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

David Cameron has revealing draft legislation aimed at tackling the concerns charity organisations are using their resources to fund terrorist organisations like ISIS, reports the Guardian.

The new legislation includes measures such as: banning people with convictions for specific criminal offences (for example terrorism or money laundering) becoming charity trustees; powers to remove any charity trustees that are seen by the Charity Commission as "unfit"; and the power to have a charity shut down if, after an enquiry, there is evidence of misconduct or mismanagement that undermines public trust.

In order to fund the new plans, the government will be putting an extra £8m into the budget of the charities watchdog.

Detention: US detainee finally released from North Korea

Jeffrey Fowle, a US citizen who has been detained in North Korea since June has finally been released, reports the BBC.

Visiting North Korea in April this year, 56-year-old Fowle was detained upon trying to exit the country in June. Charged with anti-state crimes, Fowle was stripped of his liberty and held by the authorities of North Korea.

It was claimed that Fowle had attempted missionary activity, an act that is illegal in the country. He was accused of this following an incident where, he claims by accident, he left a Bible in a restaurant toilet in the city of Chongjin. Defending his actions, Fowle's family protested that he was not on a religious mission.

Criminal law: Pistorius sentence is revealed

The South African court has finally reached a decision on the sentencing of Oscar Pistorius after being found guilty of killing his former girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, the BBC reports.

While Pistorius was charged with culpable homicide but cleared of murder earlier this month, it has taken some time for the court to determine in his sentence. However, Judge Thokozile Masipa has now ruled that Pistorius would serve five years in jail.

News of the decision provoked mixed opinions, with many commenting that the sentence was far too light given the severity of the crime. The prosecution had argued for a greater jail term, suggesting that ten years in prison ought to be the minimum in this case. Arguing the other extreme, the defence fought for no jail term at all and suggested merely house arrest and community service.

Law and government: Green Party politician Jenny Jones arrested

Green Party deputy chair of the London assembly's police and crime committee has been arrested along with 15 other people during a demonstration near parliament, reports the Guardian.

Jones, 64, was arrested after visiting the protest site of Occupy London. She was arrested for "obstructing the police" after she had been contacted by the protesters who had claimed the police were using heavy-handed tactics to control the protest.

At the time of the incident, it was said as many as eight police vans had been used in Parliament Square to deal with the protesters.

New guidelines have been released stating those criminal who use knifes or guns during a robbery should receive longer sentences, reports the Guardian.

The proposals come after a period where fatal stabbing and knife crime have risen in prominence in public perception. The intention is to reduce the threat of such crimes upon members of the public.

The new guidelines state: "Sentencing levels must reflect the serious social problem of offenders carrying knives. Even in cases where a knife is not produced, and indeed may not exist, if an offender threatens to use a knife the victim has every reason to believe the threat is real as there is societal concern that knife crime has become widespread. This is particularly true in street robberies."

Benefits law: Prime Minister proposes cap on benefit payouts

Housing and living benefits are to be capped as part of the Conservative party's plans for greater employment, reports the Daily Mail.

Prime Minister, David Cameron, has proposed that a cap be placed on housing and living benefits to a maximum of £23,000 in a bid to save the country £300million. Therefore, if the Conservative party wins the next election, thousands of families will have their benefit allowances cut by up to £60 per week.

In addition to this, David Cameron proposes cutting benefits for the young and jobless altogether in a bid to encourage them to find paid work. To balance this proposal, the Prime Minister will approach firms to offer apprenticeships to three million young people looking for work and train them to a high professional standard. He has suggested that cutting benefits to the unemployed will help to partially fund these apprenticeships in which he plans to invest £1billion.

A recent live broadcasting of Radio 1's Big Weekend witnessed two celebrities swearing during their performances, reports the BBC.

Watchdog Ofcom have been investigating a live broadcast from Radio 1's May event, the Big Weekend. The investigation comes as a result of complaints being made over the obscenities that were spoken and sung by two performers in particular.

During her performance, Lily Allen was heard swearing six times yet even after the first couple of instances, the Radio chose to continue broadcasting her show. Furthermore, Allen's timeslot during the event was between 17:30 and 18:00, thus ahead of the watershed.

There has been a significant increase in the time it takes for couples to get divorced and the courts in England and Wales are putting this increase down to the fact that many individuals are now going down the route of representing themselves in court.

The average time for a court case has increased by three weeks in comparison to the same time last year and this appears to be down to the fact that Legal Aid is no longer available for family law cases.

In cases where individuals decided to use legal representation, the average length of each case was 24 weeks whereas those who represented themselves in court, also known as litigants in person, saw cases last for around 32 weeks.

Arguments arise over European migration to Britain, reports the Mail on Sunday.

In a bid to limit the number of Europeans who migrate to Britain every year, the Prime Minister has proposed capping the number at 100,000. However, his plan has been publicly criticised by the European Commission's President, Jose Manuel Barroso.

President Barosso shut down Cameron's proposal on the Andrew Marr show at the weekend. He deemed the plan 'illegal' under EU rules and regulations which are in place to protect the freedom of movement for European nationals. However, Tory Chairman Grant Shapps leapt to Cameron's defence, yet he and President Barroso became lost in a war of words regarding the proposal.

Justice Secretary, Chris Grayling, has proposed that the current six month maximum sentence for internet trolls be raised to two years, reports the BBC.

Following the recent publicity surrounding the Madeley family's threats from twitter trolls, the Justice Secretary has decided that such individuals must be shown that the authorities are determined to punish their vile behaviour.

Chris Grayling has proposed that the current six month maximum sentence be increased to two years, quadrupling the maximum sentence in hope of sending a clear message to internet trolls that online abuse using language of a threatening nature will not be tolerated.

The National Audit Office (NAO) has released information showing yearly overpayments of Housing Benefit have reached almost £1.4bn over the last four years, reports the BBC.

The NAO has examined the Department of Work and Pensions' (DWP) activity over the past four years and have seen a large increase in the amount of money paid out for housing benefit that may have been overpaid.

The DWP provides housing benefit for five million low-paid households and total payments in 2013-14 came to £23.9bn. Within this, £900m was in overpayments due to claimant error, £340m due to fraud and £150m due to errors by officials.

Sun staff face charges of conspiring to commit misconduct in a public office as they appear in court to answer the allegations, the BBC reports.

Six members of staff at the Sun newspaper are accused of making payments to public officials in return for information on various people of interest. Between the years of 2002 and 2011, the accused are said to have made agreements with police officers, prison staff and soldiers among others to pay them for information on people of public interest including the Royal Family and famous inmates.

All six staff deny the charges. The roles of each member of staff vary from journalists to editors and they have received between two and six charges of conspiring to commit misconduct in a public office each.

Family law: Landmark ruling in case of unmarried couple

A ruling has been made in favour of an unmarried ex partner in a landmark case for family law, reports the Daily Mail.

Former couple, Catherine Blackburn and David Southwell, have been in court arguing over assets. Historically, given that the couple were not married, the court would be inclined to divide the assets in exactly the way in which their paperwork determined.

However, in a landmark ruling, Judge Daniel Pearce-Higgins QC, found in favour of Ms Blackburn, even though her name did not appear on the documents of the asset in question, their home.

Home Secretary plans to put an end to limitless bail times in order to spare those on bail from suffering for too long, reports the BBC.

Current policy allows for bail time to be as long as investigating officers consider necessary with some cases lasting years. In response to recent cases, some of which have involved public figures, such as Jim Davidson and BBC Broadcaster, Paul Gambaccini, the Home Secretary has arranged for a consultation to be hosted by the Home Office with a view to putting a legal limit on the amount of time suspects may be placed on police bail.

Currently over 71,000 people are on bail in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. A considerable number of these individuals have been on bail for months already and, in some cases, years.

A new report published by the UN has stated the surveillance of the internet by government intelligence agencies may undermine international law, reports the Guardian.

The report, written by Ben Emmerson QC, a specialist on counter-terrorism, was released as a response to the Edward Snowden revelations concerning the extent to which government agencies were spying on the public via digital channels.

The report focuses on Article 17 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, where it is stated: "no one shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his or her privacy, family, home and correspondence, nor to unlawful attacks on his or her honour or reputation."