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

A legal change in Portugal will see descendants of persecuted Jews being eligible to apply for dual citizenship, The Guardian reports.

Five hundred years after executing Jews, forcing them to convert to Christianity and expelling them from the country, Portugal is set to introduce a law granting citizenship rights to Jewish descendants.

Cabinet spokesman, Luis Marques Guedes, said the Portugese Government has passed amendments to its nationality law providing citizenship rights for 'Sephardic Jews' - the term used for Jews who previously lived in the Iberian peninsula.

Police and prosecutors have been instructed to ask rape suspects how they knew the alleged victim consented to sex, the BBC reports.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has announced new guidelines on consent in rape cases.

At the first-ever national conference on rape investigations and prosecutions, the CPS issued police and prosecutors in England and Wales advice outlining the circumstances in which a person can consent to sex.

Cristina Kirchner, the Argentinian President, has called on Congress to dissolve the Argentine intelligence service over rogue agent concerns, reports the Telegraph.

The move comes after the death of Alberto Nisman, who was found dead in his apartment on January 18. He had been discovered in his bathroom with a wound to his temple, and a .22 calibre gun was found on the floor next to him.

Mr Nisman's death comes the day before Mr Nisman was to provide information relating to a theory Ms Kirchner had protected Iranian officials suspected of involvement in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish building that left 85 people dead and injured over 200.

The European Commission's revised legislation would enable 42 items of personal information about air passengers to be collected and retained for years, The Guardian reports.

The European executive has led calls for the swift passage of a legislative package designed to collect and retain passenger information for all flights entering and leaving the European Union (EU).

Dimitris Avramopoulos, the European Commissioner for Justice and Home Affairs, has advised the European Parliament that storage of all air travellers' personal information would not conflict with safeguarding European civil liberties.

A change in Jersey's animal welfare legislation will see vets and conservation workers being allowed to draw blood from rare or endangered species, the BBC reports.

Following a change in the law, vets and conservation workers in Jersey are now permitted to take blood from rare and endangered species.

The Animal Welfare (Jersey) Law 2004 had previously prohibited vets taking blood samples from rare or endangered animals for any reason outside of veterinary diagnosis or monitoring.

A Russian man has been arrested by the FBI on charges of attempting to gather intelligence on behalf of Russia and trying to recruit Americans into spy network, reports the Huffington Post.

Evgeny Buryakov, 39, is said to have been an employee of a Russian bank based in Manhattan and, while working at the bank, he was also working on behalf the Russian government as a spy.

Two other men have also been charged with espionage in absentia as they no longer live in the US. Igor Sporyshev, 40, and Victor Podognyy, 27, had lived in the US but were protected by diplomatic immunity as Sporychev was a trade representative and Podognyy was an attaché to Russia's mission at the UN.

New Government proposals could see preferred English pubs legally preserved unless planning applications are made, The Guardian reports.

Under new Government proposals, English public houses that make it onto a list of pubs considered to be important to communities will not face demolition or be subjected to change-of-use without planning permission.

Kris Hopkins, the Communities minister, said the proposed changes provide pubs with increased protection and local people with an opportunity to have their say regarding pub preservation.

Medical law: Scottish assisted suicide law 'needs tougher safeguards'

The medical profession says the Scottish assisted suicide law must be more robust to protect doctors and patients alike, the BBC reports.

Giving evidence to Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) on Holyrood's health committee, doctors specialising in palliative care have warned that the proposed Scottish assisted suicide law "needs tougher safeguards."

In Scotland, it is not illegal to attempt suicide. However, helping someone else to end their life could lead to prosecution.

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe says mass surveillance threatens human rights, endangers lives and consumes anti-terrorist resources, The Guardian reports.

The leading human rights body in Europe says that mass surveillance techniques represent a threat to "fundamental human rights" and violate the right to privacy protected by European law.

According to a draft report published by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), British laws that empower the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) are incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

Property law: Law lords consider challenge to £1m chalet lease

The Supreme Court is to hear an appeal concerning chalet charges that could increase to over £1m, the BBC reports.

A property case, which will leave holiday chalet owners with charges exceeding £1m in the final year of their lease agreement, has reached the Supreme Court.

In 1974, Paddy Arnold - the landlord of Oxwich leisure park, Gower - set the annual lease charge at £90. Twenty-five tenants signed the lease on this basis.

Jewish leadership mobilises itself to call for pan-European legislation outlawing anti-Semitism, The Guardian reports.

With support from former heads of State and Government, European Jewish leaders are lobbying for Europe-wide legislation to make anti-Semitism illegal.

During a three-year consultation, four constitutional law experts drafted a "tolerance" document, which they are now seeking to have converted into law throughout the 28-country strong European Union (EU).

Prisons: Prisoners caught taking 'legal highs' face new punishment

Concern about "legal high" drugs fuelling prison violence has led to a crackdown being launched this week, Sky News reports.

New Government plans will see prisoners who are caught taking "legal high" drugs face tougher penalties.

Punishments will include prisoners being kept in prison for longer, placed in isolation and having privileges withdrawn. In the most serious cases, prisoners may be prosecuted or moved to a higher security prison.

Yingluck Shinawatra, the former prime minister of Thailand, has been banned from politics and may face a criminal conviction, reports the Guardian.

Ms Shinawatra has been banned from politics for five years by the current military government, led by General Prayut Chan-o-cha, in connection with the government scheme to pay rice farmers twice the market price for their crop, which is thought to have cost the Thai government approximately £10bn.

Ms Shinawatra may also face 10 years in prison if she is found guilty of negligence by Thailand's supreme court due to the scheme.

Tobacco companies denounce proposed legislation mandating plain packaging for cigarettes, the BBC reports.

The tobacco industry has come out in force to oppose Government proposals to introduce standardised plain packaging for cigarettes.

According to the Tobacco Manufacturers Association, plans for plain cigarette packaging are based on "dogma" rather than empirical evidence.

Court of Appeal upholds a ban on Topshop selling Rihanna t-shirts without her permission, The Daily Telegraph reports.

Pop singer, Rihanna, 26, has emerged victorious in a legal battle with UK high street store, Topshop, over a t-shirt bearing the star's image.

In a landmark ruling on 'image rights' - the first successful celebrity case of its kind - the Court of Appeal upheld a prohibition on the women's fashion store selling a Rihanna 'tank' sleeveless t-shirt without her permission.