"The Lord Chief Justice has today announced… that Lord Justice Fulford will succeed Lady Justice Hallett as the Vice-President of the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) following her retirement in October 2019… This means that Lord Justice Fulford will finish his time as Investigatory Powers Commissioner some four months before the end of his three-year appointment", the Investigatory Powers Commissioner's Office said in a statement on Thursday.
The announcement comes less than two weeks after The Times reported that the UK Defence Ministry had not shared with the commissioner its secret policy that allegedly violated the government's no-torture guidelines.
The outlet reported on 20 May, citing a ministry document obtained by the Rendition Project through the Freedom of Information Act, that while Fulford was working on updating the nation's intelligence-sharing guidelines for cases entailing possible abuse or torture, the Defence Ministry authorized data-sharing even if the person in question was likely to face torture if cabinet ministers agreed that the potential benefits would outweigh the risks.
The Defence Ministry, in turn, said that it did not take part in torturing people or condone any form of cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment, adding that such a policy had never been implemented.
According to The Times, the watchdog said that it had contacted the Defence Ministry after learning about the policy and that the ministry agreed it would have to be reviewed once the updated guidelines were in place.
The United Kingdom is part of an intelligence-sharing alliance, called Five Eyes, which also comprises Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States.