After the Hillsborough Inquests the families called for a change in the law to try to prevent cover-ups in the future. They identified a culture of denial and institutional defensiveness as key issues in the Hillsborough miscarriage of justice.
The Public Authorities Accountability Bill 2017 was therefore drafted and agreed by all the families and their lawyers. This proposed Bill will:
• Impose a formal duty of candour on all public officials and authorities;
• Require public officials and authorities to be fully transparent with inquests, inquiries, investigations and other court proceedings;
• Require public officials and authorities to come clean about failings;
• Empowers victims with a ‘toolbox’ by which they can challenge official obfuscation and cover-ups;
• Creates new offences to combat cover-ups and to stop officials and ex-officials refusing to cooperate or provide disclosure and statements; and
• Provide for changes to public funding to require provision for victims in inquests and inquiries where there are public authorities to ensure equality of arms - a key failing of the current state of the law.
Andy Burnham MP will be advancing the Bill under the ‘Ten Minute Rule’ on Wednesday March 29th 2017. Ordinarily this process does not actually lead to successful enactment, however, in this case he has secured sponsorship from all sides, including Peter Bottomley, Tim Farron, Caroline Lucas and Mark Durkin. It is hoped more MPs will agree to support the Bill before Wednesday Parliament.
Please urgently contact your MPs to ask them to indicate support for the Bill and help make the enactment of this Bill a possibility. A template letter is available here.
For more information, please visit The Hillsborough Law website.