96 women, men and children died as a result of the disaster in Hillsborough Stadium on 15 April 1989. They were crushed due to overcrowding in the Leppings Lane terrace, penned in by the ground's fencing. Hundreds more were injured and thousands traumatised. Lord Justice Taylor led a judicial inquiry (1990, Cm. 962, ISBN 9780101096225), concluding that the main cause of the disaster was the failure of police control. The next 11 years saw a variety of investigations and proceedings, including a scrutiny of new evidence (Lord Justice Stuart-Smith, 1998, Cm. 3878, ISBN 9780101387828). Yet many bereaved families felt that the true context, circumstances and aftermath had not been adequately made public, and were particularly aggrieved that it had become widely assumed that Liverpool fans' behaviour had contributed to the disaster. The Independent Panel was established in 2010 to oversee full public disclosure of all documents relating to the disaster and to report on its work. This report is in three parts. Firstly it shows what was already known and in the public domain by 2010. Secondly, in 12 detailed chapters, it describes what the disclosed documents add to public understanding. The third part gives a review of options for providing an archive of the documents. The disclosed documents (available at http://panel.hillsborough.independent.gov.uk/) add considerably to public understanding. They show that multiple factors were responsible for the tragedy and that the fans were not the cause. The report also shows that the bereaved families met a series of obstacles in their search for justice over more than 20 years.
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