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New Lhasa

USS Darwin

Darwin TNG

Season Two

219 About Power

M'Kress, recovering from her injuries, complains to Lyranna and the Captain that Loras Veltr'a broke her fundamental rights by stunning her to restrain her. She indicates three separate Starfleet general orders. The Captain and Lyranna try to dissuade her.

M'Kress takes her complaint to the Judge Advocates general directly. She complains that by stunning her twice to get her into a stasis pod, Veltr'a broke the following general orders:

GO2: Starfleet Officers and agents shall at times protect the life and liberty of the citizens of the United Federation of Planets.
GO5: Commanding officers shall safeguard the safety and liberty of crew members and civilians under their command.
GO10: Starfleet personnel shall take no hostile action unless responding to a hostile action.

Lyranna advises, and Horah-Morash agrees, that Petseren should not have to work with M'Kress if he does not want to. The Captain tells Petersen M'Kress should only stay on at New Lhasa if he is comfortable about it.

M'Kress is assigned an advocate to help her put her case. As there are no JAG personnel on New Lhasa, the hearing takes place in two holodecks in separate sectors, with the JAG personnel represented holographically on New Lhasa and vice versa. JAG Captain Phillipa Louvois presides.

With respect to GO2, Louvois rules that M'Kress' liberty was already effectively lost, and her life threatened, by the Pon Farr. To safe her life, she had to be rendered unconscious. M'Kress admitted that her real issue was with the Veltr'a's failure to consult - which isn't an obligation under GO2. Louvois throws the case out. M'Kress takes her advocate's advice and withdraww the claim under GO5, as the argument would have gone the same way.

Captain Louvois says that GO10 mainly ensures that Starfleet Captains don't fire first. The case turns, she says, on whether the stunning was a hostile act or part of a medical procedure to save her life, and whether the hostile action being responded to (in this case, assault and attempted rape) had to be in the same encounter. In both cases, she continues, case law indicated in favour of the defendant.

M'Kress meets Loras to offer her apologies, and ask his advice on finding a partner in more traditional ways.

You can follow the discussion of the legal issues raised on TrekRPG net here. Louvois was responsible for the historic ruling on the status of Lt. Cmdr. Data.

Rape is not about sex. It is about power.

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© Ian McDonald 2001