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Panel members

The Panel is made up of nine members. Each member brings a specific area of expertise to the Panel to assist it in providing maximum possible disclosure of material relating to the Hillsborough tragedy.

The Right Reverend James Jones, Bishop of Liverpool (Chairman)

James Jones has been Bishop of Liverpool for 13 years and has been deeply involved in the regeneration of the city. Bishop James Jones has chaired the New Deal Programme, the regional convention and two city academies bringing together Catholics and Anglicans to provide transformative education for young people.

A regular writer and broadcaster, the bishop champions the need for local communities to shape their own future. He is known in the region for his pastoral work and reconciling different communities. He is Bishop for Prisons and a member of the House of Lords where he takes an interest in criminal justice and the environment.

Bishop James Jones will chair the Panel, providing direction and leadership. Supported by other panel members, he will also represent the Panel to the Hillsborough families and the wider public.

Raju Bhatt

Raju Bhatt has specialised over more than two decades in private and public law claims, as well as inquests into deaths in custody involving allegations of abuse of power or neglect of duty within the police service, the prison service and other associated law enforcement agencies.

Raju has been responsible for many significant developments in his area of legal practice, and in the process he has acquired extensive experience of litigation at all levels of the courts up to the highest appellate courts. More recently, he has been called upon to act in significant claims involving the Serious Organised Crime Agency, the Ministry of Defence and the Security Services.

Christine Gifford

Christine Gifford is a recognised expert in the field of access to information, and is a member of the Advisory Council on National Records and Archives which advises the government on the disclosure of highly sensitive material.

Christine spent more than 20 years working with the Metropolitan Police. In 1997 she joined the Working Party on Openness in government and later became an adviser to the Lord Chancellor on the implementation of the Freedom of Information Act.

Katy Jones

Katy Jones is an investigative journalist and Bafta award-winning television executive producer. She has produced a series of landmark factual dramas including Jimmy McGovern's 'Hillsborough', and the Prix Italia-winning 'Sunday' (about the events of Bloody Sunday); Tony Marchant's 2008 Bafta winning Iraq drama, 'The Mark of Cain', Simon ('Slumdog Millionaire') Beaufoy's feature film 'Yasmin'; and Neil McKay's Radio 4 drama 'RIP Boy', about the murder of Zahid Mubarek at Feltham Young Offenders Institute.

Katy also spent five years as a journalist then producer/director on the Granada current affairs series World in Action.

Dr Bill Kirkup, CBE

Dr Bill Kirkup was appointed a consultant in 1986 and held posts in public health and at Newcastle University before moving into NHS management with the former Northern Regional Health Authority.

In 1999, he was appointed Regional Director of Public Health and in 2005 became Associate Chief Medical Officer in the Department of Health. Bill has also worked on public health and reconstruction in Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan, and was made a CBE in 2008.

Paul Leighton, CBE QPM

Paul Leighton retired as Deputy Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland in May 2009.

He has worked in policing in Northern Ireland and the North East of England and dealt with the aftermath of the Chinook helicopter crash on the Mull of Kintyre in 1994 when 25 police and service personnel lost their lives. From late 1994 to early 1996 he was seconded to Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC), where he assisted in the inspection of a number of English police forces. He is a law graduate and was awarded the Queen's Police Medal in 2005 and the CBE in the New Year's Honours List 2010. Paul is currently involved in a review of the Northern Ireland prison system for the Department of Justice.

Professor Phil Scraton

From Merseyside, Phil Scraton is Professor of Criminology in the School of Law, Queen’s University, Belfast and Director of the Childhood, Transition and Social Justice Initiative. He has held recent scholarships at Monash University, Melbourne and Sydney University’s Law School. His primary research includes: controversial deaths and institutional responsibility; the rights of bereaved and survivors in the aftermath of disasters.

Widely published, Phil is author of the widely acclaimed Hillsborough: The Truth. Previously Director of the Hillsborough Project, Phil established the Nuffield-funded disasters research archive, the ESRC-funded research seminar series on disasters and their aftermath and the Home Office Emergency Planning-funded research into inter-agency conflict in the aftermath of disasters.

Peter Sissons

Peter Sissons is one of the best-known names in TV News - retiring in the summer of 2009 after nearly 45 years with ITN and the BBC. He is a Liverpudlian born and bred. He went to the Liverpool Institute High School for Boys, and then University College Oxford where he studied Philosophy Politics and Economics.

He was the launch presenter of Channel Four news in 1982, before leaving to join the BBC in 1989, succeeding Sir Robin Day as chairman of Question Time, which he presented for 150 editions.

Peter is a holder of one of the highest awards of the Royal Television Society, the Judges' Award, an Honorary Fellow of Liverpool John Moores University, and an Honorary LLD of Liverpool University.

Sarah Tyacke, CB

Sarah Tyacke is currently visiting professor at Royal Holloway, University of London (RHUL), a Distinguished Senior Research Fellow, School of Advanced Study, University of London, and Chair of the International Records Management Trust (IRMT).

Sarah was Keeper of Public Records and Historical Manuscripts Commissioner for the United Kingdom government and Chief Executive of The National Archives of England and Wales from 1992-2005 and was responsible for the establishment of The National Archives in 2003.