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Hillsborough disaster expert to discuss Grenfell Tower inquiry

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Issued:03/07/17

The UK’s leading researcher into the Hillsborough disaster will explore what the Grenfell Tower inquiry can learn from the tragic events of 1989 at a national conference in Sheffield this week.

Professor Phil Scraton, criminologist and author from Queen's University Belfast, will be a plenary speaker at the UK's most prestigious criminology conference, the British Society of Criminology (BSC) Conference, being held at Sheffield Hallam University (July 4 - 7).

Professor Scraton is best known for his research into the context, circumstances and aftermath of the Hillsborough disaster, producing two influential reports in 1990 and 1995, writing several academic papers and the highly commended book Hillsborough: The Truth. This body of work was fundamental to the establishment of the Hillsborough Independent Panel by the Home Secretary, to which he was appointed to lead the research.

He was primary author of the Panel’s ground-breaking report that resulted in a 'double apology' to the families and survivors from the Prime Minister and Government ministers, a new criminal investigation, an Independent Police Complaints Commission investigation, the quashing of the 96 'accidental death' inquest verdicts and a review of emergency planning across the UK.

Professor Scraton's talk, Justice for the 96, will take place on Thursday 6 July at Sheffield Hallam University. He will discuss delivering justice in the aftermath of the Hillsborough Disaster.

Professor Scraton was recently invited to take the stage alongside the BBC as the Hillsborough documentary won the BAFTA for best single documentary.

The BSC conference, titled 'Forging Social Justice: Local Challenges, Global Complexities', is expected to attract hundreds of practitioners, policy makers, academics and students from the criminology community across the world.

Dr Sunita Toor, principal lecturer in criminology at Sheffield Hallam, and chair of Professor Scraton's plenary session, said: "The Hillsborough disaster has been brought in to sharp focus again recently due to the criminal charges announcement. To hear Phil's first-hand account will be thought-provoking and challenging in equal measure.

Professor Phil Scraton

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"We wanted Sheffield Hallam's hosting of BSC 2017 to match our aspirations as an institution, by focusing on topics that are applicable in the real-world, can have genuine impact and are topical. Phil's talk will more than fit these criteria, whilst also providing a fitting focal point for the conference."

Organised in conjunction with the University's Helena Kennedy Centre for International Justice, the BSC 2017 conference will take place at venues across Sheffield with keynote lectures, presentations and workshops from a number of leading figures from the field of criminology.

Other keynote speakers include Professor John Braithwaite and Professor Valerie Braithwaite (both Australian National University), Professor Fergus McNeill (University of Glasgow) and Dr Beth Weaver (University of Strathclyde).

For more information visit www.bsc2017.org.uk. You can also follow @SHULawCrimand the #BSCconf17hashtag on Twitter.

For press information: Please contact Martin Webb in the Sheffield Hallam University press office on 0114 225 2621 or email m.webb@shu.ac.uk.