Hillsborough - Lessons learnt for future inquests

Tuesday 20 September 2016, 6:00pm - 8:00pm

Garden Court Chambers

Date: Tuesday 20 September 2016
Time: 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Venue: Garden Court Chambers, 57-60 Lincoln's Inn Fields, London WC2A 3LJ  

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INQUEST warmly invites INQUEST Lawyer Group members to this evening seminar in association with Garden Court Chambers.

The Hillsborough Inquests were the longest running inquests in British legal history. Jurors concluded that the 96 people who died were unlawfully killed and found a catalogue of failings by the police and ambulance service contributed to their deaths. Criminal investigations are underway and prosecutions may follow.

In this seminar, we examine the lessons learnt for future inquests, policy makers and coronial reform. Delegates will hear first hand analysis from some of the leading lawyers involved in representing the families and the successful strategies adopted over the course of the two-year inquest.

Plenty of time will be set aside for Q&A and we invite members to participate in the discussion. The conclusions of the seminar and lessons learnt will be shared with the Chief Coroner at the ILG meeting with HHJ Peter Thornton QC scheduled for 27 September.

This seminar and Q&A will cover:

  • Hillsborough in the context of inquests into other contentious deaths
  • Hillsborough inquests strategy – lessons for future inquests
  • David and Goliath - state vs family funding for inquests
  • How did funding for the families help deliver justice?
  • Pen portraits – victims as names not numbers
  • Demonising the dead – challenging police smears and the tactics of their legal team
  • Accountability – prospects for criminal prosecutions
  • Key lessons to be passed on to ILG and Chief Coroner meeting scheduled for 27 September


Terry Munyard (Chair), Garden Court Chambers
Terry was one of the first counsel instructed to represent the Hillsborough families. He is a founding member of INQUEST. Terry has been a leading junior in many high profile civil liberties and criminal cases for over two decades.

Deborah Coles, Director, INQUEST
Deborah Coles and INQUEST supported the bereaved Hillsborough families and their lawyers throughout the inquests. 

Patrick Roche, Garden Court Chambers
Patrick was engaged throughout the Hillsborough inquests, leading a team of Garden Court counsel representing 77 families. He also appeared for the families at the High Court hearing in 2012, which successfully quashed the original inquests.

Marcia Willis Stewart, Partner, Birnberg Peirce
Marcia was the lead lawyer for the legal team acting on behalf of more than 70 of the 96 families at the Hillsborough inquests.

Heather Williams QC, Doughty Street Chambers
Heather worked with a team of barristers at Doughty Street Chambers on behalf of bereaved families to examine police responsibility for the Hillsborough disaster.


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