Press release: Investigatory Powers Commissioner appointed: Lord Justice Fulford


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The Prime Minister has approved the appointment of Lord Justice Fulford as the first Investigatory Powers Commissioner for a 3-year term. Lord Justice Fulford will take up appointment with immediate effect.

Prime Minister Theresa May said:

I’m pleased to announce the appointment of Lord Justice Fulford as the first Investigatory Powers Commissioner. He brings a wealth of experience in the judiciary and expertise in matters of law which will be crucial to his vital role scrutinising the use of investigatory powers, as part of a world-leading oversight regime.
Biographical notes

The Rt Hon Sir Adrian Fulford qualified as a barrister in 1978 and took Silk in 1994. He was appointed a Recorder of the Crown Court in 1995. He was appointed a High Court Judge of the Queen’s Bench Division on 21 November 2002. He was elected to serve as 1 of the 18 judges of the International Criminal Court in 2003 for a term of 9 years, and was assigned to the Trial Division. He was sworn into office on 11 March 2003. He was appointed as a Lord Justice of Appeal on 10 May 2013.

With effect from 1 January 2015, Sir Adrian was the Deputy Senior Presiding Judge for England and Wales. From 1 January 2016 he became the Senior Presiding Judge. He is currently the Judge in Charge of IT and leads for the judiciary on HM Courts & Tribunals Service reform.

Whilst holding the appointment as the Investigatory Powers Commissioner, Sir Adrian will remain a Judge of the Court of Appeal.


Section 227 of the Investigatory Powers Act 2016 provides for the Prime Minister to appoint the Investigatory Powers Commissioner (IPC). The role of the IPC is to authorise and oversee the use of Investigatory Powers by public authorities.

Sir Adrian will now begin work on establishing his office, and will take on the statutory functions of the IPC in due course.

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