Judicial Commissioners

What do Judicial Commissioners do?

A Judicial Commissioner is a serving or retired member of the senior judiciary in the UK. Judicial Commissioners support the Investigatory Powers Commissioner in his oversight duties by providing independent authorisation of applications for the use of certain investigatory powers. These powers are used by public authorities.

The Investigatory Powers Act 2016 sets out that a Judicial Commissioner must hold or have held a high judicial office (within the meaning of Part 3 of the Constitutional Reform Act 2005).

Biographies

Deputy Investigatory Powers Commissioner

Sir John Goldring

The Rt Hon Sir John Goldring was formerly the Intelligence Services Commissioner and Senior Presiding Judge for England & Wales following a career as a High Court Judge of the Queen’s Bench Division. Sir John is currently the President of the Court of Appeal in the Cayman Islands and recently acted as Her Majesty’s Assistant Coroner for the Hillsborough Inquests.

Judicial Commissioners

Sir Nicholas Blake

The Hon Sir Nicholas Blake served as a judge of the High Court Queen’s Bench Division from 2007 to 2017 and sits as a Deputy High Court Judge. He is a former President of the Upper Tribunal Immigration and Asylum Chamber. He practised at the Bar of England and Wales from 1975; was appointed QC in 1994 and Special Advocate in 1997 and conducted the Deepcut Review in 2006. He is a former chair of the Immigration Law Practitioners Association and served as a Trustee of the National Portrait Gallery.

In October 2017, he returned to Matrix Chambers as a consultant. He is a trustee of the Slynn Foundation, a member of the International Association of Judges and the Commonwealth Judges and Magistrates Association and has participated in judicial seminars on aspects of public justice in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Tanzania, Georgia, Port Moresby, Panama, Columbia, Peru and Mexico.

Lord Bonomy

The Rt Hon Lord Bonomy (Iain Bonomy) served as a judge of the High Court and Court of Session, latterly in the Court of Appeal, between 1997 and 2012, interrupted between 2004 and 2009 by appointment as a Permanent Judge of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

Following appointment in February 2020 he currently serves as a Judge of the UN International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals. He was a Surveillance Commissioner between 1998 and 2004 and then again between 2010 and the closure of the Office of Surveillance Commissioners in September 2017.

Lord Bracadale

The Rt Hon Lord Bracadale (Alastair Campbell) served as a judge in the Court of Session and the High Court of Justiciary in Scotland between 2003 and 2017, sitting in the Outer House until 2013 and thereafter in the Inner House. Between 2008 and 2011 he was the judicial member of the Parole Board for Scotland. He has acted as an administrative judge for both first instance and appellate criminal business.

In 2016 Lord Bracadale was appointed as a Surveillance Commissioner. He also conducted an independent review of hate crime for the Scottish Government. He chairs a public inquiry in Scotland into the death of Sheku Bayoh.

Dame Linda Dobbs

The Hon Dame Linda Dobbs DBE served as a High Court Judge between 2004-2013, having practised at the Bar since 1981, and been appointed a QC in 1998. Dame Linda was the first person from a minority ethnic background to be appointed to the senior judiciary and acted as the Senior Liaison Judge for Diversity for 7 years.

During her career at the Bar she chaired a number of committees including the Professional Standard Committee and Criminal Bar Association. Dame Linda was a Justice of Appeal for the Turks and Caicos Islands and approved to sit in the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands. Dame Linda is the Independent Assessor for Miscarriages of Justice Compensation.

She is the Director of Courses at the Judicial Institute for Africa and regularly conducts judicial training in South Africa, other countries in Africa and the Caribbean. She is also is a Pro Chancellor of Surrey University and holds 7 honorary doctorates. She is currently conducting a long standing inquiry for Lloyds Banking Group.

Sir Adrian Fulford

The Rt Hon Lord Justice Fulford was called to the Bar in 1978 and he took silk in 1994. He was appointed as a Recorder of the Crown Court in 1995. He became a judge of the High Court (Queen’s Bench Division) on 21 November 2002. He was elected to serve as one of the 18 judges of the International Criminal Court in 2003 for a term of nine years, and was assigned to the Trial Division. He then became the Deputy Senior Presiding Judge for England and Wales on 1 January 2015 and was the Senior Presiding Judge from 1 January 2016 until 31 March 2017.

On 27 February 2017, he took up post as the first Investigatory Powers Commissioner. He stepped down from the role when he was appointed as Vice-President of the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) on 20 October 2019. He was, however, then appointed as a Judicial Commissioner by the Prime Minister in March 2020 to assist with IPCO’s work during the pandemic period. 

Sir John Gillen

The Rt Hon Sir John Gillen is a retired Lord Justice of Appeal in Northern Ireland and a former Senior Queen’s Bench Division Judge for Northern Ireland. He led a Civil and Family Justice Review in that jurisdiction with the two Review/Reports published on 6 September 2017. Previously he served as a High Court Judge in the Family, Judicial Review and Queen’s Bench Divisions.

Sir Henry Globe

The Hon Sir Henry Globe was a serving High Court Judge of the Queen’s Bench Division from 2011 to 2017. He is a former Presiding Judge of the North Eastern Circuit and an inaugural member of the Sentencing Council. Previously, he practised at the Bar of England and Wales from 1972, was appointed a QC in 1994 and was appointed to the Bench in 2003, serving as the Resident Judge and Honorary Recorder of Liverpool between 2003 and 2011 where he oversaw the judicial arrangements for hearing all special procedure applications. He has specialised in criminal law, has tried numerous cases involving murder and terrorism offences and is a former course director for the Judicial College’s serious crime and serious fraud seminars.

Sir Peter Gross

The Rt Hon Sir Peter Gross is a retired Lord Justice. He was called to the Bar in 1977 and became a Queen’s Counsel in 1992. In July 2010, he became a Lord Justice of Appeal, and was appointed to the Privy Council in 2011. He became Deputy Senior Presiding Judge in October 2011, and was Senior Presiding Judge for England and Wales from January 2013 to December 2015. He later was appointed Lead Judge for International Relations in January 2018.

On retirement from the Court of Appeal, Sir Peter was appointed President of the Slynn Foundation in November 2019, dedicated to advancing the Rule of Law internationally. In December 2020 Sir Peter was appointed by the Lord Chancellor to chair the Independent Human Rights Act Review (IHRAR) examining whether the Human Rights Act 1998 is working effectively.

Sir Peter has been included in the list (published in December 2020) of those to be appointed to arbitration panels established under the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement to address disputes between the EU and UK under that Agreement. In January 2021, Sir Peter was appointed to the Court of Appeal of the Dubai International Financial Centre (“DIFC”).

Lord Hughes

The Rt Hon Anthony Hughes, Lord Hughes of Ombersley, served as a Justice of the Supreme Court from April 2013 to August 2018. Lord Hughes was called to the Bar (Inner Temple) in 1970 and served as a Recorder of the Crown Court from 1985 to 1997. He became a Queen’s Counsel in 1990 and was later appointed a judge of the High Court (Family Division from 1997 to 2003 and Queen’s Bench Division from 2004 to 2006). In 2006, he was appointed a judge of the Court of Appeal of England and Wales, serving as the Vice President of its Criminal Division from 2009 until his appointment as Justice of the Supreme Court in April 2013.

Sir Duncan Ouseley

The Hon Sir Duncan Ouseley was called to the Bar (G) in 1973, took Silk in 1992, (NI) in 1997 and was elected a Bencher in 2000. He was appointed a Recorder in 1994, a Judge of the High Court (Queen’s Bench) in 2000 and Chairman of the Special Immigration Appeal Commission from 2003 to 2006. He was appointed President of the Immigration Appeal Tribunal from 2003 to 2005 and was Judge in charge of the Administrative Court from 2010 to 2015. The Honourable Sir Duncan Brian Walter Ouseley retired from the High Court (Queen’s Bench) with effect from 17 May 2019.

Sir John Saunders

The Hon Sir John Saunders is a former High Court Judge. He was called to the Bar in 1972 and during his career has been the Recorder of Birmingham and Presiding Judge of the South Eastern Circuit, gaining significant experience trying terrorism cases. He previously served as a Surveillance Commissioner, a role which preceded the establishment of Judicial Commissioners. Sir John is currently chairing the Inquiry into the Manchester Arena attack.

Sir Stephen Silber

The Hon Sir Stephen Silber was a High Court Judge (Queen’s Bench Division) where he was involved in many cases concerning control orders and TIPIMs as well as disputes on extradition, rendition and different commercial matters. He is a former Law Commissioner and a practicing QC.

After his retirement in 2014, he continued to sit as a Vice-President of the Security Vetting Appeals Panel and was also a judicial member of the Special Immigration Appeals Commission as well as sitting as a deputy High Court Judge and also in the Court of Appeal. He is now a member of the Parole Board as well as being a trained mediator and an Honorary Fellow of Harris Manchester College, Oxford.

Sir Michael Supperstone

The Hon Sir Michael Supperstone was called to the Bar (M) in 1973, took Silk in 1991 and was elected a Bencher in 1999. He was appointed an Assistant Recorder in 1992, a Recorder in 1996, a Deputy High Court Judge in 1998, a Judge of the High Court (Queen’s Bench) in 2010 and a Judge of the Employment Appeal Tribunal in 2011. He was the Queen’s Bench Liaison Judge (North and North Eastern Circuits) from 2013 to 2014 and Judge in Charge of the Administrative Court from 2017 until his retirement. He retired from the High Court (Queen’s Bench) with effect from 31 March 2020.

Sir Alan Wilkie

The Hon Sir Alan Wilkie was called to the Bar in 1974. He was appointed to the High Court in 2004. He was the Presiding Judge for the North Eastern Circuit from 2007 to 2010. Sir Alan was also a Law Commissioner and served as a Judicial Appointments Commissioner. He has extensive experience in trying complex terrorism cases and conducting reviews of control orders and TPIMs.

Former Judicial Commissioners

Judicial CommissionerStart dateEnd date
Sir Colman TreacyOct 2018Sept 2021
Lord GillSept 2017Sept 2020
Sir Kenneth ParkerSept 2017Sept 2020
Sir John Griffiths WilliamsSept 2017Sept 2020

Have a question?

Send us a message and we will get in touch as soon as possible

Get in touch

Follow us on Twitter to keep up to date with IPCO

Check our FAQs for answers to commonly asked questions

Read our FAQs