New Judicial Commissioner Appointed

Published on 01 March 2023

Sir Nigel Sweeney has been appointed as a Judicial Commissioner to support the Investigatory Powers Commissioner, Sir Brian Leveson.

Sir Nigel will serve for three years. He joins the team of existing Judicial Commissioners, responsible for providing independent oversight of the use of investigatory powers.

Sir Brian Leveson said:

“Sir Nigel was one of our temporary Judicial Commissioners, appointed under the Coronavirus Act 2020, at the start of the pandemic and I am delighted to welcome him back to the team in a permanent role following his retirement from the Bench.

“His criminal and public law experience, both as a barrister and a judge, will be of enormous value as we ensure investigatory powers are used in accordance with the law.”

A Judicial Commissioner is a serving or retired member of the senior judiciary in the UK. Appointments are made by the Prime Minister, having consulted with Scottish Ministers, on the recommendation of the Investigatory Powers Commissioner, the Lord Chancellor, the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, the Lord President of the Court of Session and the Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland.

Sir Nigel began his role as Judicial Commissioner on Monday 6 February 2023.


Sir Nigel Sweeney

Sir Nigel Sweeney was called to the Bar in 1976 and specialised in terrorism, official secrets, murder and major health & safety cases. He was appointed as First Senior Prosecuting Counsel to the Crown in 1997 and took Silk in 2000.

Sir Nigel became a High Court Judge (Queens Bench Division) in 2008 and was a Presiding Judge of the South Eastern Circuit from 2012 to 2015. He was twice the Judge in Charge of the Terrorism List and retired in January 2023.

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