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For the novel of this title, see: Articles of the Federation.

The signing of the Articles of the Federation in 2161

The Articles of the Federation is the governing constitution of the United Federation of Planets. Often referred to as the Constitution of the United Federation of Planets, Federation Charter, or Federation Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Articles of the Federation were signed in the Candlestick Auditorium in San Francisco, Earth, on 12 August 2161 by representatives from the founding Member States of United Earth, the Confederacy of Vulcan, the Andorian Empire, the United Planets of Tellar, and the Alpha Centauri Concordium. (ENT episode: "Zero Hour"; ENT novel: Last Full Measure; ST novel: Articles of the Federation; ENT - Rise of the Federation novel: A Choice of Futures; ST - Section 31 novel: Control)

Structure of Government[]

The Articles of the Federation spell out the manner in which the Federation government is to be organized. One of the rules established in the Articles is the requirement that the Federation President preside over full sessions of the Federation Council, barring special circumstances. (ST novel: Articles of the Federation)

The Articles also require that Federation Councillors from newly-inducted Member States be present at the opening of a Council session. If no Federation Councillor is sent by the time the session begins, then none may be added until a new session convenes, requiring that Member State to go without representation. Sessions of the Federation Council are marked by recesses of over three weeks and are convened every six months. (DS9 - Worlds of DS9 novel: Bajor: Fragments and Omens)


The Guarantees affirm the civil rights and liberties of all sentient individuals living under Federation jurisdiction. They include the First Guarantee, allowing a criminal defendant the right to counsel, the Seventh Guarantee, which protects against self-incrimination, and the Twelfth Guarantee, which defines an artist. (VAN novel: Precipice; TNG episode: "The Drumhead"; VOY episode: "Author, Author")

They also affirm the rights and guarantees of individual Federation Member States. For example, before signing the Articles, the Andorian Empire insisted that the Constitution guarantee each individual Member State be allowed to maintain their own spaceforce and military, separate from the Federation Starfleet. (Last Unicorn RPG module: The Andorians: Among the Clans)

Code of Justice[]

The Federation Code of Justice includes the provision that an individual is considered innocent of a crime (unless found guilty) and set free if found innocent of a crime. (DS9 episode: "The Maquis, Part II")


United Earth[]

Confederacy of Vulcan[]

Andorian Empire[]

United Planets of Tellar[]

Alpha Centauri Concordium[]

Special Representatives[]

It is unclear in what capacity the Special Representative of the Confederated Martian Colonies signed the Articles, since Mars was not among the first Federation Member States.

Archer, T'Pau, ch'Theru, Gral, and Hayes were the first five signatories. Upon Hayes's signature being affixed, the Articles came into legal effect and the United Federation of Planets was born. (ST - Section 31 novel: Control; ENT - The Romulan War novel: To Brave the Storm)

To Brave the Storm refers to Archer as signing the Articles after the representatives of United Earth's civilian government had signed, while Control establishes him to have been the very first signatory.

Amongst others, one of the signatories of the Articles of the Federation was the great-great-grandmother of Spock of Vulcan. (TOS novel: The Galactic Whirlpool)


According to Chapter 16, Article 106 of the Articles, Amendments required a formal proposal before the Federation Assembly, and required a two-thirds vote of approval from all full-status members, before which it come into effect. (FASA RPG module: The Federation)

The First Amendment was passed on reference stardate 2/0105.01 (mid-23rd century) (but retroactively effective on stardate 2/0103.13). This banned slavery and the slave-trade everywhere inside Federation space, and gave the Federation permission to do whatever it had to do to abolish slavery anywhere within their sphere of influence. This Amendment was introduced primarily in response to Orion slavery, after the Federation annexed a number of Orion Colonies and found slave-holding Orions within its borders. (FASA RPG module: The Federation; FASA RPG - The Orions module: Book of Common Knowledge)

It also specified that a member could withdraw from the Federation by making a formal request for dissolution of membership. This required a two-thirds vote of approval from the Federation Assembly. (FASA RPG module: The Federation)

There may be an error in the stardates here, in that the First Amendment was passed two years after it became effective. This may be in error, as stardate 2/0103.13 is the date that Christopher Pike delivered a report on Orion slavery, prompting official Federation boycotts of Orion worlds.

The Articles were amended again to produce the Eminiar Amendment. (TNG novel: A Time to Kill)


Earlier documents that influenced the Federation Constitution include the Magna Carta (TOS episode: "Court Martial") and the Constitution of the United States of America. (TNG episode: "The Drumhead")

Some of the Articles' rules were written in a prototype form as early as 2125. (TOS novel: The Prometheus Design)

Application and Violations[]

All sentient life-forms aboard a Federation starship were entitled to the rights and protections offered by the Articles of the Federation. (TNG episode: "The Perfect Mate")

The Articles of the Federation explicitly banned interference in the internal affairs of foreign states. (DS9 episode: "Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges")

Caste-based discrimination was prohibited by the Articles. (DS9 episode: "Accession")

The Articles required all trial records be kept and preserved. (TOS novel: The Entropy Effect)

Under the Articles, a person can only be held on contempt-of-court charges for a maximum of three months during peacetime. (TOS novel: Prime Directive)

Article 51 apparently related to the treatment of refugees by member worlds, according individuals with the rights of due process. (TNG novel: Losing the Peace)

Article 109, section 47 also related to the treatment of refugees, barring the use of fences or other enclosures around refugee settlements. (TNG novel: Losing the Peace)


The anniversary of the signing of the Articles of the Federation became known as Federation Day, a patriotic holiday for the UFP. (TNG episode: "The Outcast", ENT novel: Last Full Measure)

See also[]

External links[]