Beyond the Stars
Homespace is a general term used by the Galactic Federation to denote areas of space that are considered to be the “home” territory of member species. Within a species’ homespace, Federation legal systems are no longer in effect. This arrangement is one of the core foundations of the original charter that established the Federation – that the home system and nearby systems of a species’ homeworld should remain under control of that species entirely. In practice, usually only a few systems are considered to be “homespace” for any given species. Technological development at the time of joining the Federation helps determine the size of homespace, as well as the general viability of nearby systems.
The system tends to work very well for all parties involved. Since the vast majority of the galaxy is not considered “homespace”, this area falls under Federation control. The Federation was established to be independent from the processes of the homeworld system and as such now exists as a self-perpetuating system far more powerful than any single homespace government; even a coalition of many homespace systems would fall under the crushing force that the Federation could summon if necessary. The military and economic might of the Federation ensures that species that might otherwise become aggressive toward Federation space do not do so. Also, the Federation actively tries to recruit species to join the Federation; in doing so, citizens in homespace systems are granted citizenship in the Federation and may travel, work and vote in the Federation if they should decide to leave homespace, giving the species as a whole a voice in the galaxy. Homespace also gets to send two permanent non-voting representatives to the Galactic Parliament, ensuring that they feel that they are part of the political process.
One trick that some criminals have tried is heading into their species’ homespace in order to evade federal agents. The terms of the homespace agreement allow for FJA agents and their representatives to cross into homespaces to arrest Federation citizens, including natives of that homespace. FJA agents usually work closely with local law enforcement to keep up a good working relationship, but they are not compelled to do so if they do not wish to.
Though many homespaces are on an equivalent level as the rest of the galaxy, homespaces on the whole tend to be poorer and more technologically behind than the rest of the galaxy. Federation subsidies cannot be used in homespace territory and trade agreements that span thousands of parsecs of Federation space are not valid within homespaces, meaning that any merchants or businesses must work through whatever byzantine laws the homespace has regarding commerce. Homespaces can also be more politically repressive than the Federation; part of the non-interference in homespaces is that political systems at odds with the Federation’s vision of galactic representative democracy are allowed, though wildly abusive systems are often “remedied” through selective action in the political, economic and military spheres. Even still, Federation citizens are warned that the Federation will be of only limited value if problems arise in a homespace and that travel beyond Federation borders is done so only at the risk of the beings who decide to make such a journey.