Hillsborough Stadium Inquiry

Attorney General written question – answered on 29th June 2021.

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Photo of Lord Alton of Liverpool Lord Alton of Liverpool Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the answer by Lord Wolfson of Tredegar on 14 June concerning recent acquittals in the case of perverting the Court of Justice in relation to the Hillsborough disaster (HL Deb, cols 1668–71), what discussions they have had with the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) as to why the decision of the Court was not appealed; whether the DPP gave advice on the decision not to appeal; and whether the DPP intends to publish the advice not to appeal.

Photo of Lord Stewart of Dirleton Lord Stewart of Dirleton The Advocate-General for Scotland

The decision not to pursue an appeal in these cases was made by the CPS team managing the original prosecution after seeking advice from senior counsel. Prosecution decisions are made independently from Government. The Director of Public Prosecutions did not provide advice on these cases.

To bring an appeal, the prosecution would have to be able to show that the Judge’s decision was wrong in law, that he had made an error about the facts or that his decision was otherwise unreasonable. After careful consideration, especially for the families involved, the CPS concluded that it could not meet this test.

On 26 May 2021, the CPS issued a public statement on this ruling and has confirmed publicly that the decision not to appeal was based on the conclusion that the legal test was not met.

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