Boadicea Haranguing the Britons by John Opie

Thursday 14 October | 18:00 BST 

Boudica (also known as Boudicca or Boadicea) was Queen of the Iceni tribe in 60/61 CE when she led a fierce rebellion against Roman rule that sent shockwaves through the empire. Some 18 years after the Roman conquest of Britain, she succeeded in rallying an army of disaffected Britons to her cause and in destroying three major Roman settlements: Colchester, London and St Albans. She was by all accounts a formidable leader - both Tacitus and Cassius Dio attribute to Boudica a stirring pre-battle speech - but were her actions those of a terrorist or freedom fighter?

Her case is listed for hearing at the UK Supreme Court between 6-7:15pm on Thursday 14 October. Read the indictment here

The prosecution will argue that Boudica was a terrorist, whose rebellion against Roman rule caused massive loss of life. The defence will argue that she was a freedom fighter in a war: the Romans had no right to be in Britain, and her brutality was no worse than theirs. A crucial issue will be whether the Roman authorities were the lawful government of Britain in 60/61 CE.

The trial of Boudica will be presided over by Lord Stephens (Justice of the Supreme Court and former Lord Justice of Appeal in Northern Ireland) with Alison Morgan QC counsel for the prosecution, and Thomas Grant QC counsel for the defence.

Moot trials hosted at the Supreme Court are a tradition of the Classics for All Lawyers Group. Since 2015, Lawyers Group members have gathered at the court to witness the trials of Socrates, Brutus, Antigone, Verres and Lysistrata. (You can watch our previous moot trials here.) 

This was the first time Classics for All's annual moot trial was livestreamed from the Supreme Court, giving audiences around the world the opportunity to watch the proceedings and discover a historical heroine whose actions raise urgent questions about imperialism, war and resistance that are still relevant today. 

If you have any questions about this event, please contact