In May 2008 in the abortion amendments to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill (now Act), Humfrey Malins voted for the abortion time limit to be lowered to 20 weeks. After four separate parliamentary votes on varying time limits, the majority of MPs voted to keep the abortion time limit at 24 weeks, hence no abortion amendments were added to the bill.
The House of Commons Science and Technology Committee report of October 2007 had found no good evidence of change since the limit was set in 1990, and hence no new reason for a reduction. However, it acknowledged that this was only one of many factors to be taken into account when legislating, and did not make any recommendations as to how MPs should vote.
Animals in Medical Research
In 2006, Humfrey Malins signed Early Day Motion 1850: Animals in Medical Research which noted that "animal research is only permitted where there is no better alternative and that pain and suffering are minimised and balanced against the potential benefit to humans and animals", supported "the building of the new state of the art biomedical research laboratory at Oxford University", condemned "unlawful animal rights extremism, including any violence, harassment or intimidation of those associated with lawful animal research", and supported "the well-regulated use of animals in medical research".
In December 2006, The Bow Group published a policy brief by Malins titled "Crackpot - A Fresh Approach to Drugs Policy" (PDF). The report recommended a reclassification of cannabis from class C to class B, and stated that "Cannabis is a gateway drug – something confirmed by the vast majority of the judiciary with whom I talk."
In February 2007, Humfrey Malins proposed Early Day Motion 953: Cannabis. The motion stated:
- That this House recognises that cannabis, particularly in its modern forms, is stronger than it was in the past; notes that it can be a deeply damaging drug particularly to young and vulnerable people; acknowledges the link between cannabis and certain types of mental illness; further notes that the majority of Class A drug addicts began by experimenting with cannabis; and calls upon the Government to acknowledge its dangers and also to transfer cannabis from Class C to Class B.
Libel Law Reform
On 30th March 2010, in a House of Commons committee debate, Humfrey Malins voted against The Conditional Fee Agreements (Amendment) Order 2010. The order would have limited success fees paid to lawyers in libel cases to 10% and was an initial stage in libel reform proposed by Jack Straw. The rejection by the committee will mean that the measure will now go to a full Parliamentary vote.