The Tal'Shiar, co-equally referenced as the Tal'Shiar and Tal Shi'ar, is closely intertwined with the Romulan government, though it is in certain ways a governing body unto itself. Its oldest and most powerful division is the Tal Shiar Court, which is the Empire's supreme judicial authority. The Court's members are recommended by the Praetor and must be confirmed separately by the Continuing Committee, the Senate, and the Court itself. All matters of constitutional law and final legal appeals depend on the decisions of the Court.
The Tal Shiar Court operates independently from - and is often at odds with - the more infamous Tal Shiar divisions of Intelligence and Internal Security. Unlike the Court, these two agencies are nominally controlled by the Tal Shiar High Command, which is almost entirely independent of any other agency: it selects its own members without any outside input, with the sole exception of the Vice Chairman's position, which goes to a Romulan Senator. Even the High Command, however, exerts limited operational control over the two divisions; rather, it monitors the bureaucracy to ensure the efficiency of its function.
The Intelligence Division is the Empire's primary agency for espionage and counterintelligence and covert influence abroad, a task at which it is extremely effective. Internal Security controls the secret police, who have made the Tal Shiar infamous with the Romulan populace. Its task is to ensure the loyalty of the Romulan people, a charge that critics argue is often abused to stifle legitimate political expression or even cultural thoughts deemed to be inappropriate. (Such critics have a tendency to disappear without explanation.) Certainly, the agency is ruthless in the prosecution of its task, and even feuds with the Tal Prai'ex and military intelligence divisions over this point.
Much as the Galae Command possesses its own intelligence division, the Tal Shiar also operates its own fleet of ships, the exact number of which is unknown to most.
The current Chairperson of the Tal'Shiar is General Sonara T'Daran