Adrian Fulford

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The Right Honourable
Lord Justice Fulford
Adrian Fulford (cropped).jpg
Investigatory Powers Commissioner
Assumed office
3 March 2017
Nominated by Lord Thomas
as Lord Chief Justice
Appointed by Theresa May
as Prime Minister
Lord Justice of Appeal
Assumed office
10 May 2013
Nominated by David Cameron
as Prime Minister
Appointed by Elizabeth II
Judge of the International Criminal Court
In office
11 March 2003 – 11 March 2012
Nominated by Lord Irvine of Lairg
as Lord Chancellor
Appointed by Assembly of States Parties
Justice of the High Court of Justice
Assumed office
21 November 2002
Nominated by Tony Blair
as Prime Minister
Appointed by Elizabeth II
Personal details
Born Adrian Bruce Fulford
(1953-01-08) 8 January 1953 (age 64)
Alma mater University of Southampton

Sir Adrian Bruce Fulford PC QC (born 8 January 1953), styled The Rt Hon. Lord Justice Fulford, is a Lord Justice of Appeal and as of 1 January 2016, is the Senior Presiding Judge for England and Wales.[1] He was appointed as the Investigatory Powers Commissioner for a 3-year term on 3 March 2017.[2]

Previously, he was a judge of the International Criminal Court in The Hague from 2003-12.

Early life[edit]

Fulford was born on 8 January 1953. He was educated at Elizabeth College, Guernsey and went up to the University of Southampton, gaining a LL.B. He was called to the bar at the Middle Temple as a barrister in 1978, and appointed Queen's Counsel in 1994.

Judicial career[edit]

Fulford was made a Recorder of the Crown Court in 1995 (re-appointed in 2001). His appointment as a High Court judge on 21 November 2002[3] was the first for an openly homosexual QC.[4]

He was appointed to the Queen's Bench Division and received the customary knighthood. Though he became a judge of the International Criminal Court in 2003, Fulford continued his work at the High Court, presiding over a number of high-profile cases. Among these were the 21 July 2005 London bombings trial,[5] the trial of terrorist plotter Saajid Badat[6] and the trial of PC Simon Harwood. Fulford's term on the ICC ended on 11 March 2012.

On 11 May 2012, Fulford imposed a whole life order on David Oakes, who was convicted at the Crown Court at Chelmsford of the premeditated and sadistic murder of his former partner and daughter. Fulford also presided over the trial of Jiervon Barlett and Najed Hoque who were accused of the manslaughter of Paula Castle, a woman mugged in Greenford West London. He sentenced them to 13 years.[7][8]

Fulford 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.[9] He was sworn into office on 11 March 2003.[10] He presided over the ICC's first trial, that of Thomas Lubanga,[11] and delivered the court's first guilty verdict on 14 March 2012.[12]

On 10 May 2013, Fulford was appointed a Lord Justice of Appeal.[13] He was awarded an honorary LL.D. by the University of Southampton in 2011.[14]

In March 2014, an article in the Mail on Sunday alleged that Fulford had been a supporter of the Paedophile Information Exchange in the 1970s.[15]

After these allegations, he stepped down from judging criminal cases and an official investigation by the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office took place. The investigation, by Lord Kerr of Tonaghmore, concluded on 18 June 2014 that the allegations against Fulford were "without substance" and he "was not and had never been a supporter of PIE or its aims".[16] Following his exoneration, Fulford resumed sitting as a judge on the full range of appeals.


  1. ^ "Appointment of the Deputy Senior Presiding Judges and Senior Presiding Judges". Retrieved 15 January 2016. 
  2. ^ "Investigatory Powers Commissioner appointed: Lord Justice Fulford". Retrieved 6 May 2017. 
  3. ^ "No. 56765". The London Gazette. 26 November 2002. p. 14343. 
  4. ^ "Comment: Gay judge reflects on thirty years as an out lawyer". 28 November 2008. 
  5. ^ Sullivan, Kevin (12 July 2007). "4 in London Bomb Plot Get Life Terms". Washington Post. Retrieved 2 April 2009. 
  6. ^ "Shoebomb plotter given 13 years". BBC News Online. 22 April 2005. Retrieved 2 April 2009. 
  7. ^ "David Oakes jailed for murder of former partner and two-year-old daughter". The Daily Telegraph. 11 May 2012. 
  8. ^ "David Oakes jailed for ex-partner and daughter murders". BBC News Online. 11 May 2012. 
  9. ^ "Judge Sir Adrian Fulford". International Criminal Court. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 23 November 2007. 
  10. ^ "Genocide Watch: 18 Judges Elected to International Criminal Court". Archived from the original on 11 April 2003. 
  11. ^ "Decision notifying the election of the Presiding Judge in the case against Mr. Thomas Lubanga Dyilo" (PDF). International Criminal Court. 12 July 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 October 2007. Retrieved 23 November 2007. 
  12. ^ "ICC finds Congo warlord Thomas Lubanga guilty". BBC News. 14 March 2012. 
  13. ^ "No. 60505". The London Gazette. 15 May 2013. p. 9621. 
  14. ^ Profile,; accessed 26 March 2016.
  15. ^ Daily Mail 8. March 2014
  16. ^ "Update 18 June: Lord Justice Fulford". Judicial Conduct Investigations Office. Retrieved 19 June 2014.