Unfortunately, there’s no standard legal procedure in the recognition of non-ruling/deposed royal families. Although according to accepted jurisprudence, former sovereigns and their heirs are considered to be subjects of international law, they have no form to differentiate themselves in the domestic legal system of a country, unless specifically stated otherwise which is extremely rare, especially in republics that got rid of their own monarchs.
Therefore, the only possible domestic legal ways of recognition are specific lawsuits regarding the rights of immaterial inheritance of titles, although many question the actual competence/jurisdiction of those courts ruling over those – usually – foreign or conflicted rights. Another legal option is incorporation as a juridical person: an NGO, a foundation, or something similar stating that the alluded organization represents that family and dynasty with all the objectives and purposes like the preservation of the culture, language, customs, etc. Usually, the organization is registered as a nonprofit and also dedicates its activities to funding and operating projects to benefit the people living in the territories previously ruled by that royal family’s ancestors.
A famous example is the Romanov Family Association founded by the living heirs of the Russian Imperial Family in 1979 and incorporated in Switzerland. http://www.romanovfamily.org
Also, the Crown Council of Ethiopia was formed by the living heirs of the His Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie I, the last ruler of Ethiopia, deposed in a coup in 1974. The organization is headquartered in Washington DC, in the United States. https://ethiopiancrown.org
Another way is to legally incorporate the orders of merit or chivalry that are part of the patrimony of that royal family, clearly stating the connection and affiliation to that dynasty. The orders usually dedicate themselves to charity projects. Conferring the orders and honors of the dynasty in addition to the charitable projects assisting the people living in the previously ruled territories is definitely a way to “exist” in the legal domestic system.
Examples of orders/humanitarian entities incorporated as NGOs are the ones from the Royal Houses of
- Italy Ordini Dinastici della Real Casa di Savoia (ordinidinasticicasasavoia.it)
- Portugal https://casarealportuguesa.org/dynamicdata/dommanualII.asp,
- France Foire Aux Questions – (comtedeparis.com) , etc.
Regarding the Royal House of Ghassan, as previously stated, legal recognition was achieved in every possible available way, formally and informally. It is safe to state that the Ghassanid Dynasty is currently one of the most legally recognized Non-ruling Royal houses in the world.
INTERNATIONAL ARBITRATION AWARD No. 0413/2011
In Brazil, after the advent of Federal Law number 9307 of 1996, all of the Arbitral Awards (decisions) had the same value of a Legal Sentence (Court Verdict), regardless of the approval of any kind of the Legal system:
“Article 18. The arbitrator is a judge in fact and Law, and his decision is not subject to appeal or approval by the judiciary.” http://www.planalto.gov.br/ccivil_03/leis/L9307.htm
“Article 31. The arbitral award shall produce between the parties and their successors; the same effects of the judgment by the organs of the judiciary and, if condemnatory, shall be enforceable.” http://www.planalto.gov.br/ccivil_03/leis/L9307.htm
Also, according to Federal Law, the Award will receive the status of “res judicata” (matter already judged and are not susceptible to any appeal) if no question of the annulment is filed within ninety days after notification of the award:
“Article 33. The interested party may request the competent organ of the judiciary the decree of nullity of the award, as provided in this Law.
§ 1 The demand for the annulment of the arbitration award will follow the common procedure provided for in Code of Civil Judicial Procedure, and shall be filed within ninety days after receipt of notification of award or its addendum.” http://www.planalto.gov.br/ccivil_03/leis/L9307.htm
Also in 2002, Brazil signed the NY Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards of 1958. As of January 2023, the convention has 172 state parties, which include 169 of the 193 United Nations member states plus the Cook Islands, the Holy See, and the State of Palestine.
“The Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, also known as the “New York Arbitration Convention” or the “New York Convention,” is one of the key instruments in international arbitration. The New York Convention applies to the recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards and the referral by a court to arbitration.” http://www.newyorkconvention.org/
The United States signed the Convention in 1970 and under American Law; the recognition of foreign arbitral awards is governed by chapter 2 of the Federal Arbitration Act.
In Foster v. Neilson, this Court held “Our constitution declares a treaty to be the law of the land. It is, consequently, to be regarded in courts of justice as equivalent to an act of the Legislature, whenever it operates of itself without the aid of any legislative provision.” Foster v. Neilson, 27 U.S. 253, 314 (1829). See also Valentine v. U.S. ex rel. Neidecker, 57 S.Ct. 100, 103 (1936); Medellin v. Dretke, 125 S.Ct. 2088, 2103 (2005); Sanchez-Llamas v. Oregon, 126 S.Ct. 2669, 2695 (2006).
Thus, over a course of 181 years, the United States Supreme Court has repeatedly held that a self-executing treaty is an act of the Legislature (i.e. an act of Congress).
Even with the aforementioned Brazilian Federal Law number 9307 of 1996 clearly stating that there is absolutely no need to subject the Arbitral decision to be sanctioned by the judiciary, the Arbitral Award number 0413/2011 was presented to one Brazilian Chief Judge and two regular judges in 2013. All the magistrates signed sworn notarized affidavits validating the Arbitral Award and recognizing as lawful all the stated on the sentence as being in harmony with the Brazilian, International, and customary laws.
Brazil has the largest Arab colony outside the Middle East with fifteen million people between immigrants and descendants. Definitely, the largest Christian Arab and Ghassanid colony in the world. Just as an example, Brazil has over twice the number of Lebanese than in Lebanon. Also, the vast majority of Islamic countries in the Middle East would be expected clear resistance to a Christian Dynastic claim.
LOS ANGELES SUPERIOR COURT’S DECREES (CASES) NUMBER BS-135337 & BS-159726
By the Brazilian Federal Law number 9307 of 1996 (articles 18, 31 and 33) the Arbitration Award number 0413/2011 is considered “res judicata” and no further legal action is necessary as any ratification by other powers of the Judiciary. Also, the Brazilian participation in the 1958 NY Convention made the decision legally enforceable and binding in all of the 172 signatory nations. Even with perfect legal recognition, Prince Gharios submitted the International Verdict, issued in Brazil, to the Los Angeles Superior Court, not once but twice. Recognition and enforcement are sought in a name change petition based on the Brazilian decision invoking the NY Convention. The petition was granted by the Hon. Judge Matthew C. St. George on February 24, 2012, and by Hon. Judge Mark Borenstein on 15th of March 2016.
One may argue that the law regulating name change is very open in the U.S. However, it all depends on the grounds upon which the request was made. In other words, it is possible to request any name by usage, but once another Court decision is cited as a base for the petition, the granting is considered to be a recognition and enforcement. Hence, there’s a capital difference between a petition granted under common law or the mere adoption of an alias and a petition granted under another legal decision.
“The idea that the common law right extends only to assumption of a name in addition to one’s legally recognized name enjoys some support in scholarship and in courts. However, the far greater weight of case law and scholarship support a right to change one’s officially recognized name, not merely to assume an alias.” (57 UCLA Law Review 313 (2009) pg. 326)
Also, according to the Law of name change:
“Courts will deny petitions in which evidence exists that the petitioner desires the name for fraudulent purposes or to interfere with the rights of others.” (57 UCLA Law Review 313 (2009) pg. 313)
By logic, we can conclude that if the right to be the “Prince of Ghassan” was fraudulent or belonged to someone else, the petition should not be granted.
There is also a great aversion to any form of the name change that holds a title to be awarded:
“Courts similarly exhibit concern for members of the public in cases in which the names requested have the potential to confuse or mislead, even in the absence of nefarious intent. For example, in In re Thompson, the New York Superior Court denied a man’s petition to change his name to Chief Piankhi Akinbaloye.” (57 UCLA Law Review 313 (2009) pg. 313)
Another known case of a petition denied on the basis of nobility:
“In re Jama, 272 N.Y.S.2d 677 (Civ. Ct. 1966). The petitioner wanted to add “von” before Jama, because his father had told him that von Jama was their family name. Id. at 677. The court also noted that it chose to deny the petition because many Germans with “von” in their name were nobles (though the decision does not say that “von” was in fact a title).” (57 UCLA Law Review 313 (2009) pg. 317)
Therefore, the Arbitral Award number 0413/2011 granted to H.I.R.H. Prince Gharios El Chemor of Ghassan recognizing his titles was confirmed by 5 (five) judges and has the weight of an International Court Verdict being valid in all 172 nations that are part of the NY Convention. Of course, the decision relates only to the ownership of the honorific rights to the titles (immaterial inheritance), since as far as the sovereign rights, there’s no court with such jurisdiction today. Also, no court in the world grants any “birthright privileges” since they’re against the majority of the constitutions today.
SPECIAL CONSULTATIVE STATUS BY THE UNITED NATIONS
As previously stated, a non-Ruling Royal Family doesn’t exist legally as an entity unless incorporated as an NGO. In 2011, The Royal House of Ghassan petitioned to join the United Nations. But the only possible legal way was as an NGO.
The committee is composed of 52 (fifty-two) member nations that analyze every single aspect of any proponent organization. The bylaws (obviously) and everything that the organization represents and stands for in addition to the financial records, etc. By a simple Google search of the term “Royal House of Ghassan” is ridiculously easy to find out what the “Sovereign Imperial and Royal House of Ghassan” stands for. Visiting the Royal House’s website (which should be part of any decent investigation) doesn’t leave anything for the realm of assumption.
PRESIDENTIAL DECREE NUMBER 5800/2019
In 2019, after three long years of a very bureaucratic process, The Imperial and Royal House of Ghassan was officially recognized by the Lebanese Government. Two documents, one the decree signed by the judge from the ministry of interior, and one by the Lebanese President and Head of State, the Imperial and Royal House of Ghassan fully recognized with the consent of the Council of Ministers and the permission for an official branch in Lebanon is granted.
The recognition was not a monocratic decision by the president. To be appraised by the Heads of State, Government, and the Cabinet of Ministers, official reports by the ministry of foreign affairs and by the “General Directorate of Security” (intelligence services) were issued.
Even if the history of the El Chemor/Gharios family wasn’t very well documented in books and encyclopedias what the Royal House of Ghassan is and stands for is public and notorious! It’s not necessary the use the resources of the Secret Service to find out. Again, it’s seconds away from a Google search. Obviously, before submitting the recognition decree to the Cabinet of Ministers, the Prime Minister, and the President, the Government of the Lebanese Republic was very aware of what the Royal House of Ghassan is and represents. The capital proof is the fact that President Aoun has received and recognized the Equestrian Order of Michael Archangel.
Above: Lebanese TV announcing that the Royal House of Ghassan was officially received by the President of the Republic
It’s obviously a very special document. To relativize it is to assume that every single foreign branch of a company is going to be appraised by the cabinet of ministers, the president, and the prime minister is preposterous!
The Lebanese Republic (and all the previous regimes including the Ottoman Empire) has been recognizing the El Chemor titles since the family’s deposition. Numerous documents, the passports of El Chemor Lebanese citizens, the title of Sheikh Selim on the official decree of the government recognizing him as the head of the Lebanese branch, and the minister of foreign affairs, head of the diplomatic corps addressed Prince Gharios full titles in official invitations and certificates. The Royal Family was formally received by the president of the republic in 2017 as a Royal House and the president has officially accepted the Equestrian Order of Michael Archangel.
To all the above, we can add sworn legal affidavits of major scholars like the world’s leading expert on Arab ruling families, the world’s leading Maronite historian culminating with the world’s largest body of Muslim Leaders, The Global Imams Council, all of them, corroborating the historical and legal aspects of the Royal Ghassanid claim by the El Chemor family.
Unless one is living in a nihilist state of denial, if analyzed with a holistic scope, the degree of recognition of the Royal House of Ghassan is irrefutable and incontestable.
As always, misinformed and/or ill-intended people want to lessen and despise the unprecedented recognition mentioned in this article. For example, criticizing the recognition of the Lebanese Government as “just a recognition as an NGO”. As explained here, there’s no other legal way available.
Even proving the legitimacy and recognition of the Royal House of Ghassan to exhaustion and being shamelessly discriminated against and attacked in the West for being Arab, the Ghassanid Royal Family is always open to clarifying any possible misunderstandings.
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