Professor Jean D’Aspremont is the first of three commissioners to be appointed as a member of the International Commission of Inquiry in Incidents of War Crimes in the Hawaiian Islands—The Larsen Case that stems from the Larsen v. Hawaiian Kingdom arbitration held at the Permanent Court of Arbitration from 1999-2001. Professor D’Aspremont was appointed by the Provisional Government of the Hawaiian Kingdom and Dexter Kaiama, attorney for Lance Larsen, on October 7, 2017.
In these proceedings, the Provisional Government of the Hawaiian Kingdom is represented by Dr. Keanu Sai, as Agent, Professor Federico Lenzerini, Ph.D., as Deputy-Agent, and Ben Emmerson, QC, from the Matrix Chambers in London, as Counsel.
Jean d’Aspremont is Professor of Public International Law at the University of Manchester where he founded the Manchester International Law Centre (MILC) with Professor Iain Scobbie. He is General Editor of the Cambridge Studies in International and Comparative Law and director of the Oxford Database on International Organizations. He is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the European Journal of International Law. He is series editor of the Melland Schill Studies in International Law.
He used to be Editor-in-Chief of the Leiden Journal of International Law as well as series editor of the Elgar International Law Series. He was guest professor at the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights (HEID/University of Geneva), the University of Louvain, and the University of Lille. He acted as counsel in proceedings before the International Court of Justice. Before moving to Manchester, he was Associate Professor of International Law at the University of Amsterdam and Assistant Professor of International Law at the University of Leiden. He received his LL.M. from the University of Cambridge and his Ph.D. from the University of Louvain. In 2005-06, he was a Global Research Fellow at New York University (NYU), affiliated with the Institute of International Law and Justice (IILJ).
The Commission of Inquiry will hold its first hearing in Honolulu on January 16 and 17, 2018, which marks the 125th year of the United States’ invasion on the 16th, the illegal overthrow of the Hawaiian government on the 17th, and the ensuing prolonged occupation since. According to Article III of the Special Agreement to form an International Commission of Inquiry:
“The Commission is requested to determine: First, what is the function and role of the Government of the Hawaiian Kingdom in accordance with the basic norms and framework of international humanitarian law; Second, what are the duties and obligations of the Government of the Hawaiian Kingdom toward Lance Paul Larsen, and, by extension, toward all Hawaiian subjects domiciled in Hawaiian territory and abroad in accordance with the basic norms and framework of international humanitarian law; and, Third, what are the duties and obligations of the Government of the Hawaiian Kingdom toward Protected Persons who are domiciled in Hawaiian territory and those Protected Persons who are transient in accordance with the basic norms and framework of international humanitarian law.”