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IOCCO’s role:

Our responsibilities

The chart below sets out our main areas of responsibility.

More information can be found on the adjacent links.  


Who we are


The Rt Hon. Sir Stanley Burnton, Interception of Communications Commissioner


Stanley Burnton was called to the Bar in 1965. He practised initially in general common law, and then from 1976 as a commercial lawyer at One Essex Court. He took silk in 1982. He acted both as advocate and arbitrator in international arbitrations. Stanley Burnton sat as a deputy High Court judge in the Chancery Division from 1994 until he was appointed to the High Court Bench (Queen’s Bench Division) in July 2000. He was nominated to the Administrative Court shortly after his appointment. He was subsequently the Judge in charge of Modernisation, IT and the Court Estate and one of the original three judicial members of the Board of Her Majesty’s Court Service. He also served as a member of the Civil Justice Council.


In April 2008 he was promoted to the Court of Appeal, and sat in both the civil and criminal divisions of the Court of Appeal. He retired as a Judge of the Court of Appeal on 25 October 2012, when he reached the age of 70, and has returned to One Essex Court to sit as an arbitrator. Stanley Burnton is President of the Slynn Foundation and chairman of the Board of Trustees of the British and Irish Legal Information Institute (BAILII). He is a trustee of the British Institute of International and Comparative Law, and a member of its audit committee.  He is an Honorary Fellow of St Edmund Hall, Oxford and a Visiting Professor at Queen Mary College, London.


Miss Joanna Cavan, OBE, Head of IOCCO


Joanna is an interception, communications data and digital forensics specialist. Joanna leads on the delivery of the Interception of Communications Commissioner’s statutory oversight of the intelligence agencies, police forces and other public authorities. Prior to joining IOCCO, Joanna was an independent expert witness in relation to forensic telecommunications (cell site – location analysis) and represented the prosecution or defence in a large number of serious and high profile criminal court cases. Joanna has a broad range of experience working in private industry and with Government, industry regulators, forensic telecommunications companies and Communication Service Providers (CSPs). Joanna also has a background in law enforcement, having formerly managed the Covert Policing Unit at West Mercia Police. Joanna is a trusted commentator on interception, communications data and oversight and is regularly called to give evidence to Parliamentary Committees. 


Supporting IOCCO team

The Commissioner and Joanna Cavan are supported by ten IOCCO inspectors and two secretarial staff. The inspectors are independent, highly skilled and experienced in the principles and detail of RIPA Part I. The inspectors have been recruited from a wide variety of backgrounds, and bring with them a broad range of experience working with police forces, law enforcement agencies, industry regulators, universities and telecommunications related private organisations. Their experience covers everything from legal, analytical expertise, criminal and counter-terrorism investigations, forensic telecommunications, to training and lecturing in both the technical and legislative aspects of communications data and covert investigations and acting as accredited Single Points of Contact (SPoCs), Senior Responsible Officers (SROs) and Designated Persons (DPs). They report in writing on each individual inspection and the Commissioner reads and comments on all of the reports. The reports systematically address the requirements of the statute, the Code of Practice or relevant prison service policy and make detailed recommendations where the inspections reveal non-compliance. 


For more information on each inspection regime please click on the adjacent links.


Visit the "findings" page to learn more about our inspection findings and recommendations.