Professor Phil Scraton
THE ACADEMIC who was the primary author of the Hillsborough Independent Panel is to be given a special award by his university.
Prof Phil Scraton has been named as the winner of the inaugural Vice-Chancellor’s Impact Prize at Queen's University Belfast.
Prof Scraton’s previous research into the 1989 disaster that claimed the lives of 96 Liverpool fans led to the publication of two previous reports and the book Hillsborough: The Truth.
The Hillsborough Independent Panel exposed the role of public authorities in the disaster and has sparked a number of investigations into the huge cover-up by South Yorkshire Police. The Attorney General is also set to apply for the "accidental death" inquest verdicts to be quashed in light of revelations in the report.
In announcing the winner, Queen’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Peter Gregson said: “I am delighted to present Professor Scraton with my inaugural Impact Prize.
“There can be no doubt that his work has answered many of the questions asked by the bereaved families of the victims of Hillsborough and will have a far reaching impact on the practice of responding to such controversial events.”
Prof Scraton dedicated the award to families, survivors and his fellow researchers on the panel, which was led by Bishop of Liverpool James Jones.
* Peter Hooton on The Justice Collective's Hillsborough single: "The hand of fate seemed to guide us"
The academic said: “I receive this award with humility but on behalf of the families and survivors, my fellow researchers and all who have worked tirelessly and with integrity on the Panel.
“It emphasises the significance of critical, independent research and its contribution to knowledge and to our teaching.
“Tonight’s event demonstrates the excellent, international impact of Queen’s research and I am honoured to have been recognised alongside such outstanding colleagues.”