The competition takes the form of a mock trial, where the teenagers present arguments in front of serving judges and senior barristers.

Andy Thornton, Chief Executive of the Citizenship Foundation, which runs the competition in partnership with the Bar Council, said: “It is incredible to think that, 20 years ago, the competition started with a modest eight schools in Reading Crown Court and is now operating 16 heats annually and received applications from 230 schools in this year alone.

“The experience of working with court clerks, barristers and judges not only raises aspirations, but also offers students a positive introduction to the law, which is surely one of the competition’s greatest achievements.”