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The Public Advocate Bill [HL] is a private member’s bill introduced by Lord Wills (Labour). The Bill received its first reading in the House of Lords on 3 June 2015 and is scheduled to receive its second reading on 29 January 2016.

The Public Advocate Bill [HL] aims to provide representation for the bereaved during investigations following public disasters, and to provide for the establishment of an independent panel to review documentation relating to the disaster. As was the case for the Hillsborough Independent Panel, this panel would be registered as a data controller under the Data Protection Act 1998 and would therefore have access to documents it would not otherwise be able to view.  Lord Wills and Maria Eagle MP, the Bill’s sponsors, have stated that the system provided for in the Public Advocate Bill [HL] “is based on learning the lessons of Hillsborough which showed the benefits of the panel review system”, and would provide new protection and support for families bereaved in public disasters.


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