Synopsis   History "Lance Paul Larsen vs. the Hawaiian Kingdom"
Permanent Court of Arbitration, The Hague
News   Arbitral Log

Acting Hawaiian kingdom agent to go to the Hague

He plans to give arguments to international court

Honolulu Star-Bulletin
Friday, November 24, 2000

By Pat Omandam

More than a century after the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy and 40 years after statehood, an agent for the acting Hawaiian Kingdom plans to defend the nation next month in oral hearings set before an international court at The Hague, Netherlands.

The World Court's Permanent Court of Arbitration will hold an initial round of oral arguments on Dec. 7, 8, 11 and 12 to decide whether the United States should be involved when three international arbitrators resolve a dispute between Lance P. Larsen, a Big Island resident and proclaimed Hawaiian subject, and the acting Hawaiian Kingdom, represented by agent David Keanu Sai.

While the outcome has no legal bearing beyond the case, Sai said the arguments will raise international awareness of the United States' role in the demise of the Hawaiian nation.

Sai, a former Army captain, believes the kingdom still exists but is under a prolonged U.S. occupation following what he called the "failed revolution" of January 1893.

"We're not asking to end the occupation now," he said. "We're treating the occupation as a matter of fact. ... But the question will always arise, why isn't the United States involved?"

Larsen's attorney, Ninia Parks, could not be reached for comment.

Larsen was arrested and spent 30 days in jail in October 1999 for driving his car in Hilo without a license, license plate, safety check and registration.

He believes old kingdom law still applies under a U.S.-occupied Hawaiian nation and that his rights were violated.

He filed a federal lawsuit that accused both the kingdom and the U.S. of not protecting him as a Hawaiian subject. U.S. Senior District Judge Samuel P. King dismissed the complaint after Larsen and the kingdom agreed to seek binding arbitration in the World Court.

The international proceedings began in November 1999 and there have been three rounds of pleadings filed. Sai said this week that the parties will ask the court to determine the relationship between a Hawaiian subject and an acting government of the Hawaiian kingdom.

"The court will either say they have the jurisdiction to hear the case between the government and a national, or they'll say they don't have jurisdiction because the United States has to be involved," Sai said.

"Either way, it's good. See, now we go to the next step to get America involved," he said.

Sai said kingdom records show Hawaii was recognized as an independent nation in 1843 and, under international law, one country cannot colonize another country. Moreover, the U.S. should have governed Hawaii under kingdom law, not U.S. law, after its occupation began, he said.

This same argument was used by Sai as co-founder and researcher of the now-defunct Perfect Title Co., which based land titles on 19th century kingdom law.

"The nationals in Europe, they understand occupation because Germany was not too far away. America, Hawaii, they have no idea what occupation law means," he said.

© 2000 Honolulu Star-Bulletin

Synopsis   History "Lance Paul Larsen vs. the Hawaiian Kingdom"
Permanent Court of Arbitration, The Hague
News   Arbitral Log