Jump to content

News and press

See other news stories

Panel affirms its independence of government

20 August 2011

The Hillsborough Independent Panel said:  

"Following recent media coverage of the Cabinet Office's decision to appeal the release of Cabinet Office papers concerning the Hillsborough disaster, the Hillsborough Independent Panel affirms its independence of government in carrying out its research, publishing an analytical report and establishing a comprehensive public archive of documents and other materials. The Panel is grateful for the continuing support of the Hillsborough families in taking forward its unique and important work."

Explanatory Note

The Panel's terms of reference commit to maximum public disclosure of all documents and materials relating to the context, circumstances and aftermath of the disaster and to providing direction on the establishment of a public archive of those documents and materials. A guiding principle within the Panel's Terms of Reference is that full disclosure will be made first to the Hillsborough families followed by release to the wider public. This principle has been applied to all documents received by the Panel from organisations.

The Panel is responsible for publishing a Report that will 'illustrate how the information disclosed adds to public understanding of the tragedy and its aftermath'. At present the Panel has received the cooperation of all organisations believed to hold relevant material, including the Cabinet Office, in securing access to documents and materials. The documents are undergoing detailed analysis by the Panel's researchers under the direction of a Panel sub-group and led by Professor Phil Scraton, a member of the Panel.

The Cabinet Office documents are one element of a highly complex range of material accessed from organisations and digitised for eventual release into the public domain as part of the comprehensive archive. They will be analysed in that context and will form an essential foundation to the Panel's Report scheduled for Spring 2012.