The Hawaiian Society of Law and Politics (HSLP) was founded as a registered independent organization (RIO) under Co-curricular Activities, Programs, and Services (CAPS) at the University of Hawaiʻi at Manoa in October 30, 2003. In 2014, the organization had disbanded, only to be revived in the Spring of 2021 with an all-new membership.
HSLP was primarily an outgrowth of the international awareness of Hawaiian statehood brought about by the Larsen case (Lance Paul Larsen vs. Hawaiian Kingdom), 119 International Law Reports 566 (2001), held at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, Netherlands. As a result of the Larsen case, several articles were published on the topic of the Hawaiian arbitration and international statehood in the American Journal of International Law (AJIL), Chinese Journal of International Law (CJIL) and the International Law in Brief. In addition, a legal opinion was written by Dr. Matthew Craven of the University of London, SOAS, Law Department, concerning the continuity of the Hawaiian state under international law.
According to its constitution, HSLP's membership is multi-disciplinary and open to all currently enrolled students, faculty and staff of the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Being that Hawaiʻi has been recognized as an independent State since 1843 and, for half a century, had entered into treaty relations with other independent states, HSLP was established as a student organization that applies Public International Law, as between States, and applicable theories to Hawaiian history. HSLP will promote the development of curriculum on the subject of Hawaiian statehood under international law for the University of Hawaiʻi.
In spite of the international awareness of the Hawaiian state, the University of Hawaiʻi, as a higher learning institution within the state itself, has not provided critical scholarship that would engage and/or develop this dialogue taking place on the international plane. What is needed is a comprehensive research program and curriculum development for Public International Law and International Relations regarding Hawaiʻi.