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The New Trial of Socrates

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 acknowledge the gods of the state, and he believes in other new divinities of his own." In May 2012, almost 2,500 years later, the trial of Socrates is repeated. This time Socrates 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 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.

The event will be held in English and French languages, with concurrent translation.

The event will be streamed live at

The Court:

Lord Justice Richard Aikens, Judge, member of the Court of Appeal of England and Wales (UK)
Sophie-Caroline De Margerie, Judge in the French Conseil d’Etat (France)
Pierre Delvolvé, member of the Academy of Moral and Political Sciences (France)
Stephan Gass, Vice President at the Court of Appeal [Kantonsgericht] (Switzerland)
Dr. Giusep Nay, Dr. iur., former President of the Federal Court of Switzerland (Switzerland)
Loretta Preska, Chief Judge of the Southern District of New York (USA)
Anna Psarouda-Benaki, emeritus Professor of Criminal Law, former chair of Hellenic Parliament (Greece)
Vasileios Rigas, retired 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)
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)
Dr. Anthony Papadimitriou, Barrister, Esq., President, Onassis Foundation (Greece)

Counsel for Socrates:

Michael Beloff, QC, Barrister (UK)
Patrick Simon, Barrister (France)


Onassis Cultural Centre - Main Stage
107-109 Syngrou Avenue, 11745 Athens, Greece
Information/Tickets: 210 900 5 800,
Administration: 213 0 178000


May 25, 2012 - 18:30


Source: Onassis Cultural Centre
Tuesday, May 22, 2012