Beyond Hillsborough: Inquests, Public Understanding of the Truth and Wider Significance
Professor Phil Scraton’s in-depth Hillsborough research exposed institutionalised flaws in police, coronial, government and media responses to avoidable loss of life and severe physical and psychological injury. The HIP Report [R4] was research-led and written by Scraton. Subsequently, his research received a Home Office grant (and a Leverhulme Trust Fellowship award, focusing on the Hillsborough Inquests and subsequent legal processes. Seconded as a researcher to support the families and their legal teams (2014-2016) his new research, detailing the Panel’s work and the new inquests, culminated in a revised edition of his ground-breaking, Hillsborough: The Truth (2016).
Scraton’s qualitative research with bereaved families and survivors is underpinned by exhaustive documentary and policy analysis, contrasting official discourse regarding the disaster’s context and circumstances with an authoritative ‘view from below’. His extensive published research revealed: insufficient analysis of inherent dangers and foreseeable risk; corruption of police statements; compromised investigations including medical/ pathological evidence; systemic failure in the coronial process. Scraton’s research was central to establishing the irrefutable case for reopening criminal and Independent Office for Police Conduct Investigations (2013-ongoing) and new inquests. His continued contribution, as research consultant throughout the inquests, had a direct and material impact on their conduct and outcome. His research continues to be an invaluable resource for others seeking to learn and apply the lessons of the Hillsborough experience.
Find out more about Professor Phil Scraton’s work.