The New Trial of Socrates

25 May 201218:30Main Stage
10 € | Concs 5 €
The trial of Socrates is repeated; this time he is acquitted in a historical trial which is not a re-enactment but a modern perspective based on current legal framework supplemented with ancient Greek elements and comical theatrics.
The Court:
Lord Justice Richard Aikens, Judge, member of the Court of Appeal of England and Wales (UK) 
Sophie-Caroline De Margerie, member of the Conseil d’Etat (France) Click here to read her address (English)
Pierre Delvolvé, member of the Academy of Moral and Political Sciences (France) Click here to read his address (French)
Dr. Giusep Nay, Dr. iur., former President of the Federal Court of Switzerland (Switzerland) Click here to read his address (French)  
Loretta Preska, Chief Judge of the Southern District of New York (USA)
Anna Psarouda-Benaki, Professor emerita of Criminal Law, former chair of Hellenic Parliament (Greece)
Vasileios Rigas, former Vice President of the Athens Supreme Court (Greece)
Sir Stephen Sedley, member of the Court of Appeal of England and Wales (UK)
François Terré, member of the Academy of Moral and Political Sciences (France) Click here to read his address (French)
Harm Peter Westermann, Law Professor, University of Tubingen (Germany)
 
Counsel for the City of Athens:
Professor Ilias Anagnostopoulos, Assistant Professor of Criminal and Forensic Studies (University of Athens), Supreme Court lawyer (Greece)  Click here to read his address (English)
Dr. Anthony Papadimitriou, Barrister, Esq., President, Onassis Foundation (Greece) Click here to read his address (English)
 
Counsel for Socrates:
Michael Beloff, QC, Barrister (UK) Click here to read his address (English)
Patrick Simon, Barrister (France) Click here to read his address (French)

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In the spring of 399 B.C., Socrates confronted 500 Athenians, citizens, judges and jurors, in his trial initiated by the charges leveled at him by Meletus, Anytos and Lycon. The trial began with a reading of the formal charges: "Socrates is a doer of evil, and corrupter of the youth, and he does not believe in the gods of the state, and he believes in other new divinities of his own."

On May 2012, almost 2,500 years later, the trial of Socrates was repeated. This time Socrates was acquitted in a historical trial which was not a re-enactment but a modern perspective based on current legal framework supplemented with ancient Greek elements and comical theatrics.

The Alexander S. Onassis Foundation found advocates for its venture, top American and European judges and lawyers, who all examined the trial material retrieved from ancient texts by Plato (Apology, Crito, Euthyphro, Phaedo), Xenophon (Memorabilia) and Aristophanes (The Clouds), as well as the corresponding Athenian law of that time.

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PRO SOCRATES or PRO THE CITY OF ATHENS?
Court verdict:
5 voted pro Socrates and 5 pro the City of Athens.

Audience verdict:
584 voted pro Socrates and 5 pro the City of Athens

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QUESTIONNAIRE results
1.    Was Athens a democratic city in Socrates’ era, allowing everyone to express themselves freely?
47% (1.061) answered YES
53% (1.166) answered NO

2.    The charges against Socrates were real or did they have a political prosecution character?
11% (245) answered YES, THEY WERE REAL
89% (1.982) answered NO, IT WAS A POLITICAL PROSECUTION

3.   Socrates was (multiple answers):
52% (1.157) answered (a) an idealist
56% (1.240) answered (b) an aristocrat of the spirit
22% (481) answered (c) a democrat
24% (534) answered (d) an ironic person
3% (61) answered (e) a pessimist  
 
4.    Socrates
(a) was a victim of his own freedom of speech: 73% (1.625)
(b) was the spiritual leader of Athens’ oligarchs: 12% (272)
(c) had decided to die: 15% (330)

5.    Public opinion believes Socrates is innocent. If you were provided with indisputable evidence showing that Socrates was the leader of the Athens oligarch party that set up the “Tyranny of 10” regime that committed 1.800 murders in 9 months and gave up Athens to the Spartans, would it make you change your mind regarding his innocence?
66% (1.470) answered YES
34% (757) answered NO

6.    Which of the following charges against Socrates do you believe to be the most valid (multiple answers)?
He was an Atheist: 43% (950)
He corrupted the young people: 16% (359)
He didn’t acknowledge the democratic institutions of Athens: 47% (1.049)
He turned the young people against democracy: 18% (398)

We thank you for your participation in the New Trial of Socrates voting.

The New Trial of Socrates: Watch the conversation on video