A new law to compel public officials to tell the truth at inquiries.

The legal teams representing the the relatives of 96 people who died at Hillsborough have drafted the new Hillsborough Law, including GCN's Pete Weatherby QCMark George QCAndy Fitzpatrick and Kate Stone who represented 22 Hillsborough families at the new inquests (2014 - 2016).

Pete Weatherby QC, one of the authors of the draft bill, said in The Guardian : “There was a problem of pervasive institutional defensiveness, a culture of denial [during the inquest]. A duty of candour would allow the bereaved and other citizens to cut through the difficulty of the law.” He added it would also “empower ordinary, decent public officials” to give evidence and prevent “cover-ups”.

GCN's Mark George QC has also written previously on the need for a Hillsborough Law and said : "It’s not enough that the lessons of the disaster itself should be learned, although hopefully they were learned a long time ago now and most football stadia are very different places to what they were in 1989.  But is seems pretty clear that in other ways lessons have not been learned by the authorities who ostensibly exists in order to serve the public but all too often seem to put their own institutional reputation before their duty to the public.  It would be a fitting tribute to the dead and injured of the Hillsborough disaster and the families who fought so long and so valiantly to get justice if this case saw an end to cover-ups and denials and a recognition by public authorities and other institutions that they must be open and transparent in the future. When they make mistakes however serious they may be the onus must be on them to own up.  Only that way can we really be sure these institutions do learn the lessons of their mistakes.  If “Hillsborough Law” achieved that, it would be a very welcome reform."

The Hilsborough Law website states: "The families of those who died in the Hillsborough Disaster have spent 27 years fighting not only for justice for their loved ones, but so that what happened to them can never happen again. The recent Hillsborough Inquests made it all too clear that not enough has changed when it comes to public institutions acting in the public interest. It is past time to put that right."

More information and a copy of the draft bill along with FAQ is available to download at www.thehillsboroughlaw.com  

Media coverage:

8.9.16  The Guardian

8.9.16  The Times  (£) - Broudie Jackson Canter director Elkan Abrahamson writes in The Times regarding Hillsborough Law

8.9.16 Liverpool Echo

8.9.16 BBC News