The Arbiter of Succession was an individual selected by the leader of the Klingon Empire to oversee the Rite of Succession after his/her death.

In 2367, Captain Jean-Luc Picard was chosen by K'mpec to oversee the Rite of Succession, since according to K'mpec no Klingon could be trusted to perform this role unbiased. Traditionally, the main role of the Arbiter was to designate the two strongest challengers, which would then fight to become the new chancellor. How exactly this process proceeded was the purview of the Arbiter, as long as it was within Klingon law. (TNG: "Reunion")

The final action of the Arbiter was to announce the result of this process to the Klingon High Council and declare that only one challenger remained. When Picard proclaimed Gowron to have completed the Rite and to be the only remaining candidate, Toral intervened and claimed his father's place in the Rite. As Arbiter of Succession, Picard had the authority to investigate Toral's claim and ultimately declared it invalid. As his final act, Picard placed the chancellor's cloak on Gowron, who then received the homage of the council. (TNG: "Redemption")

A note about Picard being the arbiter of succession was later added to his Starfleet personnel file. (TNG-R: "Conundrum")

Picard used his former role as arbiter twice in 2368 and 2369 to receive favors from Klingon officials. (TNG: "Unification I", "Aquiel")

In the Star Trek: The Lost Era novel The Art of the Impossible, K'Tal serves as Arbiter of Succession after the death of Chancellor Ditagh in 2334, culminating in the selection of Chancellor Kravokh, who would later be replaced by K'mpec.
Community content is available under CC-BY-NC unless otherwise noted.