Phil Scraton is a critical criminologist, academic and author. He is a social researcher, known particularly for his investigative work into the context, circumstances and aftermath of the 1989 Hillsborough disaster. More recently, he was a member of the Hillsborough Independent Panel and headed its research. Currently he is Professor Emeritus, School of Law at Queen's University Belfast, and Director of the Childhood, Transition and Social Justice Initiative.
His research includes the investigation of and inquiry into controversial deaths, most notably the Hillsborough disaster on 15 April 1989 in which 96 football fans were crushed to death. He has also researched deaths in custody, the marginalisation and criminalisation of children and young people, the politics of imprisonment, and the analysis of disasters and their impact on the bereaved and survivors.