Press release

Chief Surveillance Commissioner appointment

The Prime Minister has approved the appointment of Lord Judge as the Chief Surveillance Commissioner.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


The Prime Minister has approved the appointment of the Right Honourable Lord Judge as Chief Surveillance Commissioner for a term of 3 years from 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2018. The Prime Minister has appointed Lord Judge as a Surveillance Commissioner from 1 April 2015; this appointment will cease on 1 July.

The current Chief Surveillance Commissioner, Sir Christopher Rose, will be retiring on 30 June having served 9 years in the role.

Biographical notes

Lord Judge (73) was called to the Bar (Middle Temple) in 1963. He was appointed a Recorder of the Crown Court in 1976, and was Prosecuting Counsel to the Inland Revenue from 1977-1979. He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1979. He served on the Professional Conduct Committee of the Bar between 1980-1986 as well as being a member of the Judicial Studies Board from 1984-1988.

In 1987 he was elected as a Bencher of the Middle Temple, and in 1988 he was elected Leader of the Midland and Oxford Circuit.

In 1988 Lord Judge was appointed a High Court Judge, Queen’s Bench Division and received a Knighthood. From 1991 to 1993 he was Chairman of the Criminal Committee of the Judicial Studies Board which was a post he held again from 1996 until 1998.

He was the Presiding Judge of the Midland and Oxford Circuit from 1993 to 1996. Lord Judge was appointed a Lord Justice of Appeal in 1996 and he was sworn in a Privy Councillor shortly after.

Lord Judge was the Senior Presiding Judge for England and Wales from 1998 to 2003; he was the Deputy Chief Justice of England and Wales from 2003 to 2005 and in 2005 he was appointed President of the Queen’s Bench Division.

On 1 October 2008 Lord Judge was appointed Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, and was created a life peer in 2008; he retired as Lord Chief Justice on 30 September 2013. He was the Treasurer of Middle Temple in 2014.

Notes for editors

Section 91 of the Police Act 1997 provides for the Prime Minster to appoint a Chief Surveillance Commissioner and Surveillance Commissioners. Commissioners must be persons who hold or have held high judicial office (within the meaning of Part 3 of the CRA 2005) or are or have been a member of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.

The role of the Commissioners is to provide oversight of the way in which all public authorities in the United Kingdom (with the exception of the Security Services) carry out covert surveillance. The covert surveillance techniques overseen by the Commissioners include property interference, directed and intrusive surveillance, the use of covert human intelligence sources and the investigation of encrypted data. These techniques are governed by Part III of the Police Act 1997 and Parts II and III of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000.

Published 20 March 2015