Prime Minister appoints two new Judicial Commissioners

Published on 18 May 2022

Two Judicial Commissioners have been appointed by the Prime Minister to support the work of Sir Brian Leveson, the Investigatory Powers Commissioner.

Sir Declan Morgan and Sir Peregrine Simon have each been appointed for a three-year term. They will join the current team of Judicial Commissioners who provide independent authorisation of applications for the use of investigatory powers. The Commissioners are supported by the Investigatory Powers Commissioner’s Office (IPCO), which independently oversees the use of these powers to ensure they are used in accordance with the law.

Sir Brian Leveson said:

“It is my pleasure to welcome Sir Declan Morgan and Sir Peregrine Simon to the team of Judicial Commissioners.

“Our authorisation and oversight of the use of the most intrusive investigatory powers requires careful consideration of the necessity and proportionality of each proposed activity. The extensive judicial experience of Sir Declan and Sir Peregrine gives them the ideal grounding for supporting us in this vital work.”

In addition to these two appointments, the Prime Minister has renewed the appointment of Lord Hughes, an existing Commissioner, for a second term until September 2024.

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 Declan Morgan

Sir Declan Morgan was called to the Bar of Northern Ireland in 1976 and became a Queen’s Counsel in 1993. Between 2002 and 2004, he was Senior Crown Counsel for Northern Ireland. He also served for a time as Judge-In-Residence at the School of Law of Queen’s University Belfast.

In 2004, Sir Declan Morgan was appointed a judge of the High Court and knighted. In 2007, he was appointed to the Family Division of the Court, and in 2008 moved to hearing cases for judicial review. He succeeded Sir Brian Kerr as Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland on 3 July 2009. Sir Declan retired as Lord Chief Justice in July 2021.

Sir Peregrine Simon

Sir Peregrine was a judge of the High Court in England and Wales (Queen’s Bench Division) from 2001-2015 and was appointed to the Court of Appeal in 2015. He sat on a wide range of commercial and public law cases across all Divisions of the High Court and in the Upper Tribunals (tax and chancery chamber and immigration and asylum chamber). He was a Presiding Judge of the North-Eastern Circuit. He retired from the judiciary in June 2020.

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