Press release

Surveillance Commissioner re-appointment: George Newman

The Prime Minister has approved the re-appointment of George Newman as a Surveillance Commissioner.


The Prime Minister has been pleased to approve the re-appointment of Sir George Newman as a Surveillance Commissioner for a further term of 3 years.

Biographical notes

Sir George Newman was called to the Bar by Middle Temple in 1965 and took Silk in 1981. He served as a Justice of the High Court, assigned to the Queen’s Bench Division, from 1995 to 2007. Prior to this he was a Recorder from 1985.

He has been Chair of the Security Vetting Appeal Panel since 2009, and he was appointed a Surveillance Commissioner on 1 January 2010.

Notes for editors

Section 91 of the Police Act 1997 provides the Prime Minister to appoint 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 into 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 includes 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.

There are 6 Surveillance Commissioners and 3 Assistant Surveillance Commissioners.

Published 5 February 2016