Queen’s author of Hillsborough report delivers public lecture
Professor Phil Scraton
A Queen's law professor and member of the Hillsborough Independent Panel's Report has delivered his first public lecture since the report's publication.
Professor Phil Scraton delivered his talk at a sold-out event at the Ulster Bank Belfast Festival at Queen's.
Appointed by the Home Secretary, Professor Scraton led the Queen's-based research for the Panel, and was primary author of the Panel's 395 page report on the 1989 disaster.
Over two decades he has researched the disaster which claimed the lives of 96 men, women and children following an inescapable crush at Hillsborough Stadium, concluding that the events that followed the report’s publication on 12 September, have been unprecedented in British judicial history.
Speaking about the Report, Professor Scraton said: "Throughout the decade of investigations and inquiries that followed the disaster, responsibility for the events of 15 April 1989 and the institutional malpractice that followed was established by my earlier research but not formally or publicly recognised. Yet the reputations of those who died and survived were vilified amid police allegations of drunkenness, violence, criminal and abusive behaviour.
“The Panel’s report finally exposed those institutional failures at all levels and unveiled the truth about the disaster – something that the bereaved families, the survivors and the people of Merseyside have campaigned for since 1989.
“The Report exonerated the dead and the survivors and its impact was immediate and profound."
Following the report's publication, the Independent Police Complaints Commission established an unprecedented investigation into police conduct following the disaster. The Director of Public Prosecutions has agreed to review the documents to consider the potential of criminal prosecutions against individuals or corporate bodies. And the Attorney General has applied to the High Court to quash the inquest verdicts of accidental death and hold new inquests.
Phil Scraton joined Queen's in September 2003 as Chair in Criminology in the Institute of Criminology and Criminal Justice, the School of Law at Queen's. He is the author of two previous reports on Hillsborough and the highly-acclaimed book, Hillsborough: The Truth.