MPs urge on anniversary of disaster to support “Hillsborough law” reform | The Hillsborough disaster

The mayors of the Liverpool City Region and Greater Manchester wrote to all 650 MPs in anticipation of the 33rd anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster on Friday, urging them to support fundamental reforms of the legal system known as the “Hillsborough Law.”

Steve Rotheram and Andy Burnham said in their letter that victims of other disasters suffer the same systemic failures that forced Hillsborough families in mourning to fight a decades-long campaign against injustice. Hillsborough’s proposed laws are primarily that all public officials, including police officers, should have a legal “duty of candor”; for families in July to have full funding for lawyers to represent them in inquiries, and for public bodies to sign a charter committing them to loyal behavior.

The proposals, supported by families, were developed following a second 2014-16 inquiry into the deaths of 96 men, women and children in the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest in Hillsborough on 15 April. 1989. However, the government has not passed any of the legal reforms.

Theresa May’s government in 2017 supported a measure, a public advocate for families in July, supported by Labor MP Maria Eagle, but did not introduce it. James Jones, the former bishop of Liverpool, made 25 recommendations that form the basis for Hillsborough’s bills, in a 2017 report commissioned in May, but the government has yet to respond. Rotheram and Burnham describe this as “disrespectful to Hillsborough families”.

The 2016 investigative judge found that 96 people – now 97, since the death of Andrew Devine, 55, last July – have been unlawfully killed for a gross negligent murder by a police officer of South Yorkshire, Ch Supt David Duckenfield. The jury also rejected years of allegations by South Yorkshire police officers that Liverpool supporters were ill at Hillsborough, and determined that no behavior by supporters contributed to the disaster.

Despite that verdict, no one has been legally held accountable for the cause of the 97 unlawful killings, nor for the discredited police case. Duckenfield has been acquitted of a felony count of colossal manslaughter for gross negligence in 2019.

Rotheram and Burnham wrote in their letter that the injustice was also suffered by victims of British Army nuclear tests in the 1950s, contaminated blood scandals, the Grenfell fire and the bombing. Manchester Arena.

“The reason why this pattern continues to be repeated is simple,” says his letter. “The balance of justice is weighed against ordinary families and in favor of public authorities who hold all power.”

Saying “the need for a Hillsborough law is clear,” they wrote: A fundamental rebalancing of the legal, coronal, and judicial systems, creating an equal playing field for families in mourning with state agencies, will prevent future generations to experience injustice. we’ve seen it in our own lives. ”

A spokesman for the Home Office praised the “tremendous courage” of Hillsborough families and said: “The Home Office has worked closely with its partners in government departments and organizations. “Our focus now is to engage with the Hillsborough families and to publish the government’s general response to the bishop’s report in due course.”

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