Kathryn Howarth specialises in international law, extradition, complex crime and public law. She is on the the Attorney General’s Public International Law Panel of Counsel and the Attorney General’s Civil Panel of Counsel. She is listed in the Legal 500 for International Crime and Extradition.
Kathryn has significant expertise in relation to international law in international tribunals and in domestic proceedings. She has been instructed in the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court in cases involving the interpretation of the United Nations Torture Convention, most recently in R v TRA  UKSC. She has also been instructed in cases involving public international law immunities in domestic proceedings. She was prosecution counsel in The Hague in the case against Charles Taylor, the former President of Liberia, between 2008 – 2012, in which she worked both on the trial and appeal. Prior to that she worked at tribunals including the Special Court for Sierra Leone, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and the State Court for Bosnia & Herzegovina.
In extradition, Kathryn has appeared in leading cases in relation to the Extradition Act, as well as complex cases, involving historic war crimes allegations, cyber-crime and extradition to Part 2 countries. She is currently instructed in a number of cases involving the USA and over the last year she has represented requested persons’ in cases concerning prison conditions in Romania and Lithuania (in particular female prison conditions). She has been instructed in extradition requests involving South Africa, Albania, the United Arab Emirates and Nigeria. Kathryn has built up a strong defence practice, representing clients at first instance and on appeal. She is an experienced practitioner who undertook a secondment with the CPS Extradition Unit in 2013.
Kathryn has conducted criminal trials in the Magistrates’ and Crown Court on the South East and Midlands circuits, and has appeared alone in the Court of Appeal, Criminal Division. She has been instructed as a led junior in criminal cases involving significant disclosure exercises, including war crimes cases, large-scale fraud and immigration offences. She was instructed as junior counsel at the Central Criminal Court in cases 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).
Kathryn is also experienced in public and administrative law, including judicial review proceedings. She has appeared in immigration and asylum proceedings. She acts in civil actions concerning criminal proceedings and prison law and she is also instructed to represent parties in proceedings in the Coroner’s court. Her grounding in public law and criminal law mean that she is well placed to advise on judicial review proceedings, where criminal law and human rights arguments arise. She is a contributing author in Criminal Judicial Review (Hart).
- Serious & Complex Crime
- Financial Crime & Fraud
- Criminal Judicial Review
- Public Law
- Human Rights
- Judicial Review
Appointments & Memberships
- Attorney General’s Office , Public International Law C Panel from 2017
- Attorney General's Civil Panel (C-Panel) (2019)
- CPS Advocate Panel - grade 3
- CPS Extradition Panel - grade 3
- Serious Fraud Office, C Panel of counsel
- Criminal Bar Association
- Extradition Lawyer’s Association
- Lincoln’s Inn
R. v TRA, Supreme Court, R v TRA  UKSC
51 Junior counsel in a case involving the interpretation of the United Nations Torture Convention.
R v TRA, Court of Appeal (Criminal Division)  EWCA Crim 2843
Junior counsel in a case involving the interpretation of the United Nations Torture Convention.
R. v TRA
Junior counsel in a case at the Central Criminal Court concerning allegations of torture committed during the Liberian civil war (2017 – ongoing).
R. v Lama (Kumar)
Junior in trial at the Central Criminal Court, in which a Nepalese Colonel was charged with torture on the basis of “universal jurisdiction”.
R. v Lama (Kumar)  EWCA Crim 1729
Junior counsel before the Court of Appeal, Criminal Division, in this landmark ruling, which delivered guidance on the UN Torture Convention and public international law immunities.
Prosecutor v Charles Taylor, at the Special Court for Sierra Leone
Counsel for the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) during trial and on appeal, in this seminal case against the former head of State of Liberia.
“Government II Case”, at the ICTR
Intern on the defence team representing Justin Mugenzi.
P v Norman, Moinina, Kondewa (CDF); P r Brima, Kamara, Kanu (AFRC), P v Brima, Kamara, Kanu (RUF); P v Charles Taylor
At the SCSL in Freetown – intern then consultant for the Appellate section of the OTP responding to the challenges to the Court’s jurisdiction: constitutionality, effects of domestic amnesty (Lome), the crime of use and recruitment of child soldiers, head of state immunity (2003 – 2004).
Jasieniewicz v District Court in Wroclaw-Fabryczna, Poland  EWHC 3187 (Admin)
Represented the RP - interpretation of the test under s.20 in relation to trial in absence.
Benmaimum v France  EWHC 1798 (Admin)
Represented the RP - abuse of process, interpretation of Article 28 of the Framework Decision of the EAW regarding the deduction of time served in custody.
Malar v Slovakia  EWHC 2589 (Admin)
Represented the RP - time served in custody
Taylor v Belgium  EWHC 2453 (Admin)
Represented the JA - s.20 trial in absence and re-trial rights.
Maric v Croatia  EWHC 3526 (Admin)
Represented the IJA in relation to an extradition request concerning historic war crimes allegations.
Chirino v Germany  EWHC 3524 (Admin)
Represented the JA – s.2(4)(c) particulars
Duncan v Presiding Magistrate, Malaga, Spain  EWHC 3466 (Admin)
Represented the IJA before the Divisional Court, in a case which provided the first guidance on applications under section 21B of the Extradition Act (the temporary transfer provision).
Oparcik v Poland  EWHC 2067 (Admin)
Successfully appealed an order for extradition on the basis of Article 8 owing to culpable delay by the requesting state (post Celinski).
Macaulay v Spain 
Successfully obtained the adjournment of extradition before the Administrative Court, until satisfactory assurance of medical treatment was provided, following a kidney transplant during the currency of the extradition proceedings.
Kandola v Germany; Ijaz v Italy; Droma v Germany  EWHC 619 (Admin)
Represented the IJA in a leading case on section 12A of the Extradition Act (absence of a prosecution decision provision).
Jankowski v Poland  EWHC 2522 (Admin)
Represented the IJA in a case involving a dispute about the service of the notice of appeal form and passage of time under Article 8 (pre Celinski).
Anghel v France  EWHC 493 (Admin)
Represented JA – RP extradited before appeal hearing heard.
Trocha v Poland  EWHC 710 (Admin)
Represented JA – s.20 trial in absence.
Skraba v Poland  EWHC 2193 (Admin)
Represented JA in the first case to consider the jurisdiction to award costs in extradition proceedings.