Update: The judgment of the court quashing all the inquest verdicts - Her Majesty' Attorney-General v HM Coroner for South Yorkshire (West) and HM Coroner for West Yorkshire (West)  EWHC 3783 Admin - Lord Judge LCJ, Burnett LJ and HHJ Peter Thornton QC (Chief Coroner)
Following the publication of the Hillsborough Independent Panel Report, the Attorney-General applied to the High Court for a new inquest to be ordered into the deaths arising from the Hillsborough disaster of April 1989 - BBC 19th December 2012. The High Court sat with Lord Judge CJ presiding and quashed the earlier inquest verdicts and ordered a new inquest. Their legal power to do this is in the Coroners Act 1988 section 13.
The Home Office has announced a fresh Police investigation Former Durham Chief Constable Jon Stoddart will lead the new inquiry,
which will focus specifically on the 96 deaths of Liverpool fans at the FA Cup semi-final in 1989. Mr Stoddart will be able to recruit investigators and staff to his
team, but he will not be allowed to employ officers or former officers
with any prior connection to the Hillsborough Disaster, nor those who
have worked in West Midlands, South Yorkshire or Merseyside police
forces. He will be required to work closely with the Independent Police Complaints Commission
investigation and pass any findings of misconduct against officers to
IPCC investigators to ensure the police are not being investigated by
to announcing the new investigation, the Home Secretary
also revealed a Liaison Board will be established to bring together all
organisations working to deliver justice for the Hillsborough families.
It will help meet the government's pledge to deliver swift results by
ensuring work and information is shared.
Further scrutiny of the investigations will be performed by
an Independent Challenge Panel to be established by the IPCC and the
Director of Public Prosecutions. It will include independent experts
nominated by family organisations and will also provide scrutiny of the
Crown Prosecution Service's role in the investigations.
A body appointed to scrutinise the role of the Crown Prosecution Service is an interesting development. The lawyer naturally questions the remit of such a body and what are its legal powers (if any). At the time of writing, there is little further detail available beyond the Home Office Press release. See the DPP's statement of 12th October. IPCC statement of 12th October.
It is likely to be some time before the new inquest is actually held and the actual verdicts (or determinations) of the new inquest will depend on the evidence presented to that inquest. The likelihood is that a High Court Judge (or other senior judicial figure) - whether serving or retired - will be appointed to preside at the inquest. Any new inquest will take place around the time that changes to the law of inquests is coming about due to implementation of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009.
Chief Coroner and Updating the system - Law and Lawyers 18th September
Chief Coroner: 10 point plan - Law and Lawyers 21st September
Coroners - Verdicts
The Guardian 19th December - Owen Gibson - High Court quashes Hillsborough inquest verdicts
The JC.Com 19th December - Marcus Dysch - High Court quahses Hillsborough inquest verdicts