Saturday, March 19, 2011

Napoleon on trial

Part of Thursday morning's class was devoted to a mock trial of Napoleon, ably played by Swiss student Kaspar, pictured above. Charges against the former Emperor were (1) reckless endangerment of the homeland ("la patrie") and (2) crimes against humanity.

A vigorous, though ultimately not entirely effective, case was mounted by the prosecutorial team of Jenny from British Columbia, and Nathalie, an Israeli lawyer in real life.

In the picture shown above, Kaspar-Napoleon huddles with his defense team - the calm, unflappable Laura (also Swiss), and the slightly megalomaniac Jean-Baptiste, a retired psychiatrist from Milan.
It is safe to say that the ramblings of Jean-Baptiste did his client no good whatsoever. Fortunately, Kaspar had had ample access to Wikipedia and was perfectly able to mount his own defence.

Jury members, and a defence lawyer, pay close attention.

Remaining jury members needed little time to deliberate. Napoleon was acquitted of both charges. However, the jury's verdict on the second count ('crimes against humanity') was subsequently unanimously overruled by the panel of three judges (including moi).

The whole thing was more fun than the proverbial barrel o' monkeys.

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