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Professor Phil Scraton

(Critical Criminology, Childhood, Prisons)

Phil Scraton: Hillsborough – The Truth - This book, written by the lead author of the report published by the Hillsborough Independent Panel, illuminates the series of injustices suffered by the 96 men, women and children who died and the 766 people who were injured as a result of the Hillsborough disaster. The book chronicles the long, long road that the survivors and supporters of the Hillsborough victims travelled to fight for truth and for justice. Themes include, justice, class, discrimination, ethics, evidence, policy, human rights.

The Report of the Hillsborough Independent Panel - This report was the foundation for new inquests, new criminal prosecutions, and new civil actions.

Hillsborough - documentary - This documentary brings the viewer through the events of that terrible day. Emotional, brave, and searingly honest interviews with the families of those who lost their lives at Hillsborough as well survivors and others involved in the long fight for truth.


Law School further recommends

Grenfell: The First 24 Hours (ITV) This documentary (also available on YouTube) tells the stories of those who were in the Tower and witnessed the fire during the first 24 hours. Information about the public inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire can be found here.

‘The past is a foreign county: they do things differently there.’ (LP Hartley: The Go-Between.) When there is a devastating disaster we have to hope that collective lessons are learned, never to be repeated. Further public inquires that may be of interest:

The Shipman Inquiry - Reports into serial killer and general practitioner Harold Shipman. This inquiry held that while Shipman was convicted of murdering 15 of his patients the true figure was at least 215 with the possibility that he may have killed as many as 260 patients.

The Rosemary Nelson Inquiry - This inquiry found no evidence that the British State (agencies) colluded to murder solicitor Rosemary Nelson but that the possibility of individual members of state agencies may have helped in the killing could not be ruled out. It was further found that the actions of state agencies increased the danger to Ms Nelson’s life and these agencies had failed to protect her.

Aberfan Disaster 1966 Inquiry - On the 21st of October 1966 a colliery spoil tip in Aberfan (Wales) collapsed sending debris from the tip down to the village below collecting and bringing with it trees, rocks, cottages and anything that was in its path. The children of Pantglas Junior School were, devastatingly, right in the path of this avalanche. The school was engulfed as were other building in the vicinity. In total, 116 children and 28 adults died – deaths which were preventable had concerns from villagers been taken seriously. The inquiry found that the blame ‘rests upon the National Coal Board’.

Stardust Fire Inquiry - This controversial inquiry was held into a fire at the Stardust nightclub in Artane, Dublin, which killed 48 young people and injured a further 214 in 1981. While the original inquiry held that arson was the ‘probable cause’ of the fire, the families of those who died, survivors, and their supporters lobbied the Irish government for decades. They argued that failures in the nightclub led to so many deaths, such as main fire exits being padlocked and windows having metal plates fixed to the inside and iron bars fixed to the outside. Families pushed for a new inquiry but this was not allowed. The cause has, however, now been amended on public record: ‘Arson’ was removed and the cause is now recorded as ‘unknown’ and ‘may never be known’.

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Academic Profile