Would-be jurors in the Stephen Lawrence murder trial have been told the history of the case is "irrelevant".

A panel of 24 potential jurors were told the verdict they make must be "based only on what you hear and see in this courtroom".

The trial started at the Old Bailey on Nov. 14.

Gary Dobson, 36, and David Norris, 35, are on trial for stabbing Lawrence, an 18-year-old A-level student, at a bus stop in south London 18 years ago.

Both of the accused deny the charges.

Neville and Doreen Lawrence, Stephen's parents, were at the court to witness the start of the trial.

The 1993 racist attack has hit headlines a number of times as nobody was brought to justice.

A 1999 inquiry into the Metropolitan Police's handling of the case led to a damning report, labelling the police authority "institutionally racist".

Of the 24 potential jurors left, only 12 will be selected at random on Nov. 15.

Current or former employees of the Metropolitan Police, forensic service and Crown Prosecution Service or their close family and friends were excluded, as were those with a detailed knowledge of the case.

Any potential jurors who live in Lewisham, Greenwich, Bromley, Bexley or Bexleyheath have already been ruled out.

Mr Justice Treacy, who is presiding over the trial, warned them that they will take a "solemn oath" to give a true verdict according to the evidence that they hear.