Scarman Lectures

Since 2008, the Department of Criminology has invited high profile guest speakers to deliver papers on current issues in criminology, criminal justice, policing and community safety. These lectures are open to staff and students of the University of Leicester, and to the general public.

We are pleased to announce that Phil Scraton, Professor Emeritus from Queens Belfast University will be our Keynote speaker at this year's Scarman Lecture. His talk is entitled:-

‘Justice for the 96’: Researching Truth, Delivering Justice in the Aftermath of the Hillsborough Disaster

Freedom of the City, Phil Scraton

Phil Scraton

This presentation reflects primary, documentary and observational research conducted over three decades into the context, circumstances and aftermath of the Hillsborough Disaster. On 15 April 1989 ninety-six men, women and children lost their lives at an FA Cup Semi-Final football match in Sheffield. Hundreds more were seriously injured, thousands traumatised and many have died prematurely as a direct consequence. The investigations, inquests, appeals and reviews that followed failed the bereaved and the survivors. Their sustained but lonely campaign led eventually to the unprecedented Hillsborough Independent Panel (2010-2012) and its ground breaking report, providing the foundation for criminal and Independent Police Complaints Commission investigations, the quashing of the ‘accidental death’ verdicts and new inquests. Concluding the longest inquests in legal history in April 2016, the jury’s verdict was ‘unlawful killing’. It levelled severe criticisms against those in authority, the majority against the police, and that fans’ behaviour had not contributed to the deaths. The presentation raises profound concerns regarding the potential of long-term, critical social research within an academic work inhibited by financial, political and ‘ethical’ constraints. It demonstrates the political, ethical and personal challenges involved in bearing witness to the ‘pain of others’; and how structural relations of power, authority and legitimacy contextualise daily life, social interaction and individual opportunity. Focusing on the ‘view from below’, hearing testimonies from the margins, revealing institutionalised deceit and pursuing ‘truth recovery’, the presentation argues that critical social research is transformative. It addresses ‘personal troubles’ as ‘public issues’, seeking alternative accounts to secure ‘truth’ and acknowledgement.

Phil Scraton Hillsborough Panel

Phil Scraton PhD, DLaws (Hon), is Emeritus Professor in the School of Law, Queen’s University, Belfast. Recently Lowenstein Fellow at Amherst College, Massachusetts, USA and Visiting Professor at the Universities of Auckland, Monash, New South Wales and Sydney. His research includes: controversial deaths and the state; rights of the bereaved and survivors following disasters; the politics of incarceration. Widely published, recent books include: Power, Conflict and CriminalisationThe Violence of IncarcerationThe Incarceration of Women; Hillsborough: The Truth; Women’s Imprisonment and the Case for Abolition. He has written major reports for the NI Human Rights Commission and the NI Children’s Commissioner. Director of The Hillsborough Project 1989-95 he was principal author of Hillsborough and After: The Liverpool Experience and No Last Rights: The Promotion of Myth and the Denial of Justice in the Aftermath of the Hillsborough Disaster. He led Hillsborough Independent Panel’s research team and was lead author of its ground-breaking 2013 Report, Hillsborough. Adviser to the families’ legal teams throughout the inquests, the new edition of Hillsborough: The Truth was published in 2016. Awarded Freedom of the City of Liverpool and honorary DLaws by its university, his alma mater. Factual consultant on and contributor to the 2017 BAFTA winning documentary Hillsborough. He has been awarded a Leverhulme Emeritus Fellowship to research the unique work of the Hillsborough Independent Panel, the conduct of new inquests and the forthcoming legal proceedings. Castaway on Desert Island Discs in 2017, he has been commissioned to lead a month-long international research symposium on deaths in controversial circumstances hosted by the University of Sydney.

This event will be taking place on the 26th September 2018 from 17:00. Details on how to attend the lecture will be available soon.


Please click here to view our previous Scarman lectures.

Subscribe to our mailing list

Be the first to hear about our future events within the Department of Criminology by joining our mailing list:


Listen to recorded lectures

We have audio recordings of some of the previous Scarman Lectures, which can be accessed via SoundCloud.

Share this page:

Contact Details

The Friars
154 Upper New Walk

T: +44 (0)116 252 3946/2458
F: +44 (0)116 252 5788


DisabledGo logo

The University of Leicester is committed to equal access to our facilities. DisabledGo has a detailed accessibility guide for 152-154 Upper New Walk.

read the blog
Search the Criminology site