69 – Law and Trek

The Mythcreant Podcast

Mike speaks with returning guest host Jim and new special guest Elise. The three discuss how law is presented in the Star Trek universe and why a Captain is no substitute for a trained attorney. In addition to poking fun at where Star Trek got things wrong, they describe the aspects of law that Star Trek has explored well, and what they would like to see in the upcoming Trek series.

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Opening and closing theme: The Princess Who Saved Herself by Jonathan Coulton. Used with permission.

Show Notes:

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Rules of Engagement (episode)

Federation Penal Colonies in Star Trek

The Maquis in Star Trek

Star Trek: Voyager: The Chute (episode)

Star Trek: The Next Generation: Power Play (episode)

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Battle Lines (episode)

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Hard Time (episode)

Star Trek: Voyager: Repentance (episode)

Betazoids in Star Trek

Crewman Lon Suder from Star Trek: Voyager

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  1. Fay Onyx

    Interesting episode! I would have loved to hear what Elise and Johnathan had to say about Data’s trial deciding whether he was sentient (I think the episode is called The Measure of a Man and I have no idea how I remember that because I don’t remember any other episode titles).

    I would argue that because Star Fleet accepted Data into the academy, trained him, and then gave him the status of an officer (and even awarded him medals for his service) they have already accepted him to be a sentient being. And legally there should be no take backs on sentient status.

    I’d love to hear the legal argument on this!

    • Oren Ashkenazi

      I think we all just assumed it was settled law, cause Data is obvs a person. We might have touched on it in our other Legal Themed episode. I know we did the Ardra contract at least. https://mythcreants.com/blog/80-spec-fic-legal-review/

      • Fay Onyx

        That is also a really interesting episode. Maybe someday you’ll do another one. They are so interesting. I particularly liked the format of the newer episode!

  2. Fay Onyx

    To summarize: property cannot serve as an officer, therefore Data’s service as an officer means he is legally sentient.

  3. Johnathan Preshaw

    Oops hit enter too fast.

    I was going to say that that argument might backfire and just get Data’s Officer status revoked instead of guaranteeing him rights.

    • Fay Onyx

      What about the argument that Star Fleet has already recognized his status as a sentient being by training him and approving him as an officer and once given that status can’t be taken away?

      • Johnathan Preshaw

        I think that argument relies on the assumption that Officer status can’t be taken away. Without any ability to look at the rules involved in Starfleet or the case history around giving and taking Officer status it’s hard to say how successful that argument would be.

        I think it would be good evidence and support the overall argument that Data is a “person” but it in itself wouldn’t carry the day.

        • Fay Onyx

          Thanks for your thoughts!

          • Johnathan Preshaw

            Hey any time!

  4. Michael

    The Federation does appear to be focused on rehabilitation. Paris gets only eighteen months in the penal colony for treason. That is pretty lenient. We only see him with a kind of ankle monitor there working at something. Heck, Bashir’s father got more time for illegal genetic engineering. Both are in the New Zealand Penal Colony-not Australia.

  5. JT

    Hey, uh. Guys?

    Next time you have a link from a great big button that says “Download” DO NOT make it actually instead just open up the freaking audio without warning?? Some of us like to download things for later listening…at wee hours of the morning…when others are asleep. This is not a good combination when the “Download” button is really an “open it up and play it” link.

    Cause like…if a button says “Download”? I’m going to assume it’s initiating a download to my computer/device, not just loading the file to immediately play it. If your logic is “they can download it by RIGHT-clicking”, please tell us to right-click, not just…show it as a button. ‘Kay? Thanks. >_>

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