The Umbrella Corporation wrote:
Surely just being in Federation territory doesn't make every planet in it under the control of the Federation. The Federation is not a military dictatorship, is it?
And surely after 300 years the Baku and Sona have some rights to their planet which should be recognised no matter how inconvenient?
I see to remember some episodes in TOS where the Federation wanted some dilithium or herbal medicines or strategic value from some planets but accepted it when they said No. Have things changed by the 24th century?
The movie specifically said it was a federation planet. Apparently, it was transferred from the romulans to the klingons to the federation (and the romulans had it from before the baku's arrival).
The baku are trespassers who came to the planet and then did everything they could to remain hidden. Due to being hidden, this will never give them adverse possession, regardless of how long they stay there.
For a comparison - you have a huge palace, but don't use it much. A trespasser comes there and intentionally stays hidden while using it.
Do you think this person can rightly claim any property right to your palace?
Do you actually think the society who doesn't recognise this trespasser any rights to your palace in these conditions must be a military dictatorship or oppressive? lol. I beg to differ.
The baku didn't do anything to remain hidden. They just lived there, for 300 years (longer than the federation has existed). If the Romulans or the Klingons claimed this planet, they clearly never, ever used it, making the palace in your analogy completely abandoned for several lifetimes, which means, yes, it pretty much is fair game for any squatter who shows up. Their claim is perfectly legitimate. More legitimate, than, for isntance, the Romulan claim to Remus.
In point of fact, pre-existing but unexercised land 'claims' are almost always nullified by simple possession. Australia was originally New Holland, but the Dutch never exercised their claim, so the British took it. The same for New Zealand. Prior to the British, French and Dutch explorations, international law and treaty stipulated that ALL undiscovered lands in the world belonged to Spain and Portugal.
And if you don't believe any of this applies, explain why the Federation colony on Cestus III still exists in the 24th century, despite it having been previously claimed, but never settled, by the Gorn.