MARTIN HOWE Q.C.
This is my personal home page. For information about my professional activities as a barrister, please refer to the website at my Chambers:
At present I am working as:
- A member of the Coalition Government's Commission which has been set up to look into the
case for a Bill of Rights. I was previously a member of the Conservative Party's Commission to create a Bill of Rights (and Responsibilities) for the United Kingdom, which was established after David Cameron's speech of 26 June 2006,
"Balancing freedom and security - A modern British Bill of Rights".
Based on the work done by the Commission since 2006, the Conservative Election Manifesto 2010
pledge was: "To protect our freedoms from State encroachment and encourage greater social responsibility, we will replace the Human Rights Act with a UK Bill of Rights." The Coalition Government's new Commission will now have to review carefully the case for a British Bill of Rights, drawing on both Conservative and Liberal Democrat traditions of protection of our liberties.
Last year I spoke in support of replacing the Human Rights Act with a British Bill of Rights at The Times/Matrix Chambers Debate
(More info on the Debate ...).
Speaking in favour of the motion were David Davis, myself and Andy Hayman, former head of Counter-Terrorism at Scotland Yard. We were opposed by Cherie Booth QC, Rabinder Singh QC and Shami Chakrabarti.
I have explained some of my ideas on what the new Bill of Rights can achieve and how it can improve on the present Human Rights Act 1998 in
"The case for a British Bill of Rights"
published by the Conservative Liberty Forum.
At a fringe meeting hosted by
Policy Exchange during the Conservative Party Conference 2009, I explained how a UK Bill of Rights could solve some of the serious problems created by the Human Rights Act and improve the protection of citizens against abuses of power by the bureaucratic State.
- Chairing the
Courts and Sentencing Policy Group of the Centre for Social Justice.
I explained the work of the Group at a CSJ fringe meeting at the Conservative Party Conference 2009, and launched our group's report
with Iain Duncan Smith MP in November 2009.
This major report,
"Order in the Courts: restoring faith through local justice"
criticises the Government's over-centralisation of the criminal justice system and its torrent of legislation, and calls for a much more locally accountable system of justice in which offenders can be dealt with more effectively.
(See Executive Summary of the Report).
- Working to limit and reduce the excessive powers of the EU after the ratification of the Treaty of Lisbon. My paper explaining how a Soveignty Bill would work to protect the UK's constitution was published by Politeia in January 2010 and is explained in an article I wrote in The Wall Street Journal Europe. Introducing a United Kingdom Sovereignty Bill was pledged in the Conservative Election Manifesto 2010, and following Coalition agreement, its principle is now included in Clause 18 of the European Union Bill currently going through Parliament.
I previously contributed to the drafting of the Conservative Party's Bill for a Referendum in the United Kingdom on the Lisbon Treaty, announced by William Hague in June 2009:
William Hague's announcement.
My evidence to the House of Lords sub-committee enquiring into the Lisbon Treaty's impact on the area of "freedom, security and justice" is available from
the House of Lords website.
For a selection of my publications on political and constitutional issues, see Publications.
Recent publications are on the subjects of the EU and our constitution, criminal justice and sentencing, how to safeguard our civil liberties through a new Bill of Rights for the United Kingdom, human rights and terrorism, and the ever growing threat to our ability to make our own laws from the expanding powers of the European Union.
Please click here for a selection of my legal publications, articles and lectures.