Puts State Supreme Court Judges on Notice



Sent on December 3rd, Jen Ruggles released a letter  sent to Governor Ige and the 5 Supreme Court Judges regarding “War crimes of extensive destruction of property committed by the State of Hawai‘i.”

Ruggles referred to Justice Wilson’s dissenting opinion regarding the Thirty-Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea, that stated, “Because the area affected by the Thirty Meter Telescope Project… was previously subjected to a substantial adverse impact, the BLNR finds that the proposed TMT project could not have a substantial adverse impact on the existing natural resources… As stated by the BLNR, TMT could not ‘create a tipping point where impacts became significant‘…is undisputed that the relevant area of the TMT project has suffered a substantial adverse impact to cultural resources due to the construction of twelve telescopes.”

According to Ruggles, Justice Wilson’s opinion admits to what qualifies as the “war crime of extensive destruction of property.”

“Under international law, extensive destruction and appropriation of property not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly is a war crime,” Ruggles wrote, “The construction of permanent fixtures on public property that belongs to the Hawaiian Kingdom government is extensive destruction of that property. As an Agent for the occupying State, be advised that the construction of the 30-meter telescope is a war crime in violation of:

  • Article 56, Hague Convention, IV (1907), “All seizure of, destruction or willful damage done to institutions [dedicated to religion, charity and education, the arts and sciences, even when State property], historic monuments, works of art and science, is forbidden, and should be made the subject of legal proceedings;”

  • Article 53, Geneva Convention, IV (1949), “Any destruction by the Occupying Power of real or personal property belonging individually or collectively to private persons, or to the State, or other public authorities, or to social or co-operative organizations, is prohibited, except where such destruction is rendered absolutely necessary by military operations;” and

  • Article 147, Geneva Convention, IV (1949), “Grave breaches… shall be those involving any of the following acts, if committed against persons or property protected by the present Convention: …extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly.”

The United States military’s omission of preventing the destruction of the public property of the Hawaiian Kingdom is also a war crime in violation of:

  • Article 55, Hague Convention, IV (1907), “The occupying State shall be regarded only as administrator and usufructuary of public buildings, real estate, forests, and agricultural estates belonging to the [occupied] State, and situated in the occupied country. It must safeguard the capital of these properties, and administer them in accordance with the rules of usufruct.”

The Final Declaration adopted by the International Conference for the Protection of War Victims in 1993 urged all States to make every effort to, “Reaffirm and ensure respect for the rules of international humanitarian law applicable during armed conflicts protecting…the natural environment…against wanton destruction causing serious environmental damage.” In its advisory opinion in the Nuclear Weapons case in 1996, the International Court of Justice stated, “States must take environmental considerations into account when assessing what is necessary and proportionate… Respect for the environment is one of the elements that go to assessing whether an action is in conformity with the principle of necessity.”

War crimes of destruction of real property on the summit of Mauna Kea belonging to the occupied State have been committed since the State of Hawai‘i leased 13,321.054 acres of the summit of Mauna Kea to the University of Hawai‘i in 1968. Thirteen telescopes have been constructed as permanent fixtures since 1970, and the thirty-meter telescope will make it fourteen. TMT International Observatory, LLC, has already committed the war crime of destruction of property when it began the construction of the 30-meter telescope by breaking ground, and has committed secondary war crimes of unlawful confinement (Article 147, Geneva Convention, IV) when 31 individuals who were preventing TMT International Observatory, LLC, from committing additional destruction were arrested by law enforcement of the State of Hawai‘i on April 2, 2015.”

2 thoughts on “Puts State Supreme Court Judges on Notice

  1. Mahalo Jen,
    We are grateful for your diligence and tenacity to justice. You are the RBG of Hawai’i.
    mahalo and mahalo again.

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