HILLSBOROUGH AND WITNESS STATEMENTS 1: THE INITIAL PROCESS AND SUBSEQUENT AMENDMENTS

Civil Litigation Brief

Hopefully we will never have another Hillsborough.   It is possible (even probable) that there will be circumstances in which lawyers are involved in the large scale collection of evidence.  The recent inquest has put the evidence gathering that took place after Hillsborough under close scrutiny.   The solicitor responsible for gathering (and suggesting amendments) to the witness statements was subjected to several days of cross-examination of the process – some 25 years after the event. This should serve as a salutary warning to all those responsible for taking witness statements. It highlights the need for clear records and transparency when lawyers are taking statements and suggesting amendments to statements. The lawyer will never know if, and when, the whole process will be scrutinised. All internal documentation and attendance notes were laid bare.

It is clear that in Hillsborough the process of obtaining evidence and amending that evidence was greatly…

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