The Hillsborough Law is being read in Parliament by Andy Burnham MP today.The new accountability bill aims to make it a legal duty for public authorities and servants to be truthful and accountable for their actions.
Andy Burnham MP will on 29th March introduce the Public Authorities Accountability Bill 2017 – aka ‘Hillsborough Law’ - under the 10 minute rule. Sponsors of the Bill cut across party lines and are understood to include Peter Bottomley (Con.Party), Caroline Lucas (Green Party), Tim Farron (Lib Dem party), Mark Durkan (SDLP) and an SNP MP. It is expected to receive widespread support.
The Bill was conceived by the Hillsborough families in the wake of the recent inquests, which reversed a historic miscarriage of justice caused by a police cover-up. The families want the law to be enacted as an enduring legacy to the 96 to make sure nothing similar can ever happen again.
The Bill requires public authorities and officials to act at all times ‘with transparency, candour and frankness’ and to positively assist court proceedings, inquiries and investigations ‘where their acts or omissions are or may be relevant’. The Bill empowers victims and ordinary decent public servants to challenge the official culture of denial and institutional defensiveness wherever it arises.
The Bill also makes it a criminal offence for public servants to cover up actions.
Finally it provides parity of funding for bereaved families faced with Inquiries, Inquests etc. so that they are not outgunned by public bodies.
The Bill has the support of all the Hillsborough families. It is hoped that the Government will take over the Bill once the Bishop Jones Review reports in the next few months.
Elkan Abrahamson of Broudie Jackson Canter solicitors, who represents 20 of the Hillsborough Families and acts for one of the families in the Birmingham Pub Bombings Inquest said:
‘The Hillsborough Inquest was marked by lies told by a minority of Public Officers, lies which were exposed with the help of properly funded legal representation. Sadly such funding will not be available for the Birmingham families even though we know a cover up took place. Society needs a duty of candour to help prevent miscarriages of Justice on the future and parity of funding to help expose them when they occur.’
If you would like any more information in relation to The Hillsborough Law please visit - www.thehillsboroughlaw.com