I was watching the Star Trek: Deep Space 9 episode, "Dax", wherein a hearing is conducted about whether Jadzia Dax should be extradited for murder and treason committed by Curzon Dax.

I know it's termed an "informal hearing", but it appears to boil down to whether Jadzia Dax can be held responsible for Curzon Dax's crimes, and a philosophical debate is held where they discuss that Jadzia has the memories and can even feel some of the guilt, and while medically they are different people (even down to different brainwave patterns) it's not quite as clear whether the Dax component is a different person, etc. A "Trill expert" (in that he is a Trill) is even brought in to talk about the emotional feelings involved.

However, what is never discussed for some reason, is the legal position on the Trill homeworld. Surely whichever side it favoured should have called a legal expert to tell them the answer - while the opposition may have rejected this, considering it out of their jurisdiction, it would have gone a long way to convincing the arbiter. (Intaro appeared to be touching this before he was interrupted his mother who rendered the whole question moot anyway)

So the question is, are there laws on the Trill books which indicate whether culpability for crimes pass from host to host? It would seem the obvious thing that they'd need to come up with when joinery was first discovered / invented.

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    There are laws and rules forbidding Trills dating the new hosts of their previous life partners. I think the slate is otherwise wiped clean, so the new host is not responsible for the crimes of the previous ones. But I don't know, so I'll wait for somebody else to come with the authoritative answer.
    – jo1storm
    Sep 28, 2020 at 12:35
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    it's a decent question and unfortunately, not one we can really look to Dax for because, the Dax symbiote was joined with a host who was a murderer and Trill covered it up. Since none of the other hosts were held responsible for the crimes of Joran Dax it's hard to say if that is because of law or the coverup (or because they knew of the crimes at the time, not after another joining). My bet would be a clean slate as @jo1storm said
    – NKCampbell
    Sep 28, 2020 at 14:11
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    Unfortunately, it was never further elaborated on Sep 28, 2020 at 15:21
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    I'm too tired to post a proper answer, but it seems very unlikely that crime is inherited through the symbiont, considering that one of Dax's former hosts was as serial murderer. The circumstances of his joining were a little complicated however so I suppose it's possible the symbiosis commission led his crimes slide to protect their own interests. Sep 29, 2020 at 8:13
  • ... :) exactly what I already said @ApproachingDarknessFish
    – NKCampbell
    Sep 29, 2020 at 20:40

1 Answer 1


Canonically no there is nothing on Trill law pertaining to what you are asking.

That being said any law on this would be highly highly complicated it is likely that at least in the past when memories of past criminal lives could not be suppressed each host would be punished for their crimes accordingly and only if a symbiote had multiple hosts become criminals after joining would it be punished.

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