NI: Professor Phil Scraton refuses OBE

Professor Phil Scraton
Professor Phil Scraton

Professor Phil Scraton, an academic at Queen’s University Belfast who sat on the Hillsborough inquiry, refused an OBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours list.

He is currently professor emeritus in QUB’s School of Law, having previously been a criminology professor in the Institute of Criminology and Criminal Justice.

In a statement published before the annual Honours list, Professor Scraton said: “I researched Hillsborough from 1989, publishing reports, articles and the first edition of Hillsborough: The Truth in 1990.

“Until 2009, and despite compelling evidence, successive governments declined to pursue a thorough, independent review of the context, consequences and aftermath of the disaster.

“This changed as a direct result of the families’ and survivors’ brave, persistent campaign.

“It led to the Hillsborough Independent Panel, its ground-breaking findings, new inquests and their crucially significant verdicts.

“I headed the Panel’s research team and was a consultant to the families’ lawyers throughout the new inquests.

“I could not receive an honour on the recommendation of those who remained unresponsive to the determined efforts of bereaved families and survivors to secure truth and justice.”

He acknowledged the decision “might come as a disappointment to some Hillsborough families, survivors and whoever nominated me”.

Professor Scraton added: “Finally, I could not accept an honour tied in name to the ‘British Empire’. In my scholarship and teaching I remain a strong critic of the historical, cultural and political contexts of imperialism and their international legacy.”

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