The inquests into the deaths of the 96 Liverpool fans killed in the Hillsborough disaster will have a jury, the coroner has ruled.
Lord Justice Goldring announced the decision at a pre-inquest hearing in London yesterday.
The judge has already ruled that the inquests, to be held early next year, will take place in the North West.
Some families favoured London as a venue, but the judge said the hearing should be in the North West, although no location has been identified.
Britain’s worst sporting disaster happened at Sheffield’s Hillsborough Stadium on April 15, 1989, during Liverpool’s FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest.
The original inquest verdicts were quashed last year after an Independent Panel found there had been a cover-up of what happened at Hillsborough by South Yorkshire Police and other authorities.
Lord Justice Goldring said he was exercising his discretion in favour of a jury, though it was also his view that it was mandatory to have one.
Christina Lambert QC told him that a jury must be summoned, under the law, in a case where death occurred in police custody or where a police officer was executing his duty.
She said: “We invite you to interpret that in a relatively broad way, that it is not about the direct infliction of injury, but because the case involved people being confined, and crushing injuries were caused.”
The judge also ruled that Article 2 of the European Convention of Human Rights applied.
It imposes duties on the state, including the duty to protect lives.
And the coroner agreed with Ms Lambert that there should be a wide scope to the inquests, which would include matters such as design of the stadium, preparation for the semi-final, planning by police and other organisations, movement and distribution of fans, and overcrowding at the turnstiles and the police response, including the critical decision to open the gate.