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In April 2016 the Right Honourable Sir John Laws, Lord Justice of Appeal, gave a splendid talk on the subject of ‘Oratory’ for our first Lawyers Group event of the year, which took place at Middle Temple.
This was followed by a talk in July by the Right Honourable Sir Rupert Jackson, Lord Justice of Appeal, who had the gift of explaining centuries of history in a distilled and engaging way, enlightening our guests on what on earth the Romans believed in. This covered topics such as the traditional gods, the Imperial cults, Mithraism, adopted provincial gods and of course Christianity.
Finally, the last Lawyers Group event of the year saw a mock trial of the assassins of Julius Caesar which took place at the Supreme Court on October 5. Speakers included Lord Hughes as Judge; William Boyce QC, Counsel for the Prosecution; Arabella Macdonald, Junior Counsel for the Prosecution; Anthony Peto QC, Counsel for the Defence and Maya Lester QC, Junior Counsel for the Defence.
Both Prosecution and Defence called upon witnesses such as Cicero, Plutarch and Shakespeare to argue their sides, much to their juror’s amusement. The votes were cast and Brutus and the Assassins were acquitted, resulting in a sigh of relief from the Assassins (represented by pupils from Bishop Thomas Grant School).
You can watch the full trial here or read about it in this case study.
These events were organised by the Lawyers Group in support of Classics for All, which aims to introduce or extend the teaching of classical subjects in state schools.