Sir Alan Moses presided over high-profile court cases including the Soham murders. His latest challenge is chairing the Independent Press Standards Organisation (Ipso).
Sir Alan said: "The last thing Ipso wants to do is control or govern the press. We don't want a controlled or governed press.
"We want a fearless press that from time to time will cross over not only lawful boundaries but acceptable boundaries."
Ipso was launched in the wake of the phone-hacking scandal and the Leveson Inquiry. It is backed by many of the biggest companies in the print media but it has no plans to seek official recognition under the terms of a royal charter - which the industry says smacks of political interference.
Sir Alan acknowledges that groups such as Hacked Off and many of those who have had painful experiences with the press are dismayed.
He said: "I know they are bitterly disappointed and to some extent angry that what Leveson said should happen hasn't happened."
He wants to meet campaigners and those whose lives have been "ruined" to ensure Ipso provides the best possible service.