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Attorney General could face BSB proceedings over housekeeper

12 October 2009

Baroness Scotland could face disciplinary proceedings before the Bar Standards Board following a complaint that she breached the Bar conduct rules when employing an illegal immigrant.

The Sunlight Centre for Open Politics, a right-leaning organisation campaigning for greater transparency in political life, lodged the complaint last week.

It claims the Attorney General brought the Bar into disrepute by failing to comply with requirements in the Immigration, Nationality and Asylum Act 2006, a piece of legislation she steered through the Lords.

The Act provides for on-the-spot civil fines for employing illegal immigrants.

Last month, Baroness Scotland was fined £5,000 for employing a woman from Tonga as her housekeeper without keeping copies of documents showing the 27-year-old had a right to work in Britain.

The UK Borders Agency said the fine reflected the fact that the Attorney General had not knowingly flouted the rules.

Sunlight’s research director said it lodged the complaint on 29 September and that the complaint was being dealt with by a case worker.

The Bar Standards Board declined to confirm whether the complaint had been received because, a spokesperson said, it could prejudice the outcome of the case.

In a letter to Sunlight seen by Solicitors Journal, the BSB acknowledged receipt of the complaint and said it had been allocated to a complaints officer.

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Procedures Police & Prisons Tribunals & Courts