The Commission shall be deemed to be duly constituted if it consists of three members of whom—
(a) at least one holds or has held high judicial office (within the meaning of [Part 3 of the Constitutional Reform Act 2005) or is or has been a member of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council], and
[(b) at least one is or has been [a judge of the First-tier Tribunal, or of the Upper Tribunal, who is assigned to a chamber with responsibility for immigration and asylum matters]].
Mitting J was (a) and Judge Peter Lane was (b) in Abu Qatada. Dame Denise Holt DCMG was the third member of the Commission in Abu Qatada. Who's she? Well she is a former Ambassador to Spain and Mexico. She now holds lots of Non-Execs positions and other sinecures. The MOJ website says that The third member will usually be someone who has experience of national security matters so that must be Dame Denise. She doesn't sound that independent given her career? Still one presumes she has taken the judicial oath like her co-commission members? Who else sits on the Commission in a similar capacity - apparently there are 12 other lay members? It is a bit hard to tell. Looking at past judgments,Sir Brian Donnelly, KBE, CMG our former man in Zimbabwe appears to be one. Sir Paul Lever, our former man in Berlin also appear to be a lay member. I think we have got the flavour of the independent lay members of the Commission. A knighthood and Ambassadorial rank appear to be prerequisites. Our former man in all sort of places Sir Brian Barder had this to say on the subject, shortly after resigning as such a lay member: