The Hillsborough disaster was a personal tragedy for hundreds of people and an event of major national and international significance in the subsequent minimisation of safety risks at football matches and similar sporting events.
As such, Government and local agencies in South Yorkshire are committed to maximum possible public disclosure of governmental and other agency documentation on events surrounding the disaster.
The Hillsborough Independent Panel has been appointed to oversee this disclosure process, consulting with the Hillsborough families and statutory agencies where necessary, and to carry out the associated activities outlined in the panel remit below.
Exceptionally, the independent panel will be provided with access to Hillsborough documentation held by Government and local agencies relevant to events surrounding the tragedy in advance of the normal 30-year point for public disclosure.
The fundamental principles will be full disclosure of documentation and no redaction of content, except in the limited legal and other circumstances outlined in a disclosure protocol.
The remit of the independent panel will be to:
- oversee full public disclosure of relevant government and local information within the limited constraints set out in the accompanying protocol;
- consult with the Hillsborough families to ensure that the views of those most affected by the tragedy are taken into account;
- manage the process of public disclosure, ensuring that it takes place initially to the Hillsborough families and other involved parties, in an agreed manner and within a reasonable timescale, before information is made more widely available;
- in line with established practice, work with the Keeper of Public Records in preparing options for establishing an archive of Hillsborough documentation, including a catalogue of all central Governmental and local public agency information and a commentary on any information withheld for the benefit of the families or on legal or other grounds;
- produce a report explaining the work of the panel. The panel's report will also illustrate how the information disclosed adds to public understanding of the tragedy and its aftermath.