Basic Structure

The JD programme can usually be finished in two years. To start off their study in law, newly admitted JD students are required to attend a three-week induction period in August. There are two regular semesters in each academic year: the first semester, which lasts from September to December, and the second semester, which lasts from January to May. There is also a one-month June semester in the second year.

In order to complete the programme, students are required to take courses worth a total of 144 credits. A one-semester course in the JD programme is usually worth 6 credits, and a full-year course 12 credits. 90 of the required 144 credits comprise core courses, which are listed below:

  • Administrative Law
  • Commercial Law
  • Constitutional Law
  • Contract Law I & II
  • Criminal Law I & II
  • Equity & Trusts I & II
  • Land Law I & II
  • Legal Research & Methods
  • Legal System
  • Tort Law I & II

Students are also required to complete a 6-credit dissertation.

The remaining 48 credits are devoted to electives. Students who wish to apply for the PCLL must take the following 6-credit PCLL pre-requisite courses as their electives:

  • Civil Procedure
  • Company Law
  • Criminal Procedure
  • Evidence
  • Land Law III

In the first year, students will start with two introductory courses, Legal System and Legal Research & Methods, during the induction period in August. These two courses commence earlier than other courses to introduce students to the basics of legal study and prepare them for the substantive courses. Then, students will take three full-year courses in Contract Law, Tort Law, and Criminal Law respectively. They will also take Constitutional Law in the first semester, and Administrative Law and Commercial Law in the second semester.

The second-year curriculum is primarily devoted to electives to allow students to explore their academic interests and to develop an area of focus. The only core courses remaining are the full-year Equity & Trusts, Land Law, and the Dissertation. The Faculty of Law offers electives in a wide variety of cutting-edge areas of law, such as financial law, international arbitration, environmental law, competition law, intellectual property law, to name but a few. There are no restrictions on the selection of electives, except that students must fulfill certain programme requirements as stated in the syllabus.

Suggested Sequence of Study

(Effective from the academic year 2017-2018)

Year 1 (66 credits)   Year 2 (78 credits)
Induction Period First Semester Second Semester First Semester Second Semester June Semester
Legal System (6 credits)   Dissertation (6 credits)
Legal Research & Methods (6 credits) Contract I (6 credits) Contract II (6 credits) Land Law I
(6 credits)
Land Law II
(6 credits)
*Elective (6 credits)
  Tort I (6 credits) Tort II (6 credits) Equity & Trusts I (6 credits) Equity & Trusts II (6 credits) *Elective (6 credits)
  Criminal Law I
(6 credits)
Criminal Law II
(6 credits)
*Elective (6 credits) *Elective (6 credits)  
  Constitutional Law (6 credits) Administrative Law (6 credits) *Elective (6 credits) *Elective (6 credits)  
    Commercial Law (6 credits) *Elective (6 credits) *Elective (6 credits)  

* Students who intend to proceed to PCLL must take five PCLL pre-requisite courses as electives: Civil Procedure, Company Law, Criminal Procedure, Evidence, and Land Law III.

* Students must choose at least one elective from the "International, Comparative and Theoretical Perspectives of Law (ICT)" list of courses. Students with no substantial background in Chinese Law must take one elective course listed under “Chinese Law electives”.  Students with a substantial background in Chinese Law must take one elective course listed under “Common Law electives”.