This year the charity Classics for All put Cicero in the dock of the Supreme Court, charged with murder and misconduct in public office. Ali Bajwa KC and Polly Dyer of QEB Hollis Whiteman were tasked with defending him.
Cicero stood trial for acting illegally in the suppression of the Catilinarian conspiracy when he was Consul in 63 BCE, in particular for procuring the summary execution of five of the Catilinarian conspirators.
The trial was presided over by Lady Vivien Rose (Justice of the Supreme Court). Richard Whittam KC and Kwaku Awuku-Asabre acted as counsel for the prosecution, and Ali Bajwa KC and Polly Dyer as counsel for the defence.
Despite Cicero denouncing his political rival, Cataline, in the Senate in October 63 BC and then, in the following month, ordering the execution of five of Cataline’s alleged supporters without a trial, he was acquitted of everything - murder and misconduct in public office. The Telegraph wrote “...However, the jury, made up of ancient history enthusiasts, voted 28 to 22 in his favour, thanks for the efforts of a British silk whose oratory would have made Cicero himself proud”.
The introduction by Lawyers Group Chairman Sir Rabinder Singh starts here.
You can watch the ’trial’ here.
The Times writes about it here.
The Telegraph writes about it here.