The Solicitor - The FindLaw UK Life, Family and Workplace Law Blog

The UK Supreme Court has urged the secretary of state to urgently review the case of Lindsay Sandiford, a British grandmother arrested for drug smuggling in Indonesia, reports the BBC.

A 57-year-old grandmother, Lindsay Sandiford was caught smuggling a vast quantity of cocaine into Bali when she landed on a flight from Bangkok, Thailand, in May 2012. The value of the drugs she was carrying was estimated to be an astonishing £1.6 million.

Facing the maximum penalty for her crime, Mrs Sandiford has been issued with the death penalty and will be killed by a firing squad unless the British Government manages to intervene by providing her with a lawyer to present her appeal case to the local courts.

The London Oratory School has been deemed unfair and biased in its admissions policy, reports the BBC.

A thriving, widely oversubscribed London Catholic school, The London Oratory School, has been criticized over its admissions process and has been tarnished by the Office of the Schools Adjudicator (OSA) as 'discriminating against pupils on their ethnicity and socio-economical background'. During their inspection, the OSA found over one hundred failures to meet the School Admissions Code.

Privacy: BBC uses internal team to inspect staff email accounts

The BBC has encroached on privacy laws by investigating suspicious staff without involving the police, reports the Daily Mail.

Taking suspicions or reports of criminal activity, fraud and leaks into their own hands, the BBC have a whole team dedicated to investigating staff in question by monitoring their work email accounts. Staff being investigated were entirely unaware of such goings on.

Petition to increase the penalty for driving offences

The Transport Secretary has proposed an increased penalty for driving offences, doubling the points penalty and raising the fine applicable, reports the Daily Mail.

Currently, a driving offence carries a three-point penalty on the driver's licence and a £100 fine. Though this is a punishment that has already increased significantly since using mobile phones while driving was made illegal in 2003, it has been suggested that the current penalty is not enough of a deterrent to prevent individuals taking the risk.

Proposal to cap interest rates on payday loans to protect borrowers

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) plan to place a cap on interest rates on payday loans and put a stop to extortionate current charges, reports the BBC.

New rules surrounding payday lending have been in place since the first of the month. These include 'a limit on roll-overs, more affordability checks, and controls on Continuous Payment Authorities, which allow lenders to take money from people's bank accounts', as summarised by the BBC.

However, the FCA has proposed even further limitations in order to offer borrowers greater protection.

Many NHS executives have refused to supply trusts with assurances over their tax payments and now face investigation and potential fines, reports The Telegraph.

An initial inquiry has discovered that 86 NHS executives have not given assurances that they pay the correct amount of tax and national insurance. These medical professionals are paid through their own private companies thus cashing in on certain tax benefits.

Consumers online in the UK are more likely to use the Internet to find and research a solicitor than they are to ask a friend or a relative, according to a survey from FindLaw UK, a Thomson Reuters business.

The survey, carried out among more than 2,000 consumers in the UK, asked which method respondents would most likely use to research and compare the credentials of different solicitors. The results show that 36 percent of respondents would use the Internet, compared to 30 percent that would ask a friend or relative.

The supposed use of mass surveillance programmes has resulted in previously unheard of legal challenges against GCHQ, reports the BBC.

In light of documents leaked by Edward Snowden detailing the excessive use of personal observation by a UK surveillance programme named Tempora, it has been argued that such practice surpasses lawful levels under the Human Rights Act. It was claimed in the documents released that the government operation went as far as authorising the inspection of phone calls, emails and even personal activity on social media sites.

Drug dealer, Johnny Callie, has won his appeal giving him the right to remain in the UK following his release from prison, the BBC reports.

Despite being a convicted offender for conspiracy to supply class A drugs, heroin and crack cocaine, Mr Callie has won the right to reside here in the UK. Mr Callie is believed to have been a key player in a drug supply chain in Ipswich before his arrest and imprisonment in 2007.

Domestic violence cases at an all-time high

Cases involving domestic violence have now reached their highest ever level of conviction rates, as these cases now make up 10.7% of the total amount of cases handled by the Crown Prosecution Service. Figures are now showing that referrals to the CPS by the police for prosecutions and convictions have all increased over the past year. Whilst campaigners acknowledge that things are moving in the right direction, there are still women dying every week as a result of domestic violence - on average, two women each week.

The figure for referrals from the police rose by 15,459 to 103,569 last year, which is an increase of 17.5%. Almost 73,000 cases were taken to trial in 2012/13, an increase on the previous year by almost 13,000. And of those 73,000 cases, 74.6% were convicted in 2013/14, which is a rise of 0.3%.

Police urge Government to participate in European DNA database

Home Secretary Theresa May has been put under pressure to join a European-wide DNA database to speed up response to criminal investigations, reports the Daily Mail.

British police are currently required to send off DNA samples to various EU countries in order for forensic evidence to be checked on individual databases. In a bid to increase the speed at which UK investigations involving foreign criminals take place, the police have urged Theresa May to join an EU-wide DNA database. Such participation would allow our police force to check any forensic evidence from a UK crime scene themselves as opposed to the current arduous process.

Companies will need to be extremely careful when it comes to carrying out any Games-related promotional activity if they don't want to suffer lawsuits, reports the BBC.

According to legal regulations, no affiliation with the Commonwealth Games may be attempted by any company other than that of an official sponsor. The rules on this topic relate to use of the Games symbol, phrases and even words commonly relating to the event. The latter appears to be a sizeable limitation as the restrictions include '2014', 'gold', 'silver' and 'bronze'.

Any branding or marketing which could insinuate a connection with the Commonwealth Games by a company who is not an official sponsor and who does not have express permission to do so could be considered to be unlawful and may lead to serious legal battles.

Assisted suicide: Former Archbishops support law change

The former Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town Desmond Tutu, and the former Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey, have spoken out to reveal their support for a change in the law to allow for assisted suicide, reports The Observer.

The intervention of two former Anglican archbishops, two of the most senior voices in the Anglican faith and world renowned religious leaders, has thrown new weight behind the movement to change the law in the UK and elsewhere to allow for assisted suicide.

Lord Carey of Clifton, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, entered the debate over assisted dying last week when he spoke out in favour of a bill that will be debated for the second time in the House of Lords this coming Friday.

Angelina Jolie has become the latest celebrity to take aim at the Daily Mail after it posted a video of her from the 1990's claiming it showed the actress on drugs, something which she believes represents a gross invasion of her privacy, reports The Independent.

Angelina Jolie looks set to become the latest Hollywood celebrity to publically shun the Daily Mail, after the Mail Online published an old video of her from the 1990's claiming it showed the actress after taking drugs.

The news comes just hours after the Mail was involved in a very public spat with George Clooney over another article it ran alleging a rift within the family of Mr Clooney's new fiancée.

Libel law: Actor George Clooney rejects apology from Daily Mail

Hollywood actor George Clooney has publically refused to accept an apology from the Mail Online after it ran a false story concerning matters relating to his engagement to British-Lebanese lawyer Amal Alamuddin.

The Daily Mail's website, the Mail Online, ran a story on its website last week claiming that the mother of his new fiancée Amal Alamuddin had been telling 'half of Beirut' that her daughter could do better than the Hollywood actor.

The article went on to insinuate that Baria Alamuddin, a former newspaper editor and mother of the now world-famous human rights barrister, was somehow unhappy with her daughter's choice of husband.