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Old November 7 2012, 10:19 PM   #47
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Location: Montgomery County, State of Maryland
Re: What happens if someone from the past shows up...

RPJOB wrote: View Post
Sorry but no. When you enter a foreign country (or set foot on a newly contacted planet) it is your responsibility to be aware of what the local laws are.
See, the problem with this statement is that you're attempting to compare a well-established set of practices and customs serving the international relationships of a group of nations who have known about each other for hundreds and hundreds of years, to a situation where alien cultures are discovering each other all the time. You can't impose the international regime of nations who haven't truly encountered new peoples in centuries on a system where new worlds are coming into contact all the time.

There is, by definition, no system of rules that can encompass international relations between cultures that have only just discovered one-another.

As they say, ignorance of the law is no excuse.
In our culture. For all we know, the Zog of Planet Zog may well believe that Zog law applies only to Zog, or that ignorance of Zog law is a perfectly acceptable defense for non-Zog. You cannot impose these assumptions on newly-contacted cultures.

Now, your newly arrived status might be seen as an extenuating circumstance and perhaps allow for a lesser punishment but it's not a carte blanche. That would not apply in Wesleys case because death was the only penalty provided for.

Their planet, their rules.
Which is why Picard got the hell out of Dodge. It's ridiculous and unjust to allow a Federation citizen to be executed because of a law of which he was never apprised on a newly-contacted world, but the Federation has no right to make the Edo change their laws. So you pick up your people and leave the Edo alone from then on out (or at least unless a later diplomatic agreement can be reached that is acceptable to the Edo will protect Federates from those aspects of Edo law).
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