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Call for ‘Hillsborough Law’ for bereaved families
Pic: Shutterstock

07 Jan 2022 / global news Print

Call for ‘Hillsborough Law’ for bereaved families

The mayors of Liverpool and Manchester have made a joint call for new legislation aimed at ensuring better treatment for families affected by public tragedies such as the Hillsborough disaster.

The measures would be based on those recommended in a report carried out in the wake of the tragedy, in which 97 Liverpool fans died as a result of the crush at an FA Cup semi-final match in Sheffield in 1989.

Liverpool City Region mayor Steve Rotheram and Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham say that the British government needs to "level the scales of justice".

A report by Bishop James Jones about the experiences of the Hillsborough families made 25 recommendations.

New charter

The campaign for a ‘Hillsborough Law’ is calling for a charter for “families bereaved through public tragedy” that would be legally binding on all public bodies.

The mayors also want the legislation to include a statutory ‘duty of candour’ on all public servants – including police officers – during any inquiries or investigations, and public funding to allow the "proper participation" of bereaved families at inquests.

The families of the Hillsborough victims fought a long battle to have the verdict of ‘accidental death’ at the original inquest overturned. A new inquest in 2016 delivered a verdict of ‘unlawful killing’.

Earlier this week, a criminal prosecution against two former South Yorkshire police officers and the force’s ex-lawyer collapsed. At the trial, lawyers for the defence argued that there was no duty of candour to tell the whole truth at the official inquiry by Lord Justice Taylor into the disaster.

Gazette Desk
Gazette.ie is the daily legal news site of the Law Society of Ireland