Wednesday, 12 September 2012

The Hillsborough Disaster Review 12 September 2012

Today the bereaved relatives of those who lost their lives in the Hillsborough Disaster on 15th April 1989 and the general public will get closer to the truth of what really happened that day.  On the Today Programme this morning, Trevor Hicks, said that the decision of the Coroner not to investigate the circumstances after 3.15 pm  (the time by which the victims had all presumed to have died) was not legally wrong, but it was morally wrong.

Unhappily it is a common problem with Coroners’ inquests: the cut-off time.  The investigation of violent death by coroners is to determine who died, how, where and when the death occurred.  This necessarily limits the scope of the inquest.  A coroner has no power to investigate a cover-up after the death. 

The resolution of the relatives of the Hillsborough to unearth the truth about what happened is a natural reaction which, in my experience,  is seen in nearly all deaths occurring in tragic circumstances and especially where human failings may have been the cause.  It takes courage for those responsible to recognize their failures.  Too often they try to avoid responsibility and are instead tempted to take dishonest steps to do cover up.

Can anyone seriously oppose the need for total honesty and openness in all situations where violent or unnatural death occurs?