation now, government officials would remain in place, with exceptions not in line with the law of occupation, and the laws would continue to be in effect as provisional laws together with Hawaiian Kingdom laws that existed prior to 1893. The military governor’s proclamation would, in a sense, be a reversal of the provisional government’s proclamation and in line with the law of occupation.”

Following the proclamation of a military government, the memo states, “The first order of business for the military government would be to disband the legislative bodies of the State of Hawai‘i and the Counties in order to stop the enactment of American municipal laws. The function of a military government is to administer the laws of the occupied State, which in this case include certain American municipal laws, as situations of fact, that have become provisional laws of the Hawaiian Kingdom in accordance with the formula to determine which American municipal laws can be considered provisional laws of the kingdom.”

The memo then states, “Second order of business is for the military governor to determine which American municipal laws can be considered the provisional laws of the Hawaiian Kingdom during the American military occupation that augments and not replaces the Civil Code, together with the session laws of 1884 and 1886, and the Penal Code. These provisional laws will need to be made public by proclamation of the military governor. Paragraph 6-53 of FM 6-27 states that “the population of the occupied territory must be informed of any alteration, suspension, or repeal of existing laws and of the enactment of new laws.” The memo concludes with:

In light of the legal opinion on war crimes related to the United States belligerent occupation of the Hawaiian Kingdom by Professor Schabas on 25 July 2019, a renowned jurist and expert on international criminal law, genocide and war crimes, and the oral statement given to the United Nations Human Rights Council on 22 March 2022 by two NGOs—International Association of Democratic Lawyers and the American Association of Jurists that war crimes are being committed in Hawai‘i, it should warrant the Adjutant General to take this matter seriously because of the legal consequences of the United States’ violation of international humanitarian law for over a century.

The only way to stop war crimes from being committed with impunity by State of Hawai‘i and County officials is to comply with the law of occupation. In Army jargon, this is a command decision to be made at the top of the chain of command.

Situation in Ukraine: ICC judges issue arrest warrants against Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin and Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova

International Criminal Court Press Release
March 17, 2023

Today, 17 March 2023, Pre-Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court (“ICC” or “the Court”) issued warrants of arrest for two individuals in the context of the situation in Ukraine: Mr Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin and Ms Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova.

Mr Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, born on 7 October 1952, President of the Russian Federation, is allegedly responsible for the war crime of unlawful deportation of population (children) and that of unlawful transfer of population (children) from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation (under articles 8(2)(a)(vii) and 8(2)(b)(viii) of the Rome Statute). The crimes were allegedly committed in Ukrainian occupied territory at least from 24 February 2022. There are reasonable grounds to believe that Mr Putin bears individual criminal responsibility for the aforementioned crimes, (i) for having committed the acts directly, jointly with others and/or through others (article 25(3)(a) of the Rome Statute), and (ii) for his failure to exercise control properly over civilian and military subordinates who committed the acts, or allowed for their commission, and who were under his effective authority and control, pursuant to superior responsibility (article 28(b) of the Rome Statute).

Ms Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova, born on 25 October 1984, Commissioner for Children’s Rights in the Office of the  President of the Russian Federation, is allegedly responsible for the war crime of unlawful deportation of population (children) and that of unlawful transfer of population (children) from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation (under articles 8(2)(a)(vii) and 8(2)(b)(viii) of the Rome Statute). The crimes were allegedly committed in Ukrainian occupied territory at least from 24 February 2022. There are reasonable grounds to believe that Ms Lvova-Belova bears individual criminal responsibility for the aforementioned crimes, for having committed the acts directly, jointly with others and/or through others (article 25(3)(a) of the Rome Statute).

Pre-Trial Chamber II considered, based on the Prosecution’s applications of 22 February 2023, that there are reasonable grounds to believe that each suspect bears responsibility for the war crime of unlawful deportation of population and that of unlawful transfer of population from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation, in prejudice of Ukrainian children.

The Chamber considered that the warrants are secret in order to protect victims and witnesses and also to safeguard the investigation. Nevertheless, mindful that the conduct addressed in the present situation is allegedly ongoing, and that the public awareness of the warrants may contribute to the prevention of the further commission of crimes, the Chamber considered that it is in the interests of justice to authorise the Registry to publicly disclose the existence of the warrants, the name of the suspects, the crimes for which the warrants are issued, and the modes of liability as established by the Chamber.

The abovementioned warrants of arrests were issued pursuant to the applications submitted by the Prosecution on 22 February 2023.

A Lesson for War Crimes Committed in Hawai‘i: Last Year a German Court has Convicted a 97-year-old Ex-Secretary at Nazi Camp

December 20, 2022
Associated Press

Irmgard Furchner sits in the courtroom at the beginning of the trial day in Itzehoe, Germany, Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021. Christian Charisius/AP

BERLIN (AP) — A German court on Tuesday convicted a 97-year-old woman of being an accessory to more than 10,000 murders for her role as a secretary to the SS commander of the Nazis’ Stutthof concentration camp during World War II.

Irmgard Furchner was accused of being part of the apparatus that helped the camp near Danzig, now the Polish city of Gdansk, function. The Itzehoe state court in northern Germany gave her a two-year suspended sentence for being an accessory to murder in 10,505 cases and an accessory to attempted murder in five cases.

The court said judges were convinced that Furchner “knew and, through her work as a stenographer in the commandant’s office of the Stutthof concentration camp from June 1, 1943, to April 1, 1945, deliberately supported the fact that 10,505 prisoners were cruelly killed by gassings, by hostile conditions in the camp,” by transportation to the Auschwitz death camp and by being sent on death marches at the end of the war.

“The promotion of these acts by the accused took place through the completion of paperwork” in the camp commander’s office, a court statement said. “This activity was necessary for the organization of the camp and the execution of the cruel, systematic acts of killing.”

The verdict and sentence were in line with prosecutors’ demands. Defense lawyers had asked for their client to be acquitted, arguing that the evidence hadn’t shown beyond doubt that Furchner knew about the systematic killings at the camp, meaning there was no proof of intent as required for criminal liability.

In her closing statement, Furchner said she was sorry for what had happened and regretted that she had been at Stutthof at the time.

Furchner appeared to follow the verdict attentively but didn’t show any obvious emotion. It wasn’t immediately clear whether she would appeal, though lawyer Wolf Molkentin said the defense team thinks the case presents “insurmountable doubts” as to her guilt.

But presiding Judge Dominik Gross said it was “simply beyond all imagination” that Furchner didn’t notice the killings at Stutthof, German news agency dpa reported. He said she could see from her office the collection point where new prisoners had to wait after arrival, and the crematorium was in constant use in the fall of 1944, with smoke spreading across the camp.

Furchner was tried in juvenile court because she was 18 and 19 at the time of the alleged crimes and the court couldn’t establish beyond a doubt her “maturity of mind” at the time of the alleged offenses. Gross nonetheless noted Tuesday that she could have resigned from her position at any time.

Furchner failed to appear for the start of her trial in September 2021, but police later picked her up and she was placed in detention for several days.

Efraim Zuroff, the top Nazi hunter at the Simon Wiesenthal Center, said that “today’s verdict is the best that could be achieved, given the fact that she was tried in a juvenile court.”

“In view of Furchner’s recent statement to the court that she ‘regretted everything,’ we were concerned that the court might accept her defense attorney’s plea for an acquittal,” Zuroff said in a statement. “Yet given her claim that she had no knowledge of the murders being committed in the camp, her regret was far from convincing.”

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ spokesperson, Stephane Dujarric, said of the verdict that “it shows that it’s never too late to ensure that there was some accountability for crimes committed of such horrific nature.”

Prosecutors in Itzehoe said during the proceedings that Furchner’s trial may be the last of its kind. However, a special federal prosecutors’ office in Ludwigsburg tasked with investigating Nazi-era war crimes says prosecutors in various parts of Germany have five more cases pending, dpa reported.

Charges of murder and accessory to murder aren’t subject to a statute of limitations.

Initially a collection point for Jews and non-Jewish Poles removed from Danzig, Stutthof was later used as a so-called “work education camp” where forced laborers, primarily Polish and Soviet citizens, were sent to serve sentences and often died.

From mid-1944, tens of thousands of Jews from ghettos in the Baltics and from Auschwitz filled the camp, along with thousands of Polish civilians swept up in the brutal Nazi suppression of the Warsaw uprising.

Others incarcerated there included political prisoners, accused criminals, people suspected of homosexual activity and Jehovah’s Witnesses. More than 60,000 people were killed at the camp.

United States’ Export of White Supremacy After Seizing Control of the Hawaiian Islands in 1898

To mention white supremacy in the Hawaiian Islands for some is a bit strange because it does not appear that white people are in control. Their control, however, was cemented after the United States illegally overthrew the government of the Hawaiian Kingdom on January 17, 1893. This control lasted until 1959, where former laborers in the sugar and pineapple plantations, after returning from the Second World War, seized political control and pushed for the Hawaiian Islands to be the 50th State of the American Union where the governor would now be an elected position.

The leadership of the insurgency, calling themselves the provisional government, were white, which included Sanford Dole, William O. Smith and Lorrin Thurston. These insurgents, while white by ethnicity, were Hawaiian subjects by nationality and not American citizens. From 1900 to 1959, the leadership of the so-called Territory of Hawai‘i was appointed by the President of the United States. There were only white governors during this period. As a State of Hawai‘i, the former plantation workers would control the voting bloc under American law.

As a minority of the population, the insurgents of 1893 aligned themselves with Americans to entice the United States to annex the Hawaiian Islands after the government was overthrown. By aligning themselves with American politics, they also aligned themselves with American culture—white supremacy. According to Tom Coffman in his book Nation Within—The History of the American Occupation of the Hawai‘i, the insurgents attended higher education in the United States and it is there that they learned what was not experienced in the Hawaiian Kingdom, which is the so-called supremacy of the white race.

Despite the insurgents’ propaganda of lies, their rhetoric, however, was fueled, at the time, by American politics of race relations and the superiority of the Aryan (Teutonic) race over all others. Coffman addresses this by asking what “had Lorrin Thurston learned at Columbia, and what had Sanford Dole learned from his journey up the Kennebec River?” He answered, “the missionary descendants—already so prepared to believe in the superiority of their knowledge and position—were being influenced by American culture and American public life to take over direct control of Hawai‘i.” Between 1840 and 1887, Coffman explains “a systemic theory of white supremacy had been developed that came to be described in the intellectual history of America as Social Darwinism. The keystone of Social Darwinism was the teaching of white supremacy.”

While their physical strength was miniscule in the Hawaiian Kingdom, their arrogance could not be underestimated. The officers of the Hawaiian Patriotic League, in a memorial to President Grover Cleveland dated December 27, 1893, succinctly explained:

Last January, a political crime was committed, not only against the legitimate Sovereign of the Hawaiian Kingdom, but also against the whole Hawaiian nation, a nation who, for the past sixty years, had enjoyed free and happy constitutional self-government. This was done by a coup de main of U.S. Minister Stevens, in collusion with a cabal of conspirators, mainly faithless sons of missionaries and local politicians angered by continuous political defeat, who, as a revenge for being a hopeless minority in the country, resolved to “rule or ruin” through foreign help.

After Cleveland failed to restore Queen Lili‘uokalani under an executive agreement of December 18, 1893, the insurgents became emboldened. Prior to changing the name of the insurgency from the provisional government to the Republic of Hawai‘i in 1894, this minority of people needed to stay in control until a new president entered office after President Cleveland. That President was William McKinley who was open to annexing the Hawaiian Islands.

Professor John Burgess, a political scientist at Columbia University in 1893, was an academic who openly subscribed to white superiority through “Teutonic supremacy in the art of government.” According to Burgess, Teutonic governance was exemplified by “northern Europe and the United States,” but the Hawaiian Kingdom government, led by aboriginal Hawaiians, was not included in this theory because the Polynesian race was not Teutonic. The insurgents, although being Hawaiian subjects and resident aliens, were representative of the so-called Teutonic race. According to Castle, Burgess firmly believed that the “exercise of political right was contingent upon innate political intelligence, and of this intelligence the Teutons were the only qualified judges.”

To the Hawaiian, Burgess’ belief of Teutonic political intelligence would be absurd because Hawai‘i’s constitutional monarchy predated that of Teutonic Prussia. As German political scientist Marquardt pointed out in 2009, “Hawai‘i as early as 1839, preceding even Prussia, transferred European constitutionalism, in the pattern of the constitutional monarchy, into the Austronesian-speaking world of Oceania.” Nevertheless, as facts were not the driving force, the situation was being driven by American racist rhetoric.

Knowing of Burgess’ agenda of promoting white, in particular, Teutonic—Aryan superiority in governance, Dole was in communication with Burgess a year after the overthrow of the Hawaiian government. He wanted to draft a constitution for the insurgency that would change its name from the provisional government to the so-called Republic of Hawai‘i on July 3, 1894. Concerned of the political power wielded by the aboriginal Hawaiian, which was the majority of the Hawaiian national population, the insurgents entertained Jim Crow laws from the American State of Mississippi. In a letter sent from Washington, D.C., on November 4, 1893, by W.D. Alexander, former Surveyor-General of the Hawaiian Kingdom, to Sanford Dole, he wrote, “I enclose extracts from the present Constitution of Mississippi, which is said to have the effect of disfranchising a majority of the negroes of that state.” The Republic of Hawai‘i was in name only. It was not, by definition, a true Republic where the affairs of government were open and transparent.

In his first letter, Dole was merely asking for clarity on a section of Burgess’ book Political Science and Comparative Constitutional Law. Before Burgess responded, Dole was able to send a follow up letter that reveals his intent. In his second letter, Dole requests information from Burgess on his constitutional plan whereby “government can be kept out of the control of the irresponsible element.” He stated that there “are many natives and Portuguese who had had the vote hitherto, who are comparatively ignorant of the principles of government, and whose vote from its numerical strength as well as from the ignorance referred to will be a menace to good government.” Burgess, in his response to Dole, was aware that the so-called Teutonic population in Hawai‘i was a very small minority at 5,000, which he said comprised of “Americans, English, Germans and Scandinavians” out of “a population of nearly 100,000.” After offering suggestions in the organizing of government, he ends his letter by recommending that “only Teutons [be appointed] to military office.”

When Coffman mentions the Dole-Burgess letters, he implies that the Hawaiian Kingdom did not have the same race relations as the United States. According to Dominguez, there was “very little overlap with Anglo-American” race relations. She found that there were no “institutional practices [that] promoted social, reproductive, or civic exclusivity on anything resembling racial terms before the American period.” In comparing the two countries she stated that unlike “the extensive differentiating and disempowering laws put in place throughout the nineteenth century in numerous parts of the U.S. mainland, no parallels—customary or legislated—seem to have existed in the [Hawaiian Kingdom].” Dominguez admits that with “all the recent, welcomed publishing flurry on the social construction of whiteness and blackness and the sociohistorical shaping of racial categories…, there are usually at best only hints of the possible—but very real—unthinkability of ‘race.’”

That very real “unthinkability of race” was the Hawaiian Kingdom. Kauai explains that the “multi-ethnic dimensions of the Hawaiian citizenry coupled by the strong voice and participation of the aboriginal population in government played a prominent role in constraining racial hierarchy and the emergence of a legal system that promoted white supremacy.”

After unilaterally annexing the Hawaiian Islands by enacting an American law in the Congress called a joint resolution in 1898, and not by a treaty of cession, the denationalization through Americanization was firmly planted in the educational system throughout the Hawaiian Islands. To do this, the educational system established by the Hawaiian Kingdom would be weaponized. Thus began the brainwashing of the school children that obliterated the national consciousness of their country, the Hawaiian Kingdom, and imposed the English language over the Hawaiian language.

In 1919, the Allied Powers of the First World War concluded that “attempts to denationalize the inhabitants of occupied territory” is a war crime. In their report, the Allied Powers charged that Bulgaria imposed their national characteristics on the Serbian population; banned the Serbian language; people were beaten for saying “Good morning” in Serbian; and the Serbian population forced to be present at Bulgarian national ceremonies.

The United Nations War Crimes Commission established after the Second World War to prosecute war criminals stated:

Attempts of this nature were recognized as a war crime in view of the German policy in territories annexed by Germany in 1914”

At that time, as during the war of 1939-1945, inhabitants of an occupied territory were subjected to measures intended to deprive them of their national characteristics and to make the land and population affected a German province

Since 1898, the United States did exactly what Bulgaria and Germany did during the First and Second World Wars. Where the military occupations of the First and Second World Wars would only last 4 to 6 years, the policy of denationalization through Americanizatoin would last over a century unfettered. Within three generations, the national consciousness of the Hawaiian Kingdom was obliterated.

Under the ownership of the infamous insurgent Lorrin Thurston, the Pacific Commercial Advertiser newspaper served as the insurgents’ propaganda machine. In 1904, Walter G. Smith, an American from San Francisco, became its editor in chief. In the September 8, 1905, edition, he summed up the effect and purpose of weaponizing the educational system under the heading “The American Way.”

It would have been proper yesterday in the Advertiser’s discussion of schools to admit the success which the High School has had in making itself acceptable to white parents. By gradually raising the standard of knowledge of English the High School has so far changed its color that, during the past year seventy-three per cent. were Caucasians. It is not so many years ago that more than seventy-three per cent. were non-Caucasians. At the present rate of progress it will not be long before the High School will have its student body as thoroughly Americanized in blood as it long has been in instruction.

The idea of having mixed schools were the mixture is of various social and political conditions is wholly American; but not so mixed schools where the American youth is submerged by the youth of alien races. On the mainland the Polacks, the Russian Jews, the Huns and the negroes are, as far as practicable, kept in schools of their own, with the teaching in English; and only where the alien breeds are few, as in the country, are they permitted to mingle with white pupils. In the South, where Americans of the purest descent live, there are no mixed schools for whites and negroes; and wherever color or race is an issue of moment, the American way is defined through segregation. Only a few fanatics or vote-hunters care to lower the standard of the white child for the sake of raising that of the black or yellow child.

One great and potent duty of our higher schools, public and private, is to conserve the domination here of Anglo-Saxon ideas and institutions; and this means control by white men. We have no faith in any attempt to make Americans of Asiatics. There are too many obstacles of temperament and even of patriotism in the way. The main thing is to see that our white children when they grow up, are not to be differentiated from the typical Americans of the mainland, having the same standards, the same ideals and the same objects, none of them tempered by the creeds or customs of decaying or undeveloped or pagan races.

From a country, whose literacy rate was second to Scotland and New England, aboriginal Hawaiian school children were forced to enter the labor force after receiving an eighth grade education. If you were white, you were allowed to attend High School. In an article published by New York’s Harper’s Weekly magazine in 1907, the reporter, William Inglis, visited three schools that were established during the Kingdom – Ka‘iulani and Ka‘ahumanu public schools that went to the eighth grade, and Honolulu High School. At Kai‘iulani, he reported:

Out upon the lawn marched the children, two by two, just as precise and orderly as you can find them at home. With the ease that comes of long practice the classes marched and counter -marched until all were drawn up in a compact array facing a large American flag that was dancing in the northeast trade-wind forty feet above their heads. Surely this was the most curious, most diverse regiment ever drawn up under that banner – tiny Hawaiians, Americans, Britons, Germans, Portuguese, Scandinavians, Japanese, Chinese, Porto-Ricans, and Heaven knows what else.

“Attention!” Mrs. Fraser commanded.

The little regiment stood fast, arms at sides, shoulders back, chests out, heads up, and every eye fixed upon the red, white, and blue emblem that waved protectingly over them.

“Salute!” was the principal’s next command.

Every right hand was raised, forefinger extended, and the six hundred and fourteen fresh, childish voices chanted as one voice:

“We give our head and our hearts to God and our Country! One Country! One Language! One Flag!”

Harper’s Weekly, “Hawaii’s Lesson to Headstrong California: How the Island territory has resolved the problem of dealing with its four thousand Japanese Public-School children,” Feb. 16, 1907.

At Honolulu High School, before the name was changed to President William McKinley High School in 1907 after the story was published, the reporter stated:

Professor M.M. Scott, the principal of the high school, was kind enough to call all the pupils, who were not taking examinations, out on the front steps of the building, where the visitor could inspect them in the sunshine. The change in the color scheme from that of the schools below was astounding. Below were all the hues of the human spectrum, with brown and yellow predominating; here the tone was clearly white.

The American Experience with Unilateral Annexation of Another State’s Territory: The Story of Texas Without the Rhetoric Just International Law

Like many who are unaware of the legal and political history of the Hawaiian Kingdom, many are unaware of the legal and political history of the State of Texas. While there are parallels to the Crimean and the Hawaiian situation, there are also important distinctions. Under international law, annexation is a unilateral act by an independent State, and a treaty of cession is a bilateral act between independent States. As a unilateral act, annexation is illegal under international law.

The Republic of Texas was established during the Mexican Revolution but it doesn’t mean the revolution was successful and that the Republic became an independent State. The revolution began on October 2, 1835, that included other provinces rebelling against the regime of President Antonio López de Santa Anna. The Republic of Texas was comprised of United States citizens and Tejanos (Hispanic Texans) who declared their independence on March 2, 1836. Four days later was the famed Battle of the Alamo. Although the Republic of Texas declared their independence their act was treasonous under Mexican law. It was still a part of Mexican territory, and the Republic was fighting Mexican troops through the 1840s. There was no treaty of peace whereby Mexico acknowledged the Republic of Texas as an independent State, and, therefore the revolution continued.

This was a different situation for the United States and when the thirteen colonies declared their independence on July 4, 1776. This act was a treasonous act under British law that triggered the American revolution. It did not transform the thirteen colonies into thirteen independent States. Like the Mexican revolution, battles were fought for seven years until there was a treaty of peace entered into between representatives of King George III and the representatives of the thirteen colonies calling themselves the United States under the Articles of Confederation. The treaty of peace was called the Treaty of Paris and it was signed on September 3, 1783. The treaty specifically acknowledged the former thirteen British colonies as independent States and Article 2 provided the boundaries of the new independent States. Article 1 stated:

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.

Article 2 of the Treaty of Paris regarding the boundaries states:

And that all Disputes which might arise in future on the subject of the Boundaries of the said United States may be prevented, it is hereby agreed and declared, that the following are and shall be their Boundaries, viz.; from the Northwest Angle of Nova Scotia, viz., that Angle which is formed by a Line drawn due North from the Source of St. Croix River to the Highlands; along the said Highlands which divide those Rivers that empty themselves into the river St. Lawrence, from those which fall into the Atlantic Ocean, to the northwesternmost Head of Connecticut River; Thence down along the middle of that River to the forty-fifth Degree of North Latitude; From thence by a Line due West on said Latitude until it strikes the River Iroquois or Cataraquy; Thence along the middle of said River into Lake Ontario; through the Middle of said Lake until it strikes the Communication by Water between that Lake & Lake Erie; Thence along the middle of said Communication into Lake Erie, through the middle of said Lake until it arrives at the Water Communication between that lake & Lake Huron; Thence along the middle of said Water Communication into the Lake Huron, thence through the middle of said Lake to the Water Communication between that Lake and Lake Superior; thence through Lake Superior Northward of the Isles Royal & Phelipeaux to the Long Lake; Thence through the middle of said Long Lake and the Water Communication between it & the Lake of the Woods, to the said Lake of the Woods; Thence through the said Lake to the most Northwestern Point thereof, and from thence on a due West Course to the river Mississippi; Thence by a Line to be drawn along the Middle of the said river Mississippi until it shall intersect the Northernmost Part of the thirty-first Degree of North Latitude, South, by a Line to be drawn due East from the Determination of the Line last mentioned in the Latitude of thirty-one Degrees of the Equator to the middle of the River Apalachicola or Catahouche; Thence along the middle thereof to its junction with the Flint River; Thence straight to the Head of Saint Mary’s River, and thence down along the middle of Saint Mary’s River to the Atlantic Ocean.  East, by a Line to be drawn along the Middle of the river Saint Croix, from its Mouth in the Bay of Fundy to its Source, and from its Source directly North to the aforesaid Highlands, which divide the Rivers that fall into the Atlantic Ocean from those which fall into the river Saint Lawrence; comprehending all Islands within twenty Leagues of any Part of the Shores of the United States, and lying between Lines to be drawn due East from the Points where the aforesaid Boundaries between Nova Scotia on the one Part and East Florida on the other shall, respectively, touch the Bay of Fundy and the Atlantic Ocean, excepting such Islands as now are or heretofore have been within the limits of the said Province of Nova Scotia.

Instead of a treaty whereby Mexico explicitly recognized the Republic of Texas as an independent State by a successful revolution and provided the boundaries of the new State, the Republic sought recognition from foreign States to include the United States in an attempt to circumvent the sovereign rights of Mexico and its territorial integrity. In March of 1837, the United States recognized the Republic of Texas but failed to annex the Republic by a treaty of cession. In 1840, Great Britain entered into a treaty with the Republic for trade purposes but did not recognize it as an independent State because it was still Mexican territory.

On March 1, 1845, the United States Congress enacted a Joint Resolution for annexing Texas to the United States. It stated that “Congress doth consent that the territory properly included within and rightfully belonging to the Republic of Texas may be erected into a new State, to be called the State of Texas, with a republican form of government, to be adopted by the people of said Republic, by deputies in convention assembled, with the consent of the existing government, in order that the same may be admitted as of the States of this Union.”

At issue, and was always the issue, were the boundaries of the Republic of Texas. A treaty of peace would have settled the boundaries, like the 1783 Treaty of Paris, but without a treaty the Republic of Texas had no formal boundaries. This was acknowledged in the joint resolution that stated “Said State to be formed, subject to the adjustment by this Government of all questions of boundary that may arise with other Governments.” That other government was Mexico.

This unilateral act, under international law, was the United States intervention in the internal affairs of Mexico, which is violation of international law, and triggered the Mexican-American War from 1846 to 1848. In the 1848 Peace Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo that ended the war, the new border between the United States and Mexico 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. Texas had no territorial boundaries until Mexico ceded its territory north of the Rio Grande in 1848 and not in 1845.

The United States tends to view things retroactively. As an example, although the United States achieved its recognition from Great Britain in 1783, its history books say it achieved independence in 1776 when it declared it. Likewise, instead of the history books stating that Texas territory was acquired in 1848, it says Texas was annexed in 1845. Texas was never annexed in 1845 but rather acquired from Mexico in 1848.

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.”

Like Crimea there is no treaty of cession whereby Ukraine ceded Crimea to Russia with its boundaries, and like Hawai‘i there is no treaty of cession whereby the Hawaiian Kingdom ceded the Hawaiian Islands to the United States with its boundaries. The question is who is the independent State with its rights under international law, and not an entity that has yet to achieve independence under international law.

What is Annexation under International Law?

By definition the word annexation is to add to one’s own territory by appropriation. Under international law, it is a unilateral act by one State as to territory of another State, which is why it is unlawful. According to The Handbook of Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflicts:

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

What is lawful under international law is cession whereby the ceding State transfers its territory to the acquiring State by a treaty. According to Professor Oppenheim:

Cession of State territory is the transfer of sovereignty over State territory by the owner-State to another State and the only form in which a cession can be effected is an agreement embodied in a treaty between the ceding and the acquiring State.

American examples of ceded lands are the 1807 Louisiana Purchase where France ceded its territory west of the Mississippi river to the United States and 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo where Mexico transferred its territory north of the Rio Grande river to the United States as part of a peace treaty.

The latest example of an unlawful annexation is when Russia annexed Crimea after its invasion in 2014. Ukraine, which Crimea is a part of its territory, did not cede its territory to Russia by a treaty. Under international law, the annexation of Crimea is unlawful. There is no reason to say unlawful about the Russian annexation because it is inherently unlawful under international law.

Chinese Foreign Ministry in its Report of February 20, 2023, Acknowledges the Illegal Annexation of Hawai‘i

In a blistering report by the Chinese Foreign Ministry on American imperialism, China acknowledges the United States unlawful annexation of Hawai‘i in 1898. The Foreign Ministry reported:

Since it gained independence in 1776, the United States has constantly sought expansion by force: it slaughtered Indians, invaded Canada, waged a war against Mexico, instigated the American-Spanish War, and annexed Hawai‘i.

After World War II, the wars either provoked or launched by the United State included the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, the Kosovo War, the War in Afghanistan, the Iraq War, the Libyan War and the Syrian War, abusing its military hegemony to page the way for expansionist objectives.

In recent years, the U.S. average annual military budget has exceeded 700 billion U.S. dollars, accounting for 40 percent of the world’s total, more than the 15 countries behind it combined.

The United States has about 800 overseas military bases, with 173,000 troops deployed in 159 countries.

The Foreign Ministry also cited a Tufts University report that found the United States carried out almost 400 military interventions from 1776 to 2019.

When the attempt to acquire the Hawaiian Islands by a treaty of cession failed in 1898 because of protests by Queen Lili‘uokalani, Head of State of the Hawaiian Kingdom, and Hawaiian subjects and supporters, the breakout of the Spanish-American War prompted the United States to unilaterally annex Hawai‘i by enacting a congressional statute called a joint resolution of annexation. On May 31, 1898, the U.S. Senate went into secret session on the subject of unilaterally annexing the Hawaiian Islands as a military necessity. The senators knew that a joint resolution, as American municipal law, has no effect beyond the borders of the United States, but the President could exercise his war powers by signing the joint resolution into law. Senator Henry Cabot Lodge stated:

If I had been permitted to continue I could have been permitted to continue I could have finished in ten minutes. I have really made the argument which I desire to make. If it had not been that it would have precipitated a protracted debate, I should have argued then what has been argued ably since we came into secret legislative session, that at this moment the Administration was compelled to violate the neutrality of those [Hawaiian] islands, that protests from foreign representatives had already been received, and complications with other powers were threatened, that the annexation or some action in regard to those islands had become a military necessity.

The word “necessity” was used 21 times in the secret session, but no one would know what was discussed because secrecy prevented the public from seeing it until 1969.


Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Saturday, February 1, 1969 reported:

WASHINGTON (AP) – Now it can be told—what happened during the longest of three Senate sessions during the Spanish-American War, a debate over whether to take over Hawaii.

The debate of nearly three hours on that day—May 31, 1898—and in two secret sessions the previous month had remained locked up until last week. Then at the request of a historian who noted gaps in the Congressional Record, the Senate passed a resolution authorizing the National Archives to take the wraps off the debate transcript.

The government’s only explanation for the long suppression of the debate records is that they had been long forgotten.

THE SECRECY WAS clamped on during a debate over whether to seize the Hawaiian Islands—called the Sandwich Islands then—or merely developing leased areas of Pearl Harbor to reinforce the U.S. fleet at Manila Bay.

Sen. Henry Cabot Lodge, grandfather and namesake of the current chief U.S. peace negotiator in Paris, had the floor. He was pleading for all war measures and particularly for the dispatch of reinforcements to Adm. George Dewey who already had destroyed the Spanish fleet in Manila Bay.

But before Lodge could press his case for the need of Hawaii as a rear base, Sen. David Turpie of Indiana demanded and got the Senate chamber cleared. Even the official reporter of debate was expelled for five minutes.

Study of the transcripts is unlikely to add more than a minor footnote to history, for as Lodge contended during the debate:

“I do not know anything that would give them (the enemy) any information,” because “there is nothing, nothing not already in the newspapers.”

LODGE COMPLAINED BITTERLY at the time about the secrecy, but his peers went along with Turpie and Sen. Georg Gray of Delaware, who questioned the “propriety” of public utterances “addressed to the ears of the enemy.”

Going further, Sen. Eugene Hale of Maine declared that the Senate is “the last place in which to discuss what shall be done about war,” for its word “goes on the wing of the lightning to every part of the globe.”

Lodge said Dewey’s need for reinforcement was urgent because “great and powerful interests in Europe (Paris bankers holding Spanish loan bonds) are directly interested in having Manila wrested from him and his fleet destroyed.”

Sen. William Stewart of Nevada saw “no possible secrets involved in the discussion of the annexation of the Sandwich Islands.” He contended the Navy required a coaling station for its ships and a “residing place” for the men enroute to the Philippines.

PEARL HARBOR, ALREADY UNDER LEASE, Stewart argued, wouldn’t be much use until costly dredging operations opened the entrance channel. “Either we must have the Sandwich Islands,” he declared, “or the administration must recall Dewey.”

The senate was unimpressed by the argument of Sen. Richard F. Pettigrew of South Dakota that the great circle route to Manila, skirting the Aleutian Islands, was 500 miles shorter than the route through Honolulu.

He argued that many warships and fortifications could be built with $10 million proposed to be “thrown away in the interest of a few sugar planters and adventures in Hawaii,” and asked: “Why embarrass that feeble republic, or monarchy, or oligarchy or whatever it is, with our presence?”

Sen. John T. Morgan of Alabama was concerned about the bubonic plague, cholera, yellow fever, small pox and “all the horrible diseases to which humanity is incident” prevailing in the Philippines. Therefore, “we cannot refuse to men going there a stopping place on the salubrious islands of Hawaii.”

Sen. Benjamin Tillman of South Carolina had the last word about the islands, saying “is not Hawaii lying there praying to the United States: ‘Please come and swallow me and pay the $4 million you promised.’”

THE UNITED STATES ANNEXED the Hawaiian Islands five weeks after the debate. But before the Senate reopened its doors that day, Morgan steered the discussion back to Cuba, the original cause of the war with Spain.

The first secret session, April 25, 1898, involved technical and emotional debate over wording of the declaration of war and why it or some accompanying resolution did not formally recognize the independence of Cuba or at least declare the Cubans to have the rights of belligerents in the conflict.

THE SENATE ENDED UP BY ACCEPTING the House passed version reading that “war and the same is hereby declared to exist and that war has existed since the 21st of April”—four days earlier.

Dropped from the final declaration was a Senate proposed tagline requiring the administration to “prosecute said war to a successful conclusion.”

Sen. Stephen White of California joined the unanimous vote for war “even with that mild prevarication” about when the war started.

Symposium on War Crimes Committed in the Hawaiian Islands by the United States

Watch the Hawaiian Society of Law & Politics‘ Symposium showcasing the “Royal Commission of Inquiry – Investigating War Crimes and Human Rights Violations Committed in the Hawaiian Kingdom” held at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa on February 11, 2023. This half-day symposium, in collaboration with the International Association of Democratic Lawyers, the National Lawyers Guild, the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Native Hawaiian Student Services, and the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa College of Education, featured experts in the fields of international law, international relations, international criminal law and war crimes, and Hawaiian Kingdom law on the topic of the American occupation of the Hawaiian Kingdom since January 17, 1893. Part 2 of the presentation ends with a celebration of Aloha ʻĀina (Hawaiian patriotism) through mele (song) by well known Hawaiian entertainers and musicians.

The presentations stem from the three presenters’ articles published in the Hawaiian Journal of Law and Politics: Professor William Schabas, “Legal Opinion on War Crimes Related to the United States Occupation of the Hawaiian Kingdom since 17 January 1893;” Professor Federico Lenzerini, “Legal Opinion on the Authority of the Council of Regency of the Hawaiian Kingdom;” and Dr. David Keanu Sai, “The Royal Commission of Inquiry.”

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

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


Washington, October 18, 1893


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Honolulu, January 17, 1893

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

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

Respectfully, yours,

Chairman Executive Council.

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

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

The above request not complied with.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Respectfully submitted.

Americans are Protected Persons in the Hawaiian Kingdom

Originally posted on August 31, 2018. According to the International Committee of the Red Cross, “The Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols form the core of international humanitarian law, which regulates the conduct of armed conflict and seeks to limit its effects. They protect people not taking part in hostilities and those who are no longer doing so.” Coverage of the Geneva Conventions also apply to occupied territories where there is no actual fighting. Amnesty International defines war crimes as “crimes that violate the laws or customs of war defined by the Geneva and Hague Conventions.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In its judgment in 1999, the Appeals Chamber concluded:

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

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

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

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

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

Swiss General Secretariat Receives the Hawaiian Kingdom’s Accession to the Fourth Geneva Convention

Ambassador Battig

Originally posted on January 29, 2013. On January 14, 2013, Ambassador Benno Bättig, General Secretariat of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), received at his office in Berne, Switzerland, the Hawaiian Kingdom’s Instrument of Accession to the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention for the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War. Along with the Instrument of Accession, Ambassador Bättig also received a copy of the Hawaiian Protest and Demand deposited with the President of the United Nations General Assembly, August 10, 2012; and a DVD package of the Larsen v. Hawaiian Kingdom arbitration case at the Permanent Court of Arbitration, The Hague, Netherlands, 2001.


The FDFA is responsible for maintaining the foreign relations of Switzerland and serves as the Swiss Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The department is headed by Federal Councillor Didier Burkhalter. The FDFA is composed of a General Secretariat and the State Secretariat, to which the department’s directorates and agencies are subordinate. Ambassador Bättig was appointed General Secretariat January 11, 2012.

CLARIFICATION: Article 156  of the Fourth Geneva Convention provides that accessions shall be notified in writing to the Swiss Federal Council and the Swiss Federal Council shall communicate the accessions to all the Powers in whose name the Convention has been signed, or whose accession has been notified. The Swiss Federal Council receives accessions through the FDFA. And according to Article 159, the Swiss Federal Council also informs the Secretary-General of the United Nations of all ratifications, accessions and denunciations received by them.

Feb. 11, 2023 Symposium – The Royal Commission of Inquiry Investigating War Crimes and Human Rights Violations Committed in the Hawaiian Kingdom

The Hawaiian Society of Law & Politics (HSLP), in collaboration with the International Association of Democratic Lawyers, the National Lawyers Guild, the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa College of Education, the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Native Hawaiian Student Services, and the Kamehameha Schools Kanaeokana, invites you to its February 11, 2023 Symposium showcasing the Royal Commission of Inquiry – Investigating War Crimes and Human Rights Violations Committed in the Hawaiian Kingdom. The event is at no cost but you’ll need to register to ensure you can get a seat. The auditorium is air conditioned and sits 300. The symposium will also be live streamed on Facebook via NHSS UH Mānoa for those who are unable to attend.

The half-day symposium will feature experts in the fields of international law, international relations, international criminal law and war crimes, and Hawaiian Kingdom law on the topic of the American occupation of the Hawaiian Kingdom since January 17, 1893. 

Dr. Kamana‘opono Crabbe will open the symposium with a Hawaiian chant and then followed by a special appearance by Hawaiian actor Jason Scott Lee who acted in films such as Dragon – the Bruce Lee Story, the Jungle BookRapanuiMulan, and The Wind and the Reckoning.

Presenters to follow include Professor William Schabas, renowned expert in international criminal law and war crimes from Middlesex University London, author of “Legal Opinion on War Crimes Related to the United States Occupation of the Hawaiian Kingdom since 17 January 1893;” Professor Federico Lenzerini, professor of international law from the University of Siena, Italy, and Deputy Head of the Royal Commission of Inquiry, author of “Legal Opinion on the Authority of the Council of Regency of the Hawaiian Kingdom;” and Dr. Keanu Sai, a Lecturer in Political Science and Hawaiian Studies at the University of Hawai‘i, and Head of the Royal Commission of Inquiry, author of “The Royal Commission of Inquiry.” The presenters will discuss the subject matter of their respective articles which have been published by the Hawaiian Journal of Law and Politics. Following their presentations, the presenters will sit together on a panel to answer questions from the audience.

The symposium will also have as a finale a presentation celebrating Aloha ‘Āina (Hawaiian Patriotism) through mele (song) by well known Hawaiian entertainers and musicians featuring Mele Apana, Lina Girl, Davey D, Amy Gilliom, Mailani Makainai, Ku‘uipo Kumukahi, Sean Pimental, Glenn Maeda, Danny Kennedy, Na Wai Ho‘olu‘u o ke Ānuenue, and Heuaʻolu Sai-Dudoit.

SYMPOSIUM SCHEDULE: The symposium will begin at 11:00am and end at 4:30pm at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa’s Art Building auditorium across from Varney Circle where the water fountain is. Here is a link to a map of UH Mānoa. Light lunch and drinks included at no cost.

Registration is now open for all UH Mānoa students, faculty and staff, as well as community members. Click here to register for the event.


For any questions or concerns, please contact

Click here to visit HSLP’s Symposium’s website

Exposing the Achilles Heel of the State of Hawai‘i Judiciary

Since the Permanent Court of Arbitration verified and acknowledged the Hawaiian Kingdom to still exist as a State under international law in 1999 in Larsen v. Hawaiian Kingdom, it’s been a slow but methodical progression of exposing this legal reality. For the Hawaiian Kingdom to be a State in continuity since the nineteenth century despite the United States illegal overthrow of its government on January 17, 1893, it radically shifted the legal and political terrain concerning the United States’ presence and the State of Hawai‘i’s control over Hawaiian territory. From the 50th State of the American Union to an Occupied State under a prolonged and illegal occupation.

While under international law, there is a rule that effective control by the government of the State over its territory is the exercise of sovereignty, this independence rule does not apply over territory of another State during military occupation. Under international humanitarian law, when a State is in effective control over occupied territory it triggers the law of occupation, not sovereignty, which obligates the occupying State to temporarily administer the laws of the occupied State until a treaty of peace is concluded. In the Hawaiian situation, the State of Hawai‘i and the Counties are in effective control of the territory of the Hawaiian Kingdom and are subject to the international law of occupation. Their effective control is not an exercise of sovereignty. According to Professor Krystyna Marek:

Belligerent occupation is thus the classical case in which the requirement of effectiveness as a condition of validity of a legal order is abandoned. The explanation of this unusual fact is to be found in the temporary nature of belligerent occupation. International law could not permanently relinquish the requirement of effectiveness, since this would mean reducing international law and relations to a pure fiction. But belligerent occupation is by definition not of a lasting character. Sooner or later it is bound to end, whether in favour of the occupied or the occupying State.

Once believed to be a democratically elected government under United States laws, the State of Hawai‘i, under international law, is an American armed force and not a government. The leadership of the State of Hawai‘i and the Counties are citizens of the United States. This is similar to the situation in Cyprus after it became an independent State on August 16, 1960, from Great Britain. In 1974, Turkey invaded the Republic of Cyprus and established the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus as a Turkish armed force. The northeastern territory of Cyprus has been under Turkish occupation, through its proxy the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, since 1974. The difference, however, is that the Hawaiian Kingdom is an internationally recognized sovereign and independent State, but the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is not.

In 1959, the United States Congress established the State of Hawai‘i by legislation to be the successor of the Territory of Hawai‘i that the Congress established in 1900. In the 1900 statute, the Congress specifically stated that the Territory of Hawai‘i is the successor of the Republic of Hawai‘i. And the Republic of Hawai‘i was the successor to the provisional government that President Grover Cleveland stated to the Congress that it “owes its existence to an armed invasion by the United States” on January 16, 1893. President Cleveland also concluded that the provisional government was “neither a government de factor nor de jure” but self-declared.

When an occupying power imposes its legislation and administrative measures over the territory of an occupied State, it constitutes the war crime of usurpation of sovereignty during military occupation. For this war crime not to have been committed in the Hawaiian Islands, the Hawaiian Kingdom, as an independent State, would had to have been extinguished by the United States under international law and acquired its sovereign territory. To have extinguished the Hawaiian Kingdom, the United States needs to show evidence of a treaty of cession, whether by conquest or otherwise. Examples of foreign States ceding portions of their sovereign territory to the United States by a peace treaty include the 1848 Treaty of Peace, Friendship, Limits, and Settlement with the Republic of Mexico that ended the Mexican American War, and the 1898 Treaty of Peace between the United States of America and the Kingdom of Spain that ended the Spanish American War.

There exists no such treaty. Instead, the United States enacted a congressional law on July 7, 1898, purporting to have annexed the Hawaiian Islands. The legislation was called a joint resolution of annexation. This act itself, being American legislation, is the war crime of usurpation of sovereignty during military occupation.

In 1994, the State of Hawai‘i Intermediate Court of Appeals established a precedent case called State of Hawai‘i v. Lorenzo. In that case, it set the precedence for defendants who argue that the courts do not have jurisdiction because of the Hawaiian Kingdom’s continued existence, they must present a factual or legal basis for concluding that the Kingdom exists as a State under the rules of international law. The Supreme Court, in State of Hawai‘i v. Armitage, clarified the evidentiary burden that Lo­renzo placed upon defendants. The court stated:

Lorenzo held that, for jurisdictional purposes, should a defendant demonstrate a factual or legal basis that the Kingdom of Hawai‘i “exists as a state in accordance with recognized attributes of a state’s sovereign nature[,]” and that he or she is a citizen of that sovereign state, a defendant may be able to argue that the courts of the State of Hawai‘i lack of jurisdiction over him or her.

Since 1994, State of Hawai‘i courts denied attempts by defendants to dismiss their cases because of the Lorenzo principle. In other words, these courts were asserting that the defendants failed to present any factual or legal basis that the Kingdom continues to exist as a State. This was the case until the Council of Regency got involved in order to expose the illegality of the American occupation in the court system.

The Regency was working with attorney Dexter Ka‘iama who had been representing defendants who were arguing that the courts of the State of Hawai‘i have no jurisdiction. His arguments were based on State of Hawai‘i v. Lorenzo, which the Appellate court and the Supreme Court stated that defendants had the burden of providing evidence of a factual or legal basis that the Hawaiian Kingdom continues to exist as a State. Ka‘iama provided evidence that met that burden.

In a 2012 case that came before Circuit Judge Glenn Hara in Hilo, Wells Fargo Bank v. Kawasaiki, Judge Hara openly stated what all the judges knew after Ka‘iama presented the irrefutable evidence of the Kingdom’s continued existence. The transcript of the case preserved the record, which stated:

MR. KAIAMA: The scope of my special appearance, Your Honor, is to make argument and presentation with respect to Ms. Kawasaki’s 12(b)(1) motion to dismiss challenging the subject matter jurisdiction of this court, Your Honor.

THE COURT: Okay. So here’s the court’s inclination, Mr. Kaiama. And in answer to the plaintiff’s comment that maybe the motion may be delayed, it looks like the motion is one that challenges the subject matter jurisdiction. At least on its face. But—and any time there is a jurisdictional challenge, it can be made at any time. That’s my understanding. Because if the court has no jurisdiction then whatever the court does is void. Um, so I’m treating this as a motion to dismiss for the court’s lack of subject matter jurisdiction for the reasons stated. And that is that the argument is that the Kingdom of Hawaii still exists, and therefore, in essence, this court has no jurisdiction, it’s the courts of the Kingdom of Hawaii. That’s how I’m taking the motion. Mr. Kaiama?

MR. KAIAMA: And that is essentially Ms. Kawasaki’s motion and our argument.

MR. KAIAMA: I have now been arguing, Your Honor, this motion before judges of the courts of the circuit court and district court throughout the State of Hawaii, and nearly—and probably over 20 times, and in not one instance has the plaintiff in the cases challenged the merits of the executive agreements to show that either it’s not an executive agreement or that the executive agreements have been terminated. Because we belief, respectfully, again Your Honor, they cannot.

THE COURT: No, but, Mr. Kaiama, I think you failed—in my mind, what you’re asking the court to do is commit suicide, because once I adopt your argument, I have no jurisdiction over anything. Not only these kinds of cases where you may claim either being a citizen of the kingdom, but jurisdiction of the courts evaporate. All of the courts across the state, from the supreme court down, and we have no judiciary. I can’t do that.

THE COURT: I think what [Mr. Kaiama is] saying is the argument is that if, in fact, I buy into his arguments then this court has no jurisdiction over any matter. That’s his analysis, I think.

MS. HIROSANE [for Wells Fargo]: And that’s my understanding of it too, Your Honor.

THE COURT: Okay. So the court will deny the motion to dismiss the complaint pursuant to Hawaii Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.

Hara’s extra-judicial or unlawful order led to Wells Fargo Bank’s pillaging of defendant’s home and property by a court that possessed no jurisdiction. As acknowledged by Hara in the transcript, “if the court has no jurisdiction then whatever the court does is void.” The defendant was the victim of the war crime of usurpation of sovereignty during military occupation, deprivation of fair and regular trial, and pillaging.

To stop the State of Hawai‘i’s judiciary from unravelling, the Supreme Court, in 2013, in State of Hawai‘i v. Kaulia, responded to a defendant’s arguments that was like the case that came before Judge Hara except that Ka‘iama was not his attorney. The Supreme Court stated that the defendant “contends that the courts of the State of Hawai‘i lacked subject matter jurisdiction over his criminal prosecution because the defense proved the existence of the Hawaiian Kingdom and the illegitimacy of the State of Hawai‘i government.” With only American case law and municipal laws to rely on, the Supreme Court responded with, “Whatever may be said regarding the lawfulness of its origins, the State of Hawai‘i is now, a lawful government. Individuals claiming to be citizens of the Kingdom and not the State are not exempt from application of the State’s laws.”

The Supreme Court was silent in providing evidence of the lawfulness of the State of Hawai‘i, which, according to the rules of evidence, silence is an acknowledgement of its unlawfulness. According to Professor Nuno Antunes, under international law, acquiescence “concerns a consent tacitly conveyed by a State, unilaterally, through silence or inaction, in circumstances such that a response expressing disagreement or objection in relation to the conduct of another State would be called for.” On acquiescence, the International Court of Justice in Case concerning the Temple of Preah Vihear (Cambodia v. Thailand), the Court stated:

It has been contended on behalf of Thailand that this communication of the maps by the French authorities was, so to speak, ex parte, and that no formal acknowledgment of it was either requested of, or given by, Thailand. In fact, as will be seen presently, an acknowledgment by conduct was undoubtedly made in a very definite way; but even if it were otherwise, it is clear that the circumstances were such as called for some reaction, within a reasonable time, on the part of the Siamese authorities, if they wished to disagree with the map or had any serious question to raise in regard to it. They did not do so, either then or for many years, and thereby must be held to have acquiesced. Qui tacet consentire videtur si loqui debuisset ac potuisset.

On June 1, 2013, Ka‘iama was licensed to practice law in the Hawaiian Kingdom. His license was issued by Hawaiian Kingdom Supreme Court First Associate Justice Allen K. Hoe. On August 11, 2013, Ka‘iama petitioned the Council of Regency for a commission as Attorney General after Gary V. Dubin resigned. Ka‘iama stated:

As an Attorney, Counselor, Solicitor and Proctor who has been admitted to practice in al the courts of the Hawaiian Kingdom on June 1, 2013, by the Honorable Allen K. Hoe, First Associate Justice, I respectfully and humbly petition the Council to consider me for the office of acting Attorney General of the Hawaiian Kingdom in light of the recent resignation of Gary V. Dubin, Esq., from the office of the same.

After consideration, the Council of Regency commissioned Dexter Ke‘eaumoku Ka‘iama as Attorney General.

Attorney General Ka‘iama continued to represent defendants in both civil and criminal cases making the argument that the court does not have jurisdiction or authority over the cases because they were unlawful. But in every case that came before these courts across the islands, the judges were not following the Lorenzo precedent, which is their own rule. Without any proof of evidence that countered Attorney General Ka‘iama’s or, in other words, provided any evidence that the Hawaiian Kingdom no longer exists as a State under the rules of international law, they just steam rolled forward as if there was no problem with their authority. As Professor Marek explained:

Thus, the relation between effectiveness and title seems to be one of inverse proportion: while a strong title can survive a period of non-effectiveness, a weak title must rely heavily, if not exclusively, on full and complete effectiveness. It is the latter which makes up for the weakness in title. Belligerent occupation presents an illuminating example of this relation of inverse proportion.

The utter disregard by the State of Hawai‘i courts, to include the Supreme Court, to the rules of fair play and evidence based arguments only proves its “weakness in title” against the Hawaiian Kingdom’s “strong title.” Under international criminal law, these actions taken by the courts, which are preserved in the court filings, comprise the Achilles heel, which is the weakness despite the strength of the State of Hawai‘i judiciary. The actions taken in violation of the law of occupation gives rise to war crimes and individual criminal culpability. There are no statute of limitations for war crimes. These actions do come under the investigative authority of the Royal Commission of Inquiry.