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

Alaa Abdel-Fattah, an Egyptian activist involved in the 2011 uprising, has been sentenced to five years in prison reports the Huffington Post.

The trial, which took place in the lecture hall of a police academy in a Cairo suburb, found Abdel-Fattah guilty of taking part in an unauthorised protest and assaulting a police officer.

Mr Abdel-Fattah, a software engineer by profession, has been involved in rallies supporting democracy and decrying the policies of the military government that controlled Egypt after the ousting of Hosni Mubarak in February 2011.

Consumer law: Ticket touts could be stung by £5,000 fines under new law

The government has agreed to support legislation regulating the market for re-selling unwanted event tickets, The Guardian reports.

In a government U-turn, ticket touting is to be made more difficult and could result in fines of up to £5,000 being imposed on those who break the law.

Under new government-endorsed legislation, the secondary ticketing market - which permits fans to re-sell unwanted tickets to music, sports and other events - will be regulated more closely.

Telecoms law: New law clamps down on 'cold call' companies

The government looks set to introduce a new law removing barriers to the Information Commissioner's Office imposing substantial financial penalties on 'cold call' companies, the BBC reports.

Following soaring numbers of complaints about 'cold calling' - particularly among the elderly and infirm - the government is changing the law to make it easier for companies making cold calls and sending nuisance text messages to be issued fines of up to £500,000.

From the start of the new tax year, the national data protection authority, the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), will no longer have the legal burden of proving that cold call communications are causing "substantial damage or substantial distress" before punishing the responsible parties.

Appeal judges have ruled the removal of the clothes of a 14-year-old girl by police while she was in their custody has been considered legal, reports the BBC.

In 2010 a 14-year-old girl was brought to a police station in Merseyside after she was arrested outside a kebab shop. Police found the girl was drunk and disorderly after apparently drinking a great deal of vodka.

Once detained at the police station, three female officers carried out a strip-search. The girl was given a gown to wear and her clothes, including underwear, were taken away over concerns she could use the clothes to harm herself.

A report concerning private parking companies and the fines they issue could see motorist recoup millions of pounds, reports the Guardian.

The report was compiled by barrister John de Waal QC and Jo Abbott on behalf of the RAC Foundation. The report argues that private parking companies are charging drivers a great deal for parking and the high costs do not reflect the losses placed upon the landowners.

There are approximately 20,000 private car parks in the UK which generate around £1.43bn a year. Many of these car parks demand money if a driver overstays or does not pay for their parking, contravening their regulations, and sometimes these charges can reach over £100.

Criminal law: Labour Party panel proposes 'victim's law'

A Labour Party taskforce has outlined 14 recommendations for improving how victims are treated by the criminal justice system, the BBC reports.

A panel dedicated to improving the handling of victims by the criminal justice system has published a set of proposals to promote and safeguard victims' rights.

The Labour Party-inspired taskforce, led by Lady Doreen Lawrence, recommends that judges should be equipped by statute to intervene in legal proceedings to prevent vulnerable witnesses - such as children, sexual assault victims and others - enduring harrowing cross-examination by counsel.

The Belgian Privacy Commission has found that Facebook's new privacy policy continues to breach European data protection and privacy laws, The Guardian reports.

Despite a recent update of its privacy policy, social media giant, Facebook, remains in breach of European data protection and privacy laws, according to a report commissioned by the Belgian Privacy Commission.

The report, prepared by the Centre of Interdisciplinary Law and ICT and Intellectual Property Rights at the University of Leuven in Belgium, concludes that Facebook's privacy policy update last month does not present new policies and practices, but merely expands on older versions.

The British government has released a statement confirming the monitoring of legally privileged conversations by intelligence agencies such as MI5 and MI6 were unlawful, reports the Guardian.

The British government have reviewed the policies of the intelligence agencies and have found the actions of the agencies have failed to comply with the European convention on Human rights.

A government spokesperson has said on the matter: "The concession the government has made today relates to the agencies' policies and procedures governing the handling of legally privileged communications and whether they are compatible with the European convention on human rights (ECHR).

Liberal Democrat politician, Danny Alexander, lays out plans to introduce a new offence of 'failing to avoid the prevention of economic crime,' the BBC reports.

The chief secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, intends to push for a new offence of 'corporate failure to avoid preventing an economic crime.'

The Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament (MP) also wants advice firms that aid or facilitate economic crime to be treated as accomplices.

A family law body is urging the government to introduce blame-free divorce and property rights for cohabitees, The Guardian reports.

A nationwide organisation of family lawyers dedicated to non-confrontational divorce, separation and other family issues is prompting the government to play catch-up by introducing blame-free divorce and property rights for cohabiting couples.

The family law body, called Resolution, points out that family life is dynamic and has changed considerably while the laws governing it have remained almost static.

Policing: National Crime Agency underperforming says MPs

The National Crime Agency has been criticised by a MPs' report which claims it is under-performing, reports the Guardian.

The National Crime Agency (NCA) became operational on 7 October 2013. Its mandate is to tackle serious and organised crime, which the agency claims costs the UK over £20 billion each year.

However, the Commons home affairs select committee has said the NCA is not meeting what is expected of it. The committee has pointed at the amount of money retrieved and its handling of child abuse cases as serious issues in the NCA's operations.

International: Two students imprisoned after insulting Thai monarch

On Monday two Thai students were jailed for two-and-a-half years after they were found guilty of insulting the country's monarch, reports the Telegraph.

The two students, Patiwat Saraiyaem, 23, and Pornthip Mankong, 26, were charged under the lese-majeste law which makes it a crime to threaten, insult or defame the king, queen, heir to the throne or regent of Thailand. The law carries with it a maximum prison sentence of 15 years.

In August 2014, Mr Saraiyaem and Ms Mankong had been arrested after they had put on a satirical play nearly a year earlier at Thammasat University in Bangkok.

A family member of a mentally ill suicide victim has claimed victory in a judicial review case, paving the way for bereaved families to obtain legal aid in inquests involving the state, the BBC reports.

The sister of a mentally ill man who committed suicide following his release from a clinic has won a judicial review, making it easier for bereaved relatives to get legal aid at inquests where the state is alleged to have played a role in the death.

The Legal Aid Agency (LAA) originally denied payment to Joanna Letts, 39, from Lambeth in south London, for expert legal representation at the inquest into the death of her brother, Christopher Letts, 29.

MPs are proposing plans to give new mothers paid breastfeeding breaks by law, The Telegraph reports.

Following on the heels of European Union (EU) calls for new mothers to be permitted up to two hours a day to breastfeed in the workplace, an all-party parliamentary report recommends that UK employment law should be amended to make paid breastfeeding breaks mandatory.

Aimed at promoting breastfeeding at home and in the workplace, the report of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on a Fit and Healthy Childhood recommends that employers give staff time to nurse their newborns without losing pay and provide on-site feeding and food storage facilities, among other things.

Family law: Judges to consult children before making care decisions

The Justice Minister has announced that judges will interview children to take their views on-board before making decisions in care proceedings, The Guardian reports.

The Justice Minister, Simon Hughes, has announced that children will play a more meaningful role in determining the outcome of care proceedings in family cases.

Children aged ten and over will be given the opportunity to give their opinions about what should happen to them when they face being taken into care or separated from a parent following a marital or relationship breakdown.