Today, Keir Starmer has announced plans for a new Hillsborough Law. Some detail of the legislation is below, and you can read the full story here.
As part of the legislation, Labour will introduce:
- A duty of candour: to ensure that public authorities and officials proactively cooperate with official investigations – to offer the transparency and accountability they need to succeed
- Legal aid: to entitle victims of disasters or state-related deaths to parity of legal representation during inquests and inquiries, meaning they are funded for lawyers, putting them on a level playing field with public bodies which are represented
- An independent public advocate: to act as a representative for bereaved families that have lost ones in a disaster. They would advocate for their best interests, and establish a panel to review all the evidence, documentation, and data relating to the tragedy – to advise on the course of action most likely to get justice
- A code of ethics: which would require all public authorities to publish a ‘Code of Ethics’ that promotes ethical behaviour, transparency, and candour. This should take account of the Seven Principles of Public Life, provides reasonable protection for whistle-blowers, and offer a complaints system that is accessible to the public.