Kathryn Howarth specialises in public international law, extradition and public law. She is on the Attorney General’s Public International Law Panel of Counsel and the Attorney General’s Civil Panel of Counsel. She is instructed by UK and foreign government departments and individuals. Kathryn is described in the Legal 500 as combining “intellectual strength with an imperturbable, yet reassuring, court manner”.
Public International Law
Kathryn is an experienced public international law practitioner. She acts in domestic proceedings where issues of public international law arise and has represented parties at international tribunals. She has been instructed in the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal in cases involving the interpretation of the United Nations Torture Convention, most recently in the landmark case of R v TRA  UKSC. She is instructed in cases involving public international law immunities, including immunities of United Nations personnel. She was junior counsel at the Central Criminal Court in trials involving charges of torture under section 134 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988, in relation to conflicts in Nepal (R v Lama) and Liberia (R v TRA). She was prosecution counsel in The Hague between 2008 – 2012 in the proceedings against Charles Taylor, the former President of Liberia, who was convicted of war crimes and crimes against humanity. She has worked at tribunals including the Special Court for Sierra Leone in Freetown, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and the State Court for Bosnia & Herzegovina.
Kathryn is regularly instructed in extradition proceedings at Westminster Magistrates’ Court and in the Administrative Court. She has appeared in the Divisional Court acting alone against Queens’ Counsel and as a led junior. Kathryn has built up a strong defence practice, successfully representing clients on all aspects of extradition law at first instance and on appeal. She has been instructed in leading cases in relation to the Extradition Act, including the provisions on temporary transfer and the charge or try bar to extradition, as well as complex cases, involving historic war crimes allegations and issues of dual criminality in respect of the International Criminal Court Act 2001. She is currently instructed in a number of cases involving the USA, concerning cyber-crime, drugs trafficking, fraud and money laundering allegations. She has represented requested persons’ in cases concerning prison conditions, including in the USA, Romania and Lithuania. She has been instructed in numerous Part 2 extradition requests in countries including South Africa, Albania, the United Arab Emirates and Nigeria. She undertook a secondment with the CPS Extradition Unit in 2013.
Kathryn’s public law practice includes acting for government departments and individuals in proceedings for judicial review and in relation to inquests, immigration and asylum proceedings and prison law. She is building her practice in relation to inquests and has represented parties in proceedings before the Coroner’s Court, including several police forces. Having undertaken a mixed public law and criminal law pupillage, she spent several years at the beginning of her practice representing appellants in asylum and immigration and prison law proceedings. She has returned to these areas following her appointment to the Attorney General’s Panel in 2019. Kathryn has many years of prior experience before the criminal courts and has been instructed as a led junior in cases involving very significant disclosure exercises, including war crimes cases with cross-border disclosure issues, as well as large-scale fraud and immigration offences. She is a contributing author in Criminal Judicial Review (Hart). Her knowledge of criminal law and procedure make her uniquely well placed to act in cases where issues of criminal, civil and public law intersect.