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Old November 7 2012, 05:32 PM   #46
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Re: What happens if someone from the past shows up...

Sci wrote: View Post
Then yes. It would be unjust and unfair for the United States government to prosecute a foreign national from a newly-contacted culture, especially if the U.S. government had never explained its laws to the representatives of this new culture.
But that's not the case in Justice.

Yar, evidently, has access to their records as she states their laws are common-sense things. If the Edo provided the data and Yar missed something, its not the fault of the Edo.
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Old November 7 2012, 10:19 PM   #47
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Re: What happens if someone from the past shows up...

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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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Old November 8 2012, 12:22 AM   #48
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Re: What happens if someone from the past shows up...

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...(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).
Or until your people are actually bright enough to follow local laws.
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Old November 8 2012, 12:57 AM   #49
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Re: What happens if someone from the past shows up...

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...(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).
Or until your people are actually bright enough to follow local laws.
I think it is safe to say that, save unforeseen circumstances compelling it, no Federation Starfleet contingent or diplomatic mission is going to willingly enter the territory again of a culture whose sole punishment for all crimes is death and who classifies victimless accidents (such as falling into flowers) as a crime.
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Old November 8 2012, 02:44 AM   #50
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Re: What happens if someone from the past shows up...

"Hi, we're the Federation. We're going to come in and break your laws while telling you how much we respect your sovereignty and then bugger off before you can do anything about it. Because we're just so advanced and you're so primitive your laws don't apply to us."

Obviously, the Edo are not the Zog since they did attempt to apply their laws to Wesley. Just saying "I'm new in town" doesn't get you a Get of of Jail Free card.

The ship has this really cool technology that lets you talk to people from a distance. And artificially intelligent computers that could read through and summarize the laws of any culture in a matter of hours. Things like "Stepping on flowers brings death" would be flagged.

The Feds talk a good game about non-interferance but when it comes right down to it, they are, as David Gerrold says, A Cosmic Mary Worth. Of course, if they were competent we wouldn't have about half of the episodes of any of the series.
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Old November 8 2012, 02:58 AM   #51
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Re: What happens if someone from the past shows up...

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"Hi, we're the Federation. We're going to come in and break your laws while telling you how much we respect your sovereignty and then bugger off before you can do anything about it. Because we're just so advanced and you're so primitive your laws don't apply to us."
You know what? I'm sorry, but this is a bullshit line of thought. The fact that the Federation was unwilling to allow one of their citizens to be executed for falling on some flowers does not make them a trampling example of cultural imperialism and sovereignty violations.

Obviously, the Edo are not the Zog since they did attempt to apply their laws to Wesley.
Except I wasn't comparing the Edo to the Zog from the Federation POV, I was comparing the Federation to the Zog from the Edo POV. The Edo should have had the foresight to consider that visitors to their world may not realize that Edo law would still apply to them, and thus should have warned visitors to their planet about how the Edo legal system works.

By failing to do that, the Edo engaged in unjust and ethnocentric behavior.

The ship has this really cool technology that lets you talk to people from a distance. And artificially intelligent computers that could read through and summarize the laws of any culture in a matter of hours.
What makes you think the Edo provided such information in the first place? There's no indication they did.
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Old November 8 2012, 03:01 AM   #52
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Re: What happens if someone from the past shows up...

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What makes you think the Edo provided such information in the first place? There's no indication they did.
I blame Tasha Yar for not doing her job as Security Chief and learning the laws first before beaming down to the planet.

Worf was better than Tasha all along™
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Old November 8 2012, 03:28 AM   #53
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Re: What happens if someone from the past shows up...

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What makes you think the Edo provided such information in the first place? There's no indication they did.
I blame Tasha Yar for not doing her job as Security Chief and learning the laws first before beaming down to the planet.

Worf was better than Tasha all along™
Again, what indication is there that the Edo shared any information whatsoever about what acts constitute crimes and what the punishment for all crimes is on their world?
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Old November 8 2012, 03:51 AM   #54
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Re: What happens if someone from the past shows up...

Drago-Kazov wrote: View Post
What happens if someone from the past shows up in the enlightened society of the Federation and we know that he committed crimes by "today's" standards?
If a time traveler from the past had committed an act that was legal in his own culture at the time, the Federation ought to have no jurisdiction in the matter -- assuming the Federation is at least as enlightened as the United States Constitution on the matter of ex post facto.

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And something worse happened, didn't it? They cancelled Star Trek and put on lost in Space or whatever.
Lost in Space started before Star Trek and was canceled a year before Star Trek was.
And furthermore, it was on a different network.
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Old November 8 2012, 04:09 AM   #55
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Re: What happens if someone from the past shows up...

Come to think of it, aren't we all technically "from the past?" I mean, we originated there. Everything I know, I learned in the past!
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Old November 8 2012, 06:42 AM   #56
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Re: What happens if someone from the past shows up...

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Come to think of it, aren't we all technically "from the past?" I mean, we originated there. Everything I know, I learned in the past!
Except that the past is never what it used to be.

Or is that the future?
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Old November 9 2012, 03:58 PM   #57
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Re: What happens if someone from the past shows up...

Sci wrote: View Post
Dream wrote: View Post
Sci wrote: View Post
What makes you think the Edo provided such information in the first place? There's no indication they did.
I blame Tasha Yar for not doing her job as Security Chief and learning the laws first before beaming down to the planet.

Worf was better than Tasha all along™
Again, what indication is there that the Edo shared any information whatsoever about what acts constitute crimes and what the punishment for all crimes is on their world?
Wasn't there a brief conversation at the very beginning of the episode about how Yar had researched their laws and found they were basically simple, commonplace things? And then later on it was mentioned that her law research revealed nothing whatsoever about punishment? Seems to me that Tasha should have done a bit more research.

Of course, I've always felt myself that they shouldn't have beamed down to the planet in the first place. The Edo seemed to me like a culture that wasn't yet ready for first contact and they should have been left alone under the Prime Directive.
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Old November 10 2012, 09:02 PM   #58
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Re: What happens if someone from the past shows up...

Yep
Justice wrote:
PICARD: Riker says the planet's life forms are almost identical to us.
TROI: He's very enthusiastic.
(Crusher enters)
CRUSHER: Captain? Sorry, Troi.
TROI: The Doctor has something very important to tell you, Captain.
PICARD: You've been talking about it for days. Shore leave for the crew.
CRUSHER: Establishing that colony has been exhausting for the entire crew, Captain. We're not a supply vessel. Settling all those people has been a strain on everyone. I'm tired myself.
(Riker, Data and Yar enter)
PICARD: Is it as good as your report suggests, Number One?
RIKER: As per report, sir. Class M, Earth-like, beautiful. It will startle you.
CRUSHER: It sounds wonderful for the children. The holodecks are marvellous, of course, but there's nothing like open spaces and fresh air.
TASHA: I've listed my report on their customs and laws, sir. Fairly simple, common sense things.
LAFORGE: They're wild in some ways, actually puritanical in others. Neat as pins, ultra-lawful, and make love at the drop of a hat.
TASHA: Any hat.
PICARD: But the happiest report has its negatives. Let's start with them, Number One.
RIKER: There are none, sir. Not that any of us can find.
DATA: But there is a problem here, sir.
WORF: It's the faulty reading I reported, sir.
DATA: I'm reading something off the starboard bow, but there is nothing there.
TASHA: Sensor technicians are working on it, sir. They've identified it as a glitch in the system.
PICARD: I take it you find no glitch at all in this planet, however?
RIKER: No, sir.
TASHA: If you approve shore leave, sir, we could start with a small group.
PICARD: Of course. Wesley? If we go down, I'd like you to join the away team to evaluate this world as a place for young people to relax.
WESLEY: Yes, sir.
PICARD: If our scans and observations confirm the report, of course I'll approve it. Let's hope it is not too good to be true.
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Old November 10 2012, 09:13 PM   #59
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Re: What happens if someone from the past shows up...

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LAFORGE: They're wild in some ways, actually puritanical in others. Neat as pins, ultra-lawful, and make love at the drop of a hat.
I wonder why that didn't raise any red-flags for Picard and Riker.
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Old November 10 2012, 09:28 PM   #60
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Re: What happens if someone from the past shows up...

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Zombie Cheerleader wrote: View Post
LAFORGE: They're wild in some ways, actually puritanical in others. Neat as pins, ultra-lawful, and make love at the drop of a hat.
I wonder why that didn't raise any red-flags for Picard and Riker.
Presumably because multiple people reviewed the data the Federation had on the Edo, and none of them found any major downside like "executes all criminals." Which means the Edo didn't share that information with the Federation in the first place.
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