JDOC6275 The legal foundations of global health and development

1.1 Course details

Course code: LLAW6275 / JDOC6275
Course name: The Legal Foundations of Global Health and Development
Programme offered under: LLM Programme / JD Programme
Semester: Second
Prerequisites / Co-requisites: No
Credit point value: 9 credits / 6 credits
Cap on student numbers: 50

1.2 Course description

This is an Elective designed primarily for the LLM in Medical Ethics and Law programme, and will introduce students to global health law, international moves towards a right to global health, the fundamental human right of access to basic medical services, national and coordinated international responses to and the management of global health hazards (including responses to emergent infections, epidemics, antimicrobial resistance (AMR), addiction and substance abuse), the socio-legal management of and responses to risky behaviours (including STDs, addiction and substance abuse).

The course will also cover the role of international law, treaties and instruments touching on global health concerns, and how international law operates, and how it is different from national law.

The constitution, function, role and effectiveness of key international global health organizations such as the United Nations, World Health Organization, UNICEF and the FAO will also be studied.  Selected examples on key pressing current issues such as national and international responses to SARS, MERS, Ebola, Zika and AMR, as well as an assessment of the state of national and international preparedness for highly-pathogenic future pandemics and the effectiveness of public health measures such as that for tobacco control will be examined through case studies.

Students will also be introduced to the International Health Regulations (IHR 2005), and will examine responses of the various IHR Emergency Committees on Ebola, MERS-CoV, Zika virus, etc.  The often-strained relationships between international health organisations such as the WHO and national agencies will be examined.

The argument for basic medical services as a fundamental human right will be examined, particularly in the context of the links between health access on the one hand and economic and social development and social stability of developing countries on the other.  The use of denial of medical services as a weapon of war will also be discussed.

In a similar context, equitable access to drugs and fair pricing will also be considered, as well as the role of intellectual property claims in the context of access to pharmaceutics.

Finally, the course will examine current moves both at the national and international levels for a coordinated public health response to noncommunicable diseases (including epidemic ‘lifestyle’ diseases such as diabetes and other NCDs which are metabolic disorders), and the role that national and international law can play in such responses.

1.3 Course teachers

Name E-mail address Office Consultation
Course convenor Calvin Ho cwlho@hku.hk CCT 803 By email
Course convenor Eric Ip ericcip@hku.hk CCT 705 By email

2.1 Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs) for this course

CLO 1 Students will be able to acquaint themselves with basic concepts of global health law, international moves towards a right to global health, the fundamental human right of access to basic medical services, national and coordinated international responses to and the management of global health hazards (including responses to emergent infections, epidemics, antimicrobial resistance (AMR), addiction and substance abuse), the socio-legal management of and legal responses to risky behaviours (including STDs, addiction and substance abuse).

CLO 2 Students will be able to understand the role of international law, treaties and instruments touching on global health concerns, and how international law operates, and how it is different from national law.

CLO 3 Students will be able to understand the constitution, function, role and effectiveness of key international global health organizations such as the United Nations, World Health Organization, UNICEF and the FAO. Through case studies of selected examples on key pressing current issues such as national and international responses to SARS, MERS, Ebola, Zika and AMR, as well as an assessment of the state of national and international preparedness for highly-pathogenic future pandemics and the effectiveness of public health measures such as that for tobacco control, understand what role national and international law can play, as well as of the limitations of both national and international law.

CLO 4 Students will be able to familiarize themselves with International Health Regulations (IHR 2005), as well as of their impact through examining responses of the various IHR Emergency Committees on Ebola, MERS-CoV, Zika virus, etc, as well as through an assessment of the relationships between international health organisations such as the WHO and national agencies.

CLO 5 Students will be able to make a case for the argument for basic medical services as a fundamental human right, particularly in the context of the links between health access on the one hand and economic and social development and social stability of developing countries on the other.

2.2 LLM Programme Learning Outcomes (PLOs)

PLO A On successful completion of the curriculum, students should be able to demonstrate a solid understanding of the body of legal knowledge and the capacity to conduct research on, critically analyse and evaluate legal principles, at a level required to meet the standards and expectations of the legal profession and the community at large.

PLO B On successful completion of the curriculum, students should be able to apply their legal knowledge and research skills to practical situations or theoretical challenges, and utilise their comparative understanding of the law and its political, social and cultural contexts to provide original and creative insights to legal problems.

PLO C On successful completion of the curriculum, students should be able to apply the knowledge, lawyering skills and legal reasoning to real and novel situations in life, with a view to resolving issues, problems and disputes within the legal parameters.

PLO D On successful completion of the curriculum, students should be able to demonstrate the ability to present effectively legal arguments in the professional context, as well as conveying and explaining the law effectively to lay clients and members of the larger community.

PLO E On successful completion of the curriculum, students should be able to appreciate the underlying moral values of the law and ethics in the profession and the legal system in the broad social, economic, political and cultural contexts: justice, the Rule of Law, and protection of rights and liberties which form the fabrics of a civilised society, and the importance of upholding these values by the legal community.

PLO F On successful completion of the curriculum, students should be able to develop a strong awareness of social issues and conditions, and utilise analytical abilities and rhetorical advocacy to provide leadership for the betterment of the human community.

2.3 Programme Learning Outcomes to be achieved in this course

PLO A PLO B PLO C PLO D PLO E PLO F
CLO 1  ✓  ✓
CLO 2  ✓  ✓  ✓
CLO 2  ✓  ✓  ✓
CLO 4  ✓  ✓  ✓
CLO 5  ✓  ✓  ✓

3.1 Assessment Summary

Assessment task Due date Weighting Feedback method* Course learning outcomes
Class participation (including reflection papers) TBC 30% 1 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Take home exam TBC 70% 1 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
*Feedback method (to be determined by course teacher)
1 A general course report to be disseminated through Moodle
2 Individual feedback to be disseminated by email / through Moodle
3 Individual review meeting upon appointment
4 Group review meeting
5 In-class verbal feedback

3.2 Assessment Detail

To be advised by course convenor(s).

3.3 Grading Criteria

Please refer to the following link: http://www.law.hku.hk/course/grading-criteria/

4.1 Learning Activity Plan

Seminar: 3 - 3.5 hours / week for 12 teaching weeks
Private study time: 9.5 hours / week for 12 teaching weeks

Remarks: the normative student study load per credit unit is 25 ± 5 hours (ie. 150 ± 30 hours for a 6-credit course), which includes all learning activities and experiences within and outside of classroom, and any assessment task and examinations and associated preparations.

4.2 Details of Learning Activities

To be advised by course convenor(s).

5.1 Resources

Reading materials: Reading materials are posted on Moodle
Core reading list: TBA
Recommended reading list: TBA

5.2 Links

Please refer to the following link: http://www.law.hku.hk/course/learning-resources/


By the publication of the course profile online, the Faculty deems the student as having been notified of the course requirements.