Lord Justice Leveson has been named as the judge in charge of the inquiry into the phone-hacking scandal.
Sir Brian Leveson was best known as a bassrister for leading the case against serial killer Rose West in the 1990s.
He will be able to demand relevant documents in his probe into the tactics of journalists at the News of the World.
He will be able to call witnesses to be questioned under oath, including reporters and management at News International, policemen and politicians, and those who lie to him could be jailed.
He will report within the next 12 months to Home Secretary Theresa May and Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt and will be assisted in the investigation by an independent panel of experts. The areas the probe will cover will include the culture and ethics of the press and the relationship between journalists and police, as well as the current system of print media regulation.
In announcing the inquiry, Prime Minister David Cameron described the situation as a "firestorm" that threatened to engulf the media, the police and the political system.
Mr Cameron also said that those who were found culpable for the scandal should never work in journalism again.
"No one should be in any doubt we will get to the bottom of the truth and learn the lessons for the future," he said.
Meanwhile at News Corp, Joel Klein will be responsible for overseeing the internal investigation into the phone-hacking crisis. Klein, 64, will be heading Wapping's management and standards committee.
Also involved in the case is Mark Lewis, lawyer for the Dowler family, whose revelations about the hacking of Milly Dowler's phone ignited the current crisis.