SOUTHAMPTON Crown Court was full of young people from schools across the city on Saturday - all taking part in the Bar National Mock Trial Competition.

The competition, organised jointly by the Bar Council and the Citizenship Foundation, provides a unique opportunity for 15 to 18-year-old students to gain hands-on experience of the legal system.

Pupils take on the roles of prosecution and defence attorneys and argue their cases, just like an authentic trial and judged by real barristers.

The event was the regional round of the competition, which has its final in Edinburgh in April.

David Bean QC, chairman of the Bar, said: "We are always impressed by the very professional standard of the students involved.

"The Bar is delighted to support initiatives which improve knowledge of citizenship and especially the law."