Frances Crook, Chief Executive of the Howard League, has announced that the new President of the Howard League for Penal Reform is Lord Ken Macdonald, QC.

Frances Crook said:

I am delighted that Lord Ken Macdonald QC has accepted the position of President of the Howard League for Penal Reform. Lord Macdonald is a highly-respected and influential voice in the spheres of law, academia and politics – three key areas for the Howard League’s work. He will represent the charity at the highest levels and provide us with invaluable advice.


Lord Macdonald, a former Director of Public Prosecutions, is one of the country’s leading criminal, regulatory and international lawyers. He was knighted for services to the law in 2007 and appointed to the House of Lords in 2010 and is the current Warden of Wadham College.

Commenting on his appointment, Lord Macdonald said: “I am honoured to become President of the Howard League for Penal Reform. I have greatly admired its work over the forty years that I have been at the Bar and look forward to working more closely with those committed to reducing crime, building safer communities and imprisoning fewer people.”

The Howard League has enjoyed a long, productive relationship with the University of Oxford and will be holding an international conference, ‘Crime, Justice and Social Harms’, at Keble College in March and April 2020.

The Howard League for Penal Reform is the oldest penal reform charity in the world. It is a national charity working for less crime, safer communities and fewer people in prison.