Na Keokani Kipona Marciel, Loea Lula Hoʻomalu
In the Lāhui today, we're familiar with terms like "international law" and "the rule of law,"
but what about "parliamentary law"?
What Is Parliamentary Law and How is It Relevant to the Lāhui?
Hawaiian patriotic societies and political parties were commonplace in the Lāhui during the Hawaiian Kingdom era. In fact, the proposed foreign—albeit illegal—annexation of the Hawaiian Islands was prevented from ever succeeding due to the efforts of the three largest Hawaiian patriotic societies at the close of the 19th century. These deliberative assemblies conducted their affairs according to the common parliamentary law. In other words: the generally accepted customs and best practices of voluntary organizations designed to ensure effective meetings and democratic decisions.
Parliamentary law is a branch of common law governing the conduct of deliberative assemblies. Democratic procedure, i.e., parliamentary law, is derived from the legislative assemblies of the national and local governments under whose jurisdiction an organization is located. Although the procedure of voluntary organizations was originally modeled after the procedure of their respective legislative bodies, over time the non-legislative procedure has been adapted to the needs of ordinary societies in general. This body of meeting procedures has become known as common parliamentary law, also known as general parliamentary law.
The common parliamentary law applies to all deliberative assemblies, including legislative bodies, in cases where their own adopted rules are silent. The operative word, "law," means that parliamentary law is not a switch that can be turned on or off. Hence, it is not an optional tool for deliberative assemblies. Instead, a deliberative assembly may only deviate from the common parliamentary law by adopting a procedural manual (parliamentary authority), standing rules of order, or long-standing customs, which supersede particular rules of common parliamentary law. However, an organization can only adopt its own standing rules of order or long-standing customs to the extent that they do not conflict with any applicable procedural rules prescribed by law or statutes in the jurisdiction where the organization is located.
What Is a Deliberative Assembly?
A deliberative assembly is a group of people sharing a common interest who have a meeting of the minds to democratically adopt decisions expressing their general will. Types of deliberative assemblies include:
The formation of a permanently organized deliberative assembly entails the adoption of governing documents, enrollment of members, election of officers, holding of regular meetings, and appointment of committees as needed. The meetings of a deliberative assembly entail adequate prior notice to all members, the presence of a quorum, an agreed-upon agenda that follows a prescribed order of business, a presiding officer to conduct the meetings, and a secretary to keep a legal record of the proceedings. If the organization collects membership dues or otherwise handles money, then a treasurer should be elected to maintain the funds of the organization, report the current balance at regular meetings, and provide an annual financial report to be audited by the organization.
What is a Parliamentary Authority?
Deliberative assemblies may adopt a published procedural manual, formally known as a parliamentary authority. Such a manual is a codification of common parliamentary law which contains standardized rules of order for meetings. The way that a procedural manual is adopted by a permanent organization is by including an article in its bylaws that references the manual. Additionally, an organization may adopt standing rules of order that supersede or supplement its adopted procedural manual.
What Gave Rise to Parliamentary Procedure Throughout the World?
Democratic procedure for group decisions is rooted in antiquity. The House of Commons in the United Kingdom—considered the mother of all parliamentary democracies—has formally conducted its business in democratic meetings for over seven centuries. The Speaker of the House of Commons serves as the impartial referee of its proceedings. Likewise, the Hawaiian Kingdom had a Speaker for its House of Representatives.
When Was Parliamentary Law Established in the Hawaiian Islands?
In 1840, the Hawaiian Kingdom became a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy. In 1854, each house of the Hawaiian Kingdom legislature adopted a procedural manual to govern the proceedings of their respective meetings. In turn, this established a basis for development of the common parliamentary law followed by ordinary societies and mass meetings in the Hawaiian Kingdom.
To What Extent Did Our Ancestors Know Parliamentary Law?
The Petition Against Annexation of 1897 defeated a proposed treaty in the United States Senate that would have illegally annexed the Hawaiian Islands if it had been adopted in 1898. Beloved by the Lāhui today, the significance of the monster petition—which we proudly refer to as the Kūʻē Petition--constitutes an unsurpassed historical feat. It was but one example of many petitions organized by Hawaiian patriotic societies in response to the insurgency that began in 1887, followed by the ongoing belligerent occupation that began in 1893.
During that time, our Aloha ʻĀina ancestors commonly organized themselves into deliberative assemblies. They did this by adopting governing documents, enrolling members, electing officers, holding meetings, authorizing boards, appointing committees, adopting resolutions, conducting mass meetings, participating in delegate conventions, and organizing petition efforts. The Hawaiian language newspapers of that era provide an historical record today that is full of examples demonstrating the commonality of, and familiarity with, parliamentary law in the Lāhui.
To What Extent Today Are We Familiar with Parliamentary Law?
During the Hawaiian Kingdom era, the Lāhui had no shortage of patriotic societies and political parties. Can the same be said about the Lāhui today? Of all the Aloha ʻĀina groups that we are familiar with today, how many can you identify with having any of the following items characteristic of a deliberative assembly?
What Do the Governing Documents Include?
The governing documents of an organization are sometimes referred to instead as the documents of authority, or the documentary authority. An organized permanent society may adopt any of the following documents of authority as needed:
Bylaws are the only governing document on the list that a voluntary permanent organization is required to adopt as a deliberative assembly. When drafting bylaws, it is advisable for an organization to consult with a credentialed parliamentarian for assistance.
Additionally, if an organization chooses to incorporate, then a corporate charter would be required as prescribed by applicable statutes. When drafting articles of incorporation, it is advisable for an organization to consult with an attorney for assistance.
Bylaws Are for Organizations and Constitutions Are for Governments
The practice of an organization adopting a constitution—with or without bylaws to go with it—is long since obsolete. The main reason is for simplification, since there are no provisions of an organizational constitution that cannot function the same way in the bylaws. Therefore, it is the recommended practice to combine the two into a single instrument called the bylaws. Furthermore, bylaws are to an organization as a constitution is to a government. That is another good reason why the term, "constitution," has been dropped from the governing documents of contemporary ordinary societies. This removes any potential for someone getting confused about the context in which the term, "constitution," is being used.
Which Procedural Manual is Best?
As suggested above, it is a best practice for voluntary organizations to adopt a procedural manual through a provision in the bylaws. The procedural manual that I generally recommend for voluntary organizations is Modern Parliamentary Procedure (2nd ed., 2018) by Ray Keesey. It offers the most radical simplification of procedure of all the parliamentary authorities ever published. Hence, it is the most concise, user-friendly, and practical choice available for the average meeting. For the Lāhui, I also recommend Nā Lula Hālāwai: A Parliamentary Guide to Conducting Meetings in Hawaiian (2014), by William Puette and Keao NeSmith.
Current Parliamentary Authorities
Older Parliamentary Authorities
Historic Parliamentary Authorities
Additional Parliamentary References
Na Keokani Kipona Marciel, Loea Lula Hoʻomalu
In 1840, the Hawaiian Kingdom became a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy. In 1887, this democracy was compromised by insurgents who hijacked the Hawaiian Kingdom government at gunpoint. In 1893, the same insurgents were unlawfully installed as a puppet regime by a foreign country. The Hawaiian Islands have remained under belligerent occupation ever since because no treaty of cession has ever been produced to transfer the sovereignty and territory of Ko Hawaiʻi Pae ʻĀina to another country. Consequently: Authoritarianism is the type of governance that people living in Hawaiʻi have primarily become accustomed to since 1887, in the absence and pretense of democracy (totaling 132 years at the time of this writing).
Born and raised overseas, I did not grow up in occupied Hawaiʻi, and have not been conditioned over my lifetime to accept authoritarian governance as a social norm. On the contrary, I was brought up with democratic ideals. Furthermore, as a professionally credentialed parliamentarian, I am rigorously trained in democratic principles for the conduct of business in organizations.
Struck by Authoritarian Lightning
In 2016, I attended the annual convention of an historic association that I will refer to here as the Americanized Hawaiian Society. The president of the association at the time had a notorious reputation for governing the organization like a dictator. I experienced this firsthand when I raised a point of order about how the board illegally rescinded and deleted a resolution—recognizing the continuity of the Hawaiian Kingdom in the absence of a treaty of cession—adopted by the 2014 convention. Committing a cardinal sin as a presiding officer, the president got personal with me from the moment I asked for recognition from the floor. The president rejected my point of order (using incorrect and inappropriate parliamentary form), which I then appealed to the delegate assembly for a decision.
Pointing down at me condescendingly from the chair and exclaiming, "All those in favor of HIS point of order," the president took the vote (without first allowing for debate as required for a debatable appeal). I lost the decision, and it was clear that the membership was quite content with the president's leadership style. They dared not question or oppose the president. For me, it was a learning experience to witness how the membership of an historic Hawaiian organization consented to authoritarianism. In fact, the president was reelected to a second two-year term at this convention.
Struck Twice by Authoritarian Lighting
In 2019, I was struck by authoritarianism for the second time. This time, as the secretary of an historic Aloha ʻĀina association whose revival I had selflessly spearheaded and engineered for four years. The president had a tendency to want to govern like an executive officer rather than a presiding officer, and to disregard the adopted rules when desired. As parliamentary referee, I served as a check and balance whenever that would happen, by advising the board if something was not in order. Over the years, the president increasingly developed a personal grudge against me and would regularly go out of the way to defame me (character assassination).
The president's aggression escalated by cutting off all communication with me between meetings in connection with the interrelated duties of the president and secretary (akin to the pitcher refusing to throw to the catcher in baseball). Using a contrived pretext, the president underhandedly conspired with the second vice president to force me out of the office that I was elected and reelected to at successive conventions. I never fathomed that it was possible for one to outdo the dictatorial president I encountered in 2016, but the president in this case convinced me beyond a reasonable doubt. I felt treated like the proverbial goose (democracy), killed to get the golden eggs (authoritarianism).
Members Ultimately Determine if Governance is Democratic or Authoritarian
The reason I share the above two experiences (with dictators) is to show how I arrived at the following theory: Membership preparation for the meetings of an organization is directly related to the degree of democratic governance, and inversely related to the degree of authoritarian governance, that characterizes the organization. The less familiar members are with the governing documents of the organization, the less familiar members are with basic meeting procedures, and the less prepared members are for meetings (and conventions), the more potential they create for authoritarian governance. In other words, the more they create a vacuum for a dictator to step in. They tacitly consent to authoritarian governance of the organization. Consciously or unconsciously, they may even prefer authoritarian governance to democratic governance.
Alternatively, it could be that members choose to forgo the time and effort entailed in adhering to their rights and duties. Hence, they yield their decision-making responsibility to one or more officers, of which a presiding officer with a dictatorial tendency would gladly oblige, forming a silent conspiracy. Therefore, I contend that: The silent conspiracy within some organizations to adopt authoritarian governance is not uncommon in a country like the Hawaiian Islands, in which the population has been socialized by authoritarianism resulting from insurgency and ongoing belligerent occupation since 1887 (totaling 132 years at the time of this writing).
Na Keokani Kipona Marciel, Loea Lula Hoʻomalu
The Hawaiian patriotic societies of the 19th century succeeded in defeating annexation. The relative absence of such deliberative assemblies in the Lāhui today constitutes the status quo. Will the status quo be sufficient to deoccupy Ko Hawai‘i Pae ‘Āina?
For a group to be a deliberative assembly, it must adhere to the generally accepted practices of democratic organizational procedure. In other words, parliamentary law. Democratic meeting procedures (rules of order) are the difference between a group and an organization; or between an affiliation of groups and an association of organizations.
To be organized permanently as a deliberative assembly (i.e., a democratic organization), a group must adopt governing documents, enroll members, elect officers, hold regular meetings, authorize a board of directors, and appoint committees where necessary. Each meeting is conducted by a presiding officer following an agreed-upon order of business, with the secretary present to keep a legal record of the proceedings.
Above all, the organization must expedite the orderly transaction of decisions during properly called meetings with a quorum present, while simultaneously protecting the rights of all members in the process. This provides for the general will of the membership to be expressed as official acts of the organization.
Resolutions adopted by a deliberative assembly constitute mandates that can be used for diplomatic action. This is a higher form of synergy compared to testimony provided at a public hearing, or discussion held by a panel of guest speakers—hallmarks of the status quo in the contemporary Lāhui. Furthermore, the mandate (synergy) of a resolution can be amplified if adopted by a convention of delegates elected by the local chapters of an association.
Deliberative assemblies may have become a lost art in our modern Lāhui, but therein lies the potential for a renaissance of the Hawaiian patriotic societies that our ancestors utilized to defeat annexation. What other way would it be possible for us to produce the sequel, which would be the deoccupation of Ko Hawai‘i Pae ‘Āina?
If labor unions and political parties could succeed without adhering to parliamentary law, they wouldn't be organized as deliberative assemblies. Why should we as the Lāhui be any less organized than a labor union or a political party, in order to bring about the justice that we deserve?
ʻOiai ua ʻike ia ke kūpono e loaʻa kekahi hui lōkahi o nā mea a pau i aloha i ka ʻāina a me kona kūʻokoʻa, me ka nānā ʻole i ke ano o nā ʻAoʻao Kalaiʻāina a me nā mahele manaʻo paha.
Whereas it is necessary to obtain a compact union of all the People who love the Country and its independence irrespective of Party or creed.
ʻOiai ua ʻike ia ae nei ka loli ano nui ana o kō kākou ʻāina, he mea hoʻi e manaʻo ia ai, e hoʻopilikia ia ana kona Kūʻokoʻa a me nā Pono Kivila o kona mau Makaʻāinana, a me nā Kupa, a no ia mea, he mea pono e kukuluia ona Hui manaʻo lōkahi a makaʻala mawaena o nā kanaka a pau e aloha ana i ka ʻĀina, me ka nana ʻole i ka ʻAoʻao Kālaiʻāina, a Manaʻoʻiʻo Hoʻomana paha.
Whereas vital changes in our Country have taken place, which may affect its Independence and the Civil Rights of its Subjects and Citizens, thereby rendering indispensable a compact and zealous Union between all men who love the Country, irrespective of Party or creed.
Common Parliamentary Law in the Hawaiian Kingdom
Na Keokani Kipona Kaʻilikea, Loea Lula Hoʻomalu
The presumption of state continuity is like the presumption of innocence. A person is presumed innocent unless and until there is enough evidence to the contrary, beyond a reasonable doubt. Likewise, the sovereignty and independence of a state is presumed to continue unless there is contrary evidence beyond a reasonable doubt. The Hawaiian Kingdom achieved international recognition as a sovereign and independent state in 1843.
A person does not carry the burden to prove his or her innocence. Rather, the burden is on the accuser to provide enough evidence to reject that presumption. What evidence is there that the continuity of the Hawaiian Kingdom has been terminated?
Did the joint resolution of 1898 terminate the Hawaiian Kingdom? Can a congressional resolution unilaterally terminate another country? If the U.S. Congress adopted a joint resolution to unilaterally annex France tomorrow, would that terminate the continuity of France as a sovereign and independent state? Or would it set the stage for a belligerent occupation?
The Hawaiian Kingdom government was seized rather than terminated. Consequently, the governmental infrastructure of the State of Hawaiʻi is actually that of the Hawaiian Kingdom. However, the occupying power is not allowing the Hawaiian Kingdom government to reestablish itself via the laws of occupation. This has gone on now for 126 years and counting. So, is it any surprise that skeptics might perceive a lack of a Hawaiian government in waiting? Is it fair to blame the Lāhui for this?
Any perceived lack of a Hawaiian government in waiting does not absolve the occupying power of its failure to produce a bilateral treaty of cession to substantiate its alleged (illegal) annexation of the Hawaiian Kingdom territory.
What we are seeing on Mauna Kea is a nucleus of the Hawaiian national body reconstituting itself organically. It is providing a catalyst for revitalization of the Hawaiian national language and heritage. In other words, de-occupation is unfolding from the inside out—as we all know that it won't happen from the outside-in. Eventually, that will grow into de-occupation of the entire country. Of course, that doesn't happen overnight, especially when confronted with the longest belligerent occupation in modern history. In the meantime, there is going to be cognitive dissonance to be resolved through civil discourse—and civil "disobedience" when necessary.
In my opinion, the genie is out of the bottle and de-occupation of Hawaiʻi is only a matter of time. How long that will take is anyone's guess. It took 89 years for the British empire to leave India, which is on the same order of magnitude as 126 years (at the time of this writing) of occupation in Hawaiʻi. The reason I think it is only a matter of time is because the evidence that Hawaiʻi is occupied without a treaty of cession is too strong to be overcome. The question is, how much more time can the occupying power continue to buy for itself, especially now that the Lāhui has been awoken by the TMT initiative?
Ua Mau ke Ea o ka ʻĀina i ka Pono
Customary International Law
By Keokani Kipona Marciel, Professional Registered Parliamentarian
Under general parliamentary law, a change to a previous decision of a deliberative organization can be adopted with previous notice by a majority vote, or without previous notice by a two-thirds vote or a majority of the entire membership. Amendment of bylaws are an exception because they usually require previous notice and a two-thirds vote at a regular meeting (or a convention of delegates for amendment of association bylaws). When previous notice is required to change a previous decision, the amendment is not allowed to exceed the extent of change proposed in the notice.
For example, the bylaws of an organization prescribe annual dues in the amount of $20 per person. A member gives previous notice to increase the dues to $30. During consideration of that motion during the next regular meeting, it would be in order to decrease the proposed amount to $25, because it is between the existing amount and the amount proposed in the notice. However, it would not be in order to change the amount to $35, because it exceeds the amount of change originally proposed. Nor would it be in order to decrease the dues to $15, which is below the range between the current amount and the amount proposed in the notice. Likewise, it would not be in order to rescind the bylaw provision entirely, because that exceeds the extent of change proposed in the notice. Rescinding the entire article, for example, would be greater than the amount of change from amending one word in a section of that article.
Ka Papa Hana Hoʻomalu | Parliamentary Procedure 101
Nā Hālāwai Kōmike
By Keokani Kipona Marciel
Pakuhi - Chart
Hōʻike Pōkole - Summary
From 1783 to 1867 (84 years), the U.S. entered 6 bilateral treaties of cession for the territory of its capital and 49 states (50 possessions). The U.S. Constitution explicitly delegates treaty-making power jointly to the President and Senate, not both houses of Congress. The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848 completed the territorial annexation of Texas, ratifying its statehood admission by joint resolution in 1845. Unlike Texas in 1845, Hawaiʻi in 1898 was not admitted as a state by the U.S. Instead, it was allegedly annexed as an unincorporated territory.
The Newlands Resolution followed two failed attempts, in 1893 and 1897, to ratify a bilateral treaty of cession for Hawaiʻi in the U.S. Senate. Five months after the Newlands Resolution in 1898, the U.S. resumed the custom of bilateral treaties of cession for territorial annexation. From 1898 to 1951 (53 years), the U.S. entered 5 more bilateral treaties of cession for the territory of 8 additional possessions, excluding Hawaiʻi.
The Indian Appropriation Act (1871) and Island of Palmas arbitration (1925) required a joint resolution to ratify the treaties of cession for American Sāmoa. Since the cession of American Sāmoa was by chiefs rather than conventional nation-states, it wasn't eligible for an annexation treaty in the U.S. Senate. American Sāmoa has been on the United Nations list of non-self-governing territories since its inception in 1964.
From 1783 to 1951 (168 years), the U.S. has entered at total of 11 bilateral treaties of cession for the territory of its 58 possessions, excluding Hawaiʻi. 98.3% (58 out of 59) of territorial possessions claimed by the United States were annexed with 11 bilateral treaties of cession over a period of 168 years. Bilateral treaties of cession between countries other than the United States occur before (Lagos to Great Britain in 1861) and after (France to India in 1956) the Newlands Resolution in 1898.
Nā Manaʻo Pani - Conclusions
Customary international law for territorial cession is prescribed by the self-evident pattern emerging from the complete data set. A congressional joint resolution is a domestic statute incapable of reaching across borders to unilaterally annex a foreign country under international law. The enumerated constitutional power of the U.S. Congress to admit states is limited to U.S. territory acquired by annexation treaty.
Statehood admission of Texas by joint resolution in 1845 is not a valid precedent for alleged territorial annexation of Hawaiʻi by joint resolution in 1898. The U.S. claim of territorial annexation of Hawaiʻi by a congressional joint resolution (unilateral declaration) is an unprecedented historical anomaly. The Newlands Resolution has never been followed by the U.S. or other countries as a new precedent set for territorial cession (annexation).
Since at least 1783, a bilateral treaty of cession remains a necessary instrument for territorial annexation under customary international law. Crimea was unilaterally seized by Russia in 2014 without a bilateral treaty of cession. The annual War Report published by the Geneva Academy classifies Crimea as a state under belligerent occupation by Russia since 2014.
The Hawaiian Kingdom government was compromised by insurgents on 7/1/1887, and remains unlawfully seized since 1/17/1893. The landing of United States troops in Honolulu on August 12, 1898, as a result of the Spanish-American War, violated the neutrality of the Hawaiian Kingdom by using the islands as a base of military operations.
The continuity of the Hawaiian Kingdom as a sovereign, independent State is presumed under international law, despite ongoing unlawful seizure of its government under prolonged occupation by the United States.
Nā Kūmole - References
Ua Mau ke Ea o ka ʻĀina i ka Pono
Exploding the Myth of the "50th State"
By Keokani Kipona Marciel
35% of Those Eligible Voted for American Statehood
The number of those eligible to vote who voted for statehood in 1959 was 132,773. When this number is divided by the 140,744 who voted on the statehood question, the percentage is 94%. When divided by the voter turnout of 171,383, the percentage drops to 77%. When divided by the 183,118 registered voters, the percentage drops to 73%. When divided by the 381,859 people eligible to vote in Hawaiʻi, the percentage drops to 35%.
35% Does Not Constitute a Mandate for a Plebiscite
While a 35% yes vote (from a 45% turnout) would be acceptable in a domestic election, it does not constitute a mandate for a plebiscite under customary international practice.
65% of Those Eligible Did Not Vote for American Statehood
Why did 65% of those eligible not vote for statehood in 1959? For some, it could have been a way to boycott the prolonged belligerent occupation of the Hawaiian Kingdom by the US. Others, perceiving correctly that Hawaiʻi would remain occupied regardless of the outcome of the statehood vote, may have decided that it was therefore meaningless to vote on the question. Another possible line of reasoning would be that the actions of registering to vote, then voting in the general election, conducted by an unlawful government during prolonged occupation, would justify its presence. These potential reasons why 65% did not choose statehood are not unlikely given the voter disfranchisement that the Hawaiian population had endured for 72 years since the insurgency began in 1887 (with the so-called "bayonet constitution").
63% Nonparticipation Does Not Speak Well for the Occupying Power
Notwithstanding the fraudulence of the American statehood vote during belligerent occupation in 1959, under the pretense of a plebiscite, the occupying power cannot absolve itself of responsibility for the 63% nonparticipation by transferring that responsibility to the population of the occupied territory. The 63% nonparticipation reflects adversely—not on the inhabitants of the occupied territory—but on the occupying power for its ineffectiveness in persuading that 63% to register and vote in its unlawful plebiscite. That ineffectiveness, it stands to reason, has everything to do with 72 years of insurgency and belligerent occupation up to that time, stemming from the failure to produce a bilateral treaty of cession between the Hawaiian Kingdom and the United States. Worse, there were two failed attempts by the puppet regime (in 1893 and 1897) to enter a treaty of (illegal) annexation with its parent—they couldn't even achieve that! The result is an untrustworthiness that is accurately reflected in the 63% nonparticipation, which can more appropriately be interpreted as a boycott at the collective gut level, rather than voter apathy.
Pretense of a Plebiscite During Prolonged Occupation
The 1959 vote for US statehood purported to be a plebiscite. This is invalid because there were only two choices: become a US state (by voting "yes"); or remain a US territory (by voting "no"). In either case, Hawaiʻi would remain under belligerent occupation by the US due to the absence of a bilateral treaty of cession between the US and the Hawaiian Kingdom. So, with no other choice, the majority of those who voted on the question chose the lesser of the two evils. After 66 years of being prohibited from choosing the top official in control of Hawaiʻi's government, they could now elect the governor.
Not included as options on the plebiscite were de-occupation, or the choices for decolonization: independence, free association, and commonwealth. If the organizers of the statehood question were confident that a majority would vote for US statehood (albeit under occupation without a treaty), there would be no need to exclude the aforementioned continuum of options for greater autonomy than joining a federation (US statehood).
Why is Hawaiʻi Under Belligerent Occupation?
On January 16, 1893, a company of US Marines from the USS Boston, under a false pretext of public safety for American nationals, unlawfully invaded the Hawaiian Kingdom, a neutral nation-state. On the next day, January 17, 1893, the US Marines provided a protectorate for thirteen haole insurgents to unlawfully seize the Hawaiian Kingdom government through a fake revolution, installing a puppet regime calling themselves the "Provisional Government." This insurgent militia immediately submitted a proposed annexation treaty to the United States, but US President Grover Cleveland withdrew it from the US Senate after learning about the illegal overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom government.
Having failed to obtain an (illegal) annexation treaty with the US, the insurgent militia renamed itself to the "Republic of Hawaii," on July 4, 1894.
After a proposed annexation treaty failed for the second time, in 1898, the US Congress enacted a joint resolution to unilaterally seize the Hawaiian Islands, using the Spanish-American War as a pretext. A joint resolution is an agreement between both houses of the legislature in one nation, not between the legislative and executive branches of two nations. Therefore, a congressional joint resolution enacted within a nation is confined to its domestic borders, having no legal force and effect in a foreign nation. This is true under both international law and US constitutional law (as interpreted through customary practice).
On June 14, 1900, US Congress passed an organic act, renaming its puppet regime, the "Republic of Hawaiʻi," to the "Territory of Hawaiʻi." However, it was no less a domestic law than the joint resolution of 1898. Therefore, it too did not annex the Hawaiian Islands to the United States, nor did it claim to. Instead, it defined its territory as the islands acquired by the joint resolution, which is legally impossible in lieu of a bilateral treaty of cession.
Third Name Change for the Occupation in 1959
On August 21, 1959, following the fraudulent plebiscite held on June 27, 1959, US President Dwight Eisenhower signed into law the congressional act, purporting to admit the occupied "Territory of Hawaiʻi" as the "50th State." Hence, the belligerent occupation changed its name for the third time in 67 years, this time to the "State of Hawaiʻi," which is an armed force of the US, pretending to be a lawful government.
1959 Statehood Admission Does Not Claim to Annex the Hawaiian Islands
The act by which the US government allegedly admitted Hawaiʻi as its "50th State" in 1959 is congressional legislation, domestic in its operation, with no legal force and effect beyond the borders of the 49 US states—all of which were acquired by treaties of cession, unlike Hawaiʻi. Therefore, the statehood admission act of 1959 could no more annex Hawaiʻi than could the joint resolution of 1898 or the organic act of 1900. Nor does the 1959 statehood act claim to annex the Hawaiian Islands.
Instead, the "State of Hawaiʻi" defines its territory as that which was in the "Territory of Hawaiʻi." In turn, the "Territory of Hawaiʻi" defined its territory as those islands acquired by the joint resolution. Therefore, due to the impossibility of annexing foreign territory with a joint resolution, the so-called "State of Hawaiʻi" never acquired any territory, nor did any of its three previous incarnations. Consequently, this fake state—as it is accurately referred to today in the Hawaiian Kingdom under belligerent occupation—does not legally exist beyond the borders of the 49 states of the US. With an alleged territory inherited from the joint resolution of 1898, which had no ability to annex the Hawaiian territory, the so-called "50th State" admittedly has no territory. By analogy, one can say that an empty container exists, but it is empty nonetheless.
Texas Not a Valid Precedent for Hawaiʻi
Under the US Constitution, the power of Congress is clearly domestic in scope, with no enumerated power to engage directly in foreign affairs. The power to enter treaties is vested jointly in the President and Senate. Therefore, while Congress does have the constitutional power to admit states, it can only do so from territory already annexed through a bilateral international instrument.
When Congress adopted a joint resolution to acquire Texas in 1845, it did so as a statehood admission and not as a territorial annexation. The territory of Texas was not annexed until the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848, ratifying the premature admission of Texas as a state three years earlier.
In 1898, US Congress did not adopt a joint resolution to admit Hawaiʻi as a state, as it had done with Texas in 1845. Instead, the joint resolution adopted by Congress in 1898 purported to annex Hawaiʻi as an unincorporated territory, which was without precedent. Nor did it set a new precedent for subsequent territorial annexations by the US and other world powers.
Consecutive Domestic Laws and Name Changes Do Not Equal a Treaty
While a single congressional act of one nation cannot unilaterally acquire the territory of another nation, neither can a series, or sum, of consecutive domestic laws. In the case of Hawaiʻi, the joint resolution of 1898, the organic act of 1900, and the statehood admission act of 1959, cannot be construed by summation as equivalent to a bilateral treaty of cession between the US and the Hawaiian Kingdom, which has never been produced. This is especially true after the two failures to annex Hawaiʻi through a senate treaty for (illegal) annexation in 1893 and 1898.
Just as consecutive domestic laws cannot add up to a treaty, neither can the four successive names of the ongoing belligerent occupation of the Hawaiian Islands since January 17, 1893: "Provisional Government," "Republic of Hawaiʻi," "Territory of Hawaiʻi," and "State of Hawaiʻi."
Hawaiʻi Already Achieved Statehood in 1843
The Hawaiian Kingdom achieved formal recognition of its independence as a sovereign state, on November 28, 1843, through joint proclamation by Great Britain and France. On July 6, 1844, the US formally recognized the Hawaiian Kingdom as a sovereign and independent state. Having secured this international recognition from the three major naval powers of the world at the time, the Hawaiian Kingdom became the first non-European country to enter the Family of Nations. Since that time, a bilateral treaty of cession has never been produced to terminate the Hawaiian Kingdom as a sovereign and independent state. The unlawful seizure of the government, and prolonged occupation of the country, since January 17, 1893, is not a recognized mode of state extinction under international law.
Since Hawaiʻi already achieved international statehood in 1843, which has never been lost to a treaty of cession, said statehood of the Hawaiian Kingdom has never ceased to exist. International statehood does not have an expiration date, and therefore does not need to be renewed after a lapse of time. Nor did the 1959 statehood act by the US supersede or replace the statehood already achieved by Hawaiʻi in 1843, since the 1959 statehood admission is merely congressional legislation of the US confined in its operation to the borders of its 49 states.
Time Elapsed During Occupation Has Not Extinguished the Hawaiian Kingdom
Under international law, there is a recognized mode of state extinction through the passage of time, called prescription or acquiescence. The Hawaiian Kingdom government, through both its legislative and executive branches, never acquiesced to being succeeded by another government. Furthermore, due to the abundant history of protest since the insurgency began in 1887, and since the occupation began in 1893, a prescription claim by the US to the sovereignty and territory of the Hawaiian Kingdom cannot be substantiated under international law. Nor has the US ever made such a claim. The only official claim that the US has ever made for acquiring the sovereignty and territory of the Hawaiian Kingdom, is through the joint resolution of 1898. However, annexation of a foreign country by unilateral declaration, in the form of a congressional joint resolution, has been thoroughly refuted by simple logic and by the foremost scholars on the subject.
The pretense of statehood in 1959 occurred 72 years after the insurgency began in 1887, 66 years since the belligerent occupation began in 1893, and 61 years after the pretense of annexation by joint resolution in 1898. This gave the US more than 6 decades to transfer portions of its military and civilian populations into the occupied Hawaiian territory, and to denationalize the national population of the occupied territory through propaganda—actions that are considered war crimes under international law. This process, tantamount to stuffing the ballot box for the statehood vote in 1959, further negate any potential claim by the US to Hawaiian sovereignty and territory through prescription.
Ua Mau ke Ea o ka ʻĀina i ka Pono
By Keokani Kipona Marciel, Professional Registered Parliamentarian (PRP)
Check Your Organization's Procedural Manual
Depending on the procedural manual (parliamentary authority) adopted by the organization, if the committee chair fails to call a meeting, it can be called in one of the following three ways, unless the governing documents prescribe otherwise:
What is the Common Thread?
Note that if a committee meeting is called by a majority of its members, and if this is at least two people, this satisfies the requirements of common procedural manuals (AIPSC, Demeter, Mason, RONR). Therefore, if the governing documents, procedural manual (e.g., Cannon, Keesey, Lochrie, Riddick), precedents, and custom of the organization are all silent on the matter, a committee meeting called by a majority of its members would be valid under common parliamentary law. However, the organization would not be bound to follow that rule.
Ka Papa Hana Hoʻomalu | Parliamentary Procedure 101
Hōʻoia - To Ratify
By Keokani Kipona Marciel, Professional Registered Parliamentarian (PRP)
Can actions taken by an organization in violation of its bylaws be ratified? Parliamentary law is clear on this matter, as codified by the following parliamentary authorities.
If the bylaws only provide for admission of new members during regular meetings, such action cannot be taken during a special meeting, then subsequently ratified at the next regular meeting. Why? Provisions in the bylaws are like the fence around a yard, or the borders of a country. If the bylaws only provide for admission of members at regular meetings, to do so at any other type of meeting would be out of bounds. Another reason might be that it would result in a violation of the rights of members who are able to fit regular meetings into their schedule, but not necessarily special meetings occurring on dates between regular meetings. If the membership desires the ability to admit new members during special meetings also, the bylaws could be amended to permit such action.
If the bylaws require elections to be by ballot, such action cannot be taken by a different voting method (e.g., voice vote), then subsequently ratified by a ballot vote. Otherwise, it would defeat the purpose of the ballot vote to begin with. The virtue of a ballot vote is that it is a secret vote. People are more likely to express their true choice on a question when casting their vote anonymously. In other words, when they do not have to disclose their choice to the assembly, as would be the case in a voice vote, rising vote, show of hands, or roll call vote.
Ballot voting is beneficial during an election, where relationships could be strained if the candidates could see who voted for them or did not vote for them. Those who do not win the election may be discouraged from being a candidate in the future, due to embarrassment from knowing which individuals did not vote for them. The secret ballot also helps prevent a person from voting against their true preference due to peer pressure resulting from having to reveal how they voted.
The principle of secret voting by ballot can be as advantageous for a controversial question as it can be for an election.
If the bylaws require an election to be by ballot, but there is only one candidate for an office, the secrecy and logistics of balloting become unnecessary. However, a voice vote cannot be taken in lieu of a ballot vote unless this exception is provided for in the bylaws, which is the recommended practice.
If the bylaws of an association can only be amended by a convention of delegates, the board cannot amend the bylaws between conventions, then have the action ratified at the next convention. Otherwise, this would violate the right of the majority to rule. Specifically, the majority of convention delegates who adopted the bylaw provisions amended illegally by the board between conventions. Additionally, it would violate the rights of absent members. Specifically, the rights of convention delegates who are necessarily absent from board meetings between conventions.
In such a case, if the membership wishes to allow the bylaws to be amended between conventions, the convention of delegates could amend the association bylaws to allow for special conventions in case of emergency between the regular conventions. Alternatively, the bylaws could be amended to delegate authority to the board for amending the bylaws between conventions if necessary.
Ka Papa Hana Hoʻomalu | Parliamentary Procedure 101
In Contemporary Lāhui Hawaiʻi
KA PAIO HANOHANO