The Council of the United Federation of Planets, more commonly known as the Federation Council, is the legislature of the Federation government. A unicameral body, the Council is comprised of one Federation Councillor from every Member State, and meets in the Federation Council Chambers on Floor One of the Palais de la Concorde in Paris, Earth.
In accordance with the Articles of the Federation, sessions of the full Council of the United Federation of Planets are presided over by the President of the United Federation of Planets (barring special circumstances, such as the President being off-planet), who stands at a podium near the north wall while the councillors sit in seats arranged in rising rows of twenty. The podium determines who may speak to the Council for the record, and recognized speakers may only address the Council from the speaker's floor, located in the center of the room between two sets of seats for the councillors. Councillors have computer terminals at their work stations that they may use to silently contact one-another or those outside the chambers, and lights on each terminal to indicate a desire to address the Council. No one may speak who has not been recognized by the podium.
The Federation Council conducts its business during sessions that convene once every six months, with three-week intervals. According to the Articles of the Federation, all Federation Councillors must be present at the beginning of a session in order to participate in future meetings of the Council; those that are not present must wait until the next session convenes in six months. (DS9 novel: Bajor: Fragments and Omens)
The Council conducts much of its business by dividing itself into numerous sub-councils with jurisdiction over specific areas of import to the Federation; the Security Council, for instance, has jurisdiction over areas of Federation security. Membership in sub-councils is determined by the President, who nominates a councillor for a sub-council who is then confirmed by the full Council. Some of the sub-councils, such as the Security and Judiciary Councils, are permanent, while others are created on an as-needed basis; the councillors from the five founding Member States are automatically appointed to the permanent sub-councils. During sub-council sessions, members of the sub-council may speak without having to be recognized by the sub-council chair; sub-council sessions are usually presided over by the chair of the sub-council rather than the President, though the President does retain that option. The President is generally expected to solicit the active participation of the appropriate sub-council in determining executive policies; as such, there is far less separation of powers between the Council and the Presidency than in many traditional Earth governments.
Elevation to the Federation Council is determined by each Member State. The Republic of Bajor, for instance, determines its Federation Councillor by having him or her nominated by the First Minister and then confirmed by the Chamber of Ministers; the Andorian Empire's councillor is determined by which political party holds the majority of seats in the Parliament Andoria, while Betazed's councillor is popularly elected. Membership in the Council was of course a great honor, and as of 2266, only T'Pau of Vulcan had ever refused a seat. (ST novel: Articles of the Federation; DS9 novels: Bajor: Fragments and Omens, Andor: Paradigm; TOS episode: "Amok Time")
In 2271, the Federation Council, which at the time consisted of 120 delegates, met to discuss whether or not to maintain the controversial peace-keeping force on Djana. A security breach resulted in the kidnapping of Uhura and Ambassador Sarek, although the intended primary target, Ambassador Ewu, was not taken. His aide Umul betrayed him and, when the kidnapping failed, took him hostage and overloaded Ewu's personal shield. The resulting explosion killed Umul, but Ewu managed to break free before the explosion and received only non-fatal injuries. (TOS novel: The Lost Years)
In 2286, the Federation Council (or possibly the Federation Judiciary Council) met to serve as the jury in a special court-martial of Federation Starfleet Admiral James T. Kirk Captain Montgomery Scott, Commanders Nyota Uhura, Pavel Chekov, Leonard McCoy, and Hikaru Sulu following their hijacking and destruction of the USS Enterprise. The Council dropped all but one charge after the group was responsible for saving Earth from an alien Probe, demoting Kirk to the rank of captain and granting him command of the newly re-designated USS Enterprise-A. (TOS movie: Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home)
In 2366, the Council was called into emergency session when a Romulan defector provided information on a possible Romulan invasion fleet arming near Nelvana III. They determined that the crew of the USS Enterprise-D, the Starfleet ship on site, should assume that anything Romulan Admiral Alidar Jarok said was a lie. (TNG episode: "The Defector")
In 2370, two Hekaran scientists proved that conventional warp drive was fundamentally damaging the space-time continuum. In response, the Federation Council imposed a warp 5 "speed limit" on all Federation vessels and vessels within UFP territory except in dire circumstances. This law was removed when improvements in warp drive were achieved. (TNG episode: "Force of Nature"; ST novel: Articles of the Federation)
Two years later, the Federation Council condemned the Klingon Empire's invasion of the Cardassian Union following a civilian uprising and agreed to provide twelve industrial replicators to help rebuild the devastated Cardassian industrial base. Later that year, Chancellor Gowron sent a message to the Council, telling them that the Klingon Empire would not give up their captured Cardassian planets and to withdraw Federation forces from the Archanis sector. (DS9 episodes: "The Way of the Warrior", "For the Cause", "Broken Link")
Following the capture of Federation Starbase Deep Space 9 in late December of 2373, the Federation Council declared a state of war on the Dominion. (Articles of the Federation) In 2374, the Council sent a message to Grand Nagus Zek of the Ferengi Alliance that Starfleet Ensign Nog was to deliver. Jake Sisko believed it might have been a proposal for an alliance between the Ferengi Alliance and the Federation. (DS9 episode: "Valiant")
In 2375, Starfleet Admiral Matthew Dougherty claimed that the Federation Council had been responsible for the decision to forcibly relocate the Ba'ku from their world in cooperation with the Son'a. (TNG movie: Star Trek: Insurrection) The Council denied this, and Dougherty was branded a rogue, receiving blame for the operation after it was made public. The relocation was eventually suspected to be the work of the rogue cabal known as Section 31. (DS9 - Section 31 novel: Abyss)
Later that year, the Federation Council was responsible for the decision not to give the Founders the cure to the morphogenic virus that threatened to drive their species to extinction, as they felt it would give the Dominion the upper hand in the war. Shortly thereafter, the Council accepted the peace treaty in which the Dominion agreed to leave the Alpha Quadrant and return sovereignty to the Cardassian Union and Breen Confederacy, which it had annexed, and in which the Federation and its allies agreed to occupy and rebuild the devastated Cardassian Union. (DS9 episodes: "The Dogs of War", "What You Leave Behind")
|Interstellar states||Detapa Council (Cardassian Union) • Economic Congress of Advisors (Ferengi Alliance) • Federation Council • Klingon High Council • Imperial Senate (Romulan Star Empire) • Organian Council of Elders|
|Federation members||Parliament Andoria • Chamber of Ministers (Bajor) • Quorum of Bole (Bolarus) • United Earth Parliament • Zamestaad (Mestiko) • Triexian Curia (Triex) • Vulcan Council|
The Federation Council was the legislature of the United Federation of Planets. The Council was made up of Federation Councillors from its various member states and is presided over by the Federation President. Starfleet was answerable to the Federation Council.
The Federation Council granted special dispensation for Section 214C to undertake genetic engineering, which is illegal under Federation law, as part of their Enforcer super-soldier project. They set two conditions on the project that the clones created had to be sterile and their DNA made very susceptible to degradation. (Star Trek: Swiftfire: "Section 214C")
The Council dispatched a mediator to Sherman's Planet after a trade dispute erupted between the planet and the surrounding Klingon colonies in 2371. (Star Trek: The Adventures of Argus: "Messages From Home")
In 2372, Admiral James Leyton attempted to lead a coup d'état against the President and Council, which he felt were not able to met the growing threat of the Dominion. The coup failed due to the intervention of Captain Benjamin Sisko and the crew of the USS Defiant. (DS9: "Homefront", "Paradise Lost")
The Federation Council condemned Alshain atrocities but due to the Federation's weakened state following the Dominion War and its resources stretched to the limit they were unable to take any further actions. (United Trek)
Following the end of the Federation Civil War the Council reneged on their promises to the Maquis, leaving them to fend for themselves against the. The Council would adopt an isolationist state for the several years.
In Star Trek: Pioneer (STP), the Federation Council had chambers in Paris, France. The Council was presided over by a Secretary-General, much like the United Nations on Earth in the 20th century. The Secretary-General acts as the head of the legislative branch of the Federation government, while the President acts as the head of the executive branch. ("For Better or Worse")