UPDATE: BISHOP JAMES JONES RELEASES HIS REPORT
Thank you all for your support, especially over the last week or so. Your response online has been tremendous and thanks to you, we are ever closer to getting the Hillsborough Law enacted.
We are very pleased indeed that the Bishop's Report (see details below) recommended that the Hillsborough Law is brought into force but our work is far from over. We need your help to make sure that this recommendation is not kicked into the long grass and that it is brought in as soon as possible. So please keep up the good work, and keep tweeting, talking and writing!
The Bishop's Report
The report by Bishop James Jones, the former Bishop of Liverpool is tellingly called: “The patronising disposition of unaccountable power. A report to ensure the pain and suffering of the Hillsborough families is not repeated.”
In it the Bishop calls for a change of corporate culture away from cover-ups, a duty of candour and parity of funding for families at Inquests.
The report makes 25 recommendations including:
A ‘Charter for Families Bereaved through Public Tragedy’ in which public bodies would commit to placing the public interest above their reputation and approach forms of public scrutiny such as inquiries and inquests with candour.
‘Proper participation’ of bereaved families at inquests, including non-means tested, publicly-funded legal representation for bereaved families at inquests at which public bodies are represented; the cost of which would be borne by the government departments whose agencies are frequently represented at inquests.
Proportionate legal funding of public bodies meaning public bodies are not able to use public money to fund legal representation more advantageous than that which is available to families.
Cultural change at inquests which would ensure the process is not adversarial, but inquisitorial as intended, upheld by relevant Secretaries of State who should make clear how public bodies should approach inquests.
Bereaved families put at the heart of inquests, through training of coroners that includes bereaved families, and renewed guidance from the Chief Coroner.
He comes out in support of Hillsborough Law, stating “I agree with the Bill’s aims and with the diagnosis of a culture of institutional defensiveness which underpins it.” He does however suggest that any action on the Law should await the report of a Law Commission.
The Hillsborough family lawyers welcomed the Bishop’s call for the ‘Hillsborough law’ stating ‘The law will criminalise cover-ups and should be brought into effect urgently and before The Grenfell Inquiry starts.”
All the best from
The Hillsborough Law Campaign