Undergraduate Degrees

Bachelor of Laws (LLB)

1. Course Requirements and Programme Structure

1.1 The educational aspiration of the LLB degree

It is the mission of the Law Faculty to:

  1. Instill in our students a strong commitment to the rule of law and justice.
  2. Equip our students with the highest level of analytical, professional and practical skills.

We know that the rule of law, which is the foundation of Hong Kong society and its economic success, is in the hands of future lawyers.  Our aim is to facilitate your moral and intellectual development to enable you to take up this important role in the future in whatever capacity you may choose to serve society.

Specifically, the LLB programme aims to help students achieve the following learning outcomes:

  • A solid understanding of the law and the capacity to critically analyse and evaluate legal principles and arguments.
  • Ability to apply the legal knowledge, research and reasoning skills you have learnt to real life situations, with a view to resolving issues, problems and disputes within the parameters of the law.
  • Ability to present legal arguments effectively and in a professional manner, and to convey and explain complex legal issues to lay clients or members of the larger community.
  • Ability to appreciate the underlying values of law and the legal system in the broader social, economic, political and cultural contexts.
  • Ability to appreciate and understand the comparative differences between legal systems, legal ethos and legal culture among various jurisdictions and to think critically about how these differences may guide approaches to law reform in the future.
  • To develop a strong awareness of social issues and conditions with a view to identifying avenues for law reform to address new challenges and to change law which no longer delivers just outcomes.

1.2 Your Role as a Student of the Law


(Photo Credits: Wildy)

You will study an array of courses that will form the core and elective components of your degree. The key to your success in all these courses, however, is your ability to think like a good lawyer.

To help you to develop the necessary critical thinking skills, your lecturer will teach very differently from your previous teachers (and the tutorial colleges that you have been attending).  Be prepared to being challenged and to go beyond your comfort zone.

Think and form your own view: The best lecturer is not someone who tells you the ‘model’ answer and asks you to rote learn it and regurgitate it in the exam.  You will (a) be asked to read a lot; (b) form your own judgment on the point of view you think best addresses the legal problem; (c) debate with your peers and defend your point of view by coming up with good arguments; and (d) be assessed according to the quality of your arguments and your ability to make good and reasoned judgments. To achieve these and to reap the rich rewards that university life beholds for you, you will need to be highly dedicated and disciplined.

Learn how to construct arguments: Assessments methods will be in multiple forms, ranging from in-hall exam (which may be open or closed book), take-home exams, research papers, periodic coursework, online assessments, oral presentations, mooting, simulation exercises, etc. The key to do well in these assessments is to build arguments step-by-step in order to persuade the examiner of your point of view.  Students who get good marks are those who can utilise the information to generate solutions to legal problems and by conveying their reasons for such an approach persuasively.

To learn how to construct arguments, read a very good book by Anthony Weston, A Rulebook for Arguments (Hackett Student Handbooks), (Hackett Publishing Inc, 4th, 2008)

To better prepare yourself and understand what studying law is about, also read:

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(Photo Credits: Hackett Publishing Inc, Longman and Sweet & Maxwell HK respectively)

1.3 Course enrollment

Regardless of the stream you have chosen, you will be required to partake in courses amounting to 60 credits in total this year. These would include:

  • 4 Professional Core Courses
  • Common Core Courses
  • Core University English or Free Elective
  • Electives
LLB BBA (Law) and LLB BSocSC (Govt&Laws) and LLB BA (Literary Studies) and LLB
Course Enrolment Structure

Professional Core in Law
(30 Credits)

Common Core Courses

(24 Credits)

(6 Credits)

(12 Credits)

(6 Credits)

Core University English or Free Elective
(6 Credits)

Business or Accounting Core/ Electives

Social Sciences/ Politics and Public Admin Courses

Literary Studies Courses

(18 Credits)

(12 Credits)

(18 Credits)

TOTAL: 60 Credits

For more information on the various courses offered by the Faculty, learning objectives for each course, its format and teaching staff, please visit the Academic Resources Support Centre

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1.3.1 Professional Core Courses

The 4 Professional Core Courses are compulsory for ALL first year students.

These courses are designated as “core” and offered in your first year because they all aim to instill in students the foundation, knowledge and skills necessary for them to progress in their legal studies and career in the future.

In this first year, in Legal System of the HKSAR, you will be introduced to the way in which a legal system operates to achieve certain functions and objectives, including meeting society’s expectations of protecting certain values, implementing and enforcing the law and maintaining law and order through the peaceful resolution of disputes.

You will also learn, through Law & Society, the way in which law has led social changes in attitudes and behaviours, and consider the role of morality and culture in influencing the content of the law by discussing salient controversies of the day. You will also study how governments were historically organised and the underlying ideologies behind such a set up.

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(Photo Credits: Wikipedia)

The Law of Contract I & II will introduce you to a very important area of law that is used in 90% of your legal practice, and it will help you acquire the skills of analysing law and presenting legal arguments, all of which are important thinking and lawyering skills.

Legal Research and Writing I provides you with the foundational skills to read cases and look for the key components of a judgment, to find cases on a point of law, and to prepare legal memoranda and research papers to develop and present your legal arguments and ideas.


The Legal System of the HKSAR LLAW1008

The aim of the Legal system course is to provide students with an understanding of the HKSAR’s legal system, its common law foundations and its interface with the PRC legal system within the One-Country-Two-Systems framework outlined in Basic Law. We will look at the common law process and the role of personnel who help put the law into motion. We will examine the impact and performance of Hong Kong’s legal system through the study of a range of current issues, including the law making process, the rule of law, the workings of one-country-two-systems and access to justice.

Law and Society LLAW1009

The objective of this course is to introduce students to the historical, comparative and critical study of issues relating to “law and society”.  We hope to capture the dynamics between law and society, namely, how law is shaped by social changes, perception and thought, and how society is moulded by legal rules and norms. We will discuss broad interdisciplinary perspectives and theoretical, empirical and policy considerations relevant to the study of the relationship between law and society.

Legal Research and Writing I LLAW1013

This course is designed as a practice-focused skills course and deliberately emphasizes maximum participation. The lectures and tutorials work in tandem to help students to develop skills such as research, analysis, legal reasoning, and persuasive argument. Students will be introduced to judgements, ordinances, and specific legal genres such as case note and  legal memorandum.

Law of Contract I & II LLAW1001 LLAW1002

The law of Contract is perhaps one of the most important foundations of private law.  In this course, students will learn the law that governs almost all major commercial transactions and the important thinking skills required in law.

The following outlines some aspects of the format and expectations of each professional core course:

Law of Contract I and II Legal Research and Writing Law and Society Legal System of HKSAR
Credits

12

6

6

6

Full/ half year

Full

Half

Half

Half

Semester

1 and 2

1

2

1

Teaching Weeks

24

12

12

12

Learning Activities Lectures

2 hrs/ week

1 hr/ week

2 hrs/ week

2 hrs/ week

Tutorials

5 Double-hour tutorials per semester

2 hrs/ week

1 hr/ week

2 hrs/ week

Private Studying*

Assessment In-class participation

20%

10%

10%

Assignment

X

30%

X

30%

Take-home Exam

60%

70%

In-hall Exam

80%

X

90%

X

TOTAL: 100%

* Private Studying: as a university student, the major part of the learning process is undertaken by you. Whilst there is no fixed upper limit on the number of hours you spend on private study, the normative student study load per credit unit as recommended by the University is 25 (± 5) hours (ie. 150 (± 30) hours for a 6-credit course).

For more information, please visit: http://www.law.hku.hk/course/core-courses.

Alternatively, if you still have any questions after reading the information above, feel free to contact the respective coordinators for the first year courses.

Course Name Email Room Number
Legal System of HKSAR

Eric Ip
Eric_Ip.JPG

ericcip@hku.hk

CCT 705

Karen Kong
Karen_Kong.JPG

kykong@hku.hk

CCT 910

Law and Society

Scott Veitch
Veitch_Scott.JPG

veitch@hku.hk

CCT 409

Anne Cheung
Anne_Cheung2.jpg

anne.cheung@hku.hk

CCT 604

Terry Kaan
terry_kaan.jpg

kaan@hku.hk

CCT 713

Legal Research and Writing I

Mi Zhou
MZHOU.JPG

zhoumi@hku.hk

CCT 608

Law of Contract I and II

Lusina Ho
lusina.jpg

lusainho@hku.hk

CCT 612

Anselmo Reyes

anselmo@hku.hk

CCT 601

1.3.2 Core University English or Free Elective

Candidates who have achieved Level 5** in English Language in the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education Examination, or equivalent, may at the discretion of the Faculty, be exempted from this requirement and should take an elective course in lieu.

A pass in BOTH LLAW1013 Legal Research and Writing I and LLAW2017 Legal Research and Writing II shall be deemed to satisfy the “English in the Discipline” requirement under UG5(a) of the Regulations for First Degree Curricula.

1.3.3 Common Core Courses

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The HKU Common Core Curriculum is an essential part of providing a space to build friendships across all the Faculties; enhancing creative and critical thinking; and addressing complex questions of the contemporary world.

For students in the Law Faculty, you will be required to enroll in one or more of the Common Core Curriculum courses each year for the first three years of your studies. The actual number of Common Core courses you take each year varies, depending on the respective degree regulations as shown below:

LLB BBA (Law) and LLB BSocSC (Govt&Laws) and LLB BA (Literary Studies) and LLB
Year 1

4
(24 Credits)

1
(6 Credits)

2
(12 Credits)

1
(6 Credits)

Year 2

2
(12 Credits)

3
(18 Credits)

2
(12 Credits)

2
(12 Credits)

Year 3

N/A

N/A

N/A

1
(6 Credits)

Total:

6
(36 Credits)

4
(24 Credits)

4
(24 Credits)

4
(24 Credits)

The CCC focuses on significant issues centered in 4 Areas of Inquiry, namely:

Scientific and Technological Literacy Humanities Global Issues China: Culture, State and Society
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The CCC will help you make connections both to and beyond your chosen disciplinary fields of study, and to develop the intellectual, social, and innovative skills that all HKU undergraduates will need when they go into their respective career paths. These ideas will also undergird the ethical perspectives that the global HKU community is striving to practise.

For more information, please visit the Common Core Curriculum website.

1.4 Degree Classifications

All degrees offered at the Faculty of Law will be awarded in five divisions determined by the Board of Examiners for the degree in accordance with the following Cumulative GPA scores, with all courses taken (including failed courses) carrying equal weighting:

Class of Honours CGPA Range

First Class Honours

3.60 - 4.30

Second Class Honours

Division One

Division Two

2.40 - 3.59

3.00 - 3.59

2.40 - 2.99

Third Class Honours

1.70 - 2.39

Pass

1.00 - 1.69

Notwithstanding the above, the Board of Examiners has the discretion to limit the number of candidates to be awarded a particular class of honours as follows :-

  • First: no more than 10% of the graduating class;
  • Second (Division One): no more than 55% of the graduating class;
  • Second (Division Two); Third; Pass and Fail: remainder of the graduating class.

1.5 Assessment Methods

In all of your assessments, you will be graded by reference to the following criteria.

Grade Corresponding GPA

A+ Outstanding

4.3

A Excellent

4.0

A- Borderline Excellent

3.7

B+ Very Good

3.3

B Good (Average Competent Answer)

3.0

B- Borderline Good

2.7

C+ Very Satisfactory

2.3

C Satisfactory

2.0

C- Borderline Satisfactory

1.7

D+ Pass

1.3

D Borderline Pass

1.0

F Fail

0.0