This is the third in a cluster of questions related to legal systems in Star Trek.

Besides major species with 'unusual legal systems'. There are a few episodes when a 'one-off' alien legal system provides the basis for the plot. What are they?

Related: What Star Trek episodes/films portray Federation legal proceedings?

Related: What major non-Federation Star Trek cultures' legal proceedings are portrayed in episodes or films?


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Edo legal system

  • TNG: 'Justice' - Wesley Crusher is found guilty of an infraction in a randomly selected "punishment zone" and is sentenced to death.

J'naii legal system

  • TNG: 'The Outcast' - Soren, a closeted female in a strictly genderless society, is brought before a tribunal as a formality before having her gender forcibly neutralized.

Banean legal system

  • VOY: 'Ex Post Facto' - Tom Paris is convicted of murder on an alien world, and his punishment is to witness the murder from the victim's perspective every 14 hours.

Mari legal system

  • VOY: 'Random Thoughts' - B'Elana Torres is punished for having violent thoughts. The punishment is to remove the thoughts from her memories.

Metron legal system

  • TOS: 'Arena' - The case Kirk vs. Gorn is resolved in a trial by combat.

Voth legal system

  • Voyager: 'Distant Origin' - The Voth put one of their people on trial for heresy.

Ventaxian legal system

  • TNG: 'Devil's Due' - Data arbitrates a hearing to decide whether a 1000-year-old contract gives "Ardra" the right to enslave the planet.

Borderline case: Argrathi legal system

  • DS9: 'Hard Time' - O'Brien experiences a 20-year sentence in his mind and has difficulty re-integrating. This is borderline because everything onscreen occurs in the cell, right after the sentence is applied and back on DS9. However, when he is being discharged, there is the following line, which borders on legal proceedings:

    RINN: The Argrathi Authority has been conducting a review of your case. Do you wish to add anything to the record?

Borderline case: Treaty with the Sheliak Corporate, arbitrated by the Grizzelas

  • TNG: ‘The Ensigns of Command’ – Picard outsmarts/outmaneuvers the Sheliaks by invoking a clause in the Treaty of Armens (between the Federation and the Sheliak Corporate) saying that disputes should be arbitrated by a third party.  Picard chooses the Grizzelas, who are in a species-wide hibernation, and will be for another six months (leading the Sheliaks to agree to delay occupying Tau Cygna V for a few weeks).  This is borderline because it concerns a treaty that the Federation is party to, but it does involve two “one-off” alien species.
  • Note: Episodes involving the legal systems of major species belong here – ThePopMachine Nov 3 '15 at 15:35
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    Not sure if the investigation in A Matter of Perspective counts. – mu is too short Nov 3 '15 at 19:47
  • @muistooshort: It seems it should. "All participants have entered their depositions." – ThePopMachine Nov 3 '15 at 20:04
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    Also TNG S1.E3 "Code of Honor" where the leader of Ligon II takes Tasha Yar hostage, and Picard et. al. must adhere to Ligonian code of conduct/law in order to see her returned. – Derek Nov 4 '15 at 2:04
  • Definitely A Matter of Perspective – DCShannon Feb 18 '16 at 21:14

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