LLAW2003 & LLAW2004 Criminal law I & II

1.1 Course details

Course code: LLAW2003 & LLAW2004
Course name: Criminal Law I & II
Programme offered under: LLB Programme
Semester: Full Year
Designated research course: Not applicable
Specialization: Not applicable
Prerequisites / Co-requisites: No
Course offered to non-law students: No
Credit point value: 6 credits + 6 credits

1.2 Course description

Criminal Law I introduces students to the principles of Hong Kong criminal law and liability. Topics include the nature and classification of crime, elements of criminal procedure in Hong Kong, the burden of proof and the impact of constitutional human rights, and the general principles of criminal responsibility. Offences considered will include homicide, non-fatal offences against the person, criminal damage and theft.

Criminal Law II examines further aspects of criminal law and liability in Hong Kong, including criminal defences, participation and inchoate liability. It will examine the application of the general principles of criminal responsibility in selected criminal offence areas, including homicide, assaults, sexual offences, and theft and deception. Where possible, students will be encouraged to consider alternative approaches to the principles of liability, and to develop social policy analysis skills.

1.3 Course teachers

Name E-mail address Office Consultation
Course convenor / tutor (first and second semester) Michael Jackson mjackson@hku.hk CCT 807 By email
Course convenor  / tutor (first semester) Michael Hor mhor@hku.hk CCT 711 By email
Course convenor / tutor (second semester) Peter Chau pscchau@hku.hk CCT 706 By email
Course tutor (second semester) Isabella Liu bellalwt@hku.hk CCT 601 By email

2.1 Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs) for this course

CLO 1 Be familiar with and able to apply the basic principles of Hong Kong criminal law, including in particular:

(a)  the sources of criminal law in HK, with special emphasis on statutory sources and statutory interpretation;

(b) the various ways in which criminal liability is typically constructed using the concepts of actus reus, mens rea, inchoate liability, secondary party liability, the presumption of mens rea and strict liability;

(c) the various ways in which criminal liability is typically restricted or diminished using the concepts of self defence, crime prevention, duress, consent, insanity, and other defences;

(d) the relationship of the Basic Law and HK Bill of Rights to, and their impact on, the criminal law in HK;

(e) the basic features of Hong Kong’s criminal justice system and criminal procedure;

(f) the importance of criminal procedure and the law of evidence in the development of the criminal law.

CLO 2 Be able to clearly explain and competently apply the elements of the following common criminal offences: murder, manslaughter, assault/battery, various aggravated assaults, rape, indecent assault, criminal damage and arson, theft, deception offences – and perhaps others.

CLO 3 Be skilled in reading unfamiliar statutory provisions purporting to create criminal offences and then accurately breaking those offences down into their constituent elements, making appropriate use of the basic principles noted above.

CLO 4 Be skilled in reading criminal cases, and, in particular, in soundly identifying the relevant issues, the arguments of counsel and the judge, the decision and the effect of the case upon other criminal law doctrine, and, where necessary, be able both to critically assess the reasoning and conclusion in any given case and also articulate alternative lines of analysis in response to those criticisms.

CLO 5 Be skilled in analyzing a set of given facts, identifying possible offences committed, and constructing and articulating a rational and convincing argument for guilt or innocence in accordance with the basic principles and substantive criminal law knowledge noted above, both orally and in writing in English.

CLO 6 May have participated in a group presentation, involving working with others to research and prepare, and then present in class, an English language presentation about a specific criminal law topic or case, using MS Powerpoint or other appropriate aids.

CLO 7 Be skilled in searching Hong Kong and English primary and secondary materials relevant to the resolution of criminal law problems, and be familiar with searching for such materials in cognate jurisdictions (such as Canada, Australia and New Zealand).

CLO 8 Be competent in thinking critically and reflectively about how the criminal law is administered in the context of Hong Kong’s criminal justice system.

2.2 LLB Programme Learning Outcomes (PLOs)

PLO A Demonstrate a solid understanding of the body of legal knowledge and the capacity to critically analyse and evaluate legal principles and arguments, at a level required to meet the standards and expectations of the legal profession and the community at large.

PLO B Apply the knowledge, lawyering skills and legal reasoning to real situations in life, with a view to resolving issues, problems and disputes within the legal parameters.

PLO C Appreciate the underlying values of the law 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 D Appreciation of the differences in laws and legal systems among different political, social and cultural environments, and develop a comparative understanding of the different legal systems, legal ethos and legal cultures among the various jurisdictions.

PLO E 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 F Strong awareness of social issues and conditions, and utilise analytical abilities and rhetorical advocacy for the betterment of the human community.

2.3 Programme Learning Outcomes to be achieved in this course

CLO 1  ✓
CLO 2  ✓
CLO 3  ✓  ✓
CLO 4  ✓  ✓

3.1 Assessment Summary

Assessment task Due date Weighting Feedback method* Course learning outcomes
End of semester Test (first semester) 11 Dec 2020 10% 1, 2 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Magistrate’s court report (second semester) TBC 30% 2 1, 8
Final exam (second semester) TBC 60% 1, 2 1, 7, 8
  *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

Lecture: 2 hours / week for 12 teaching weeks
Tutorial: 1 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: Duplicated materials are posted on Moodle
Core reading list: Textbook (optional)

  • Simon So, Criminal Law in Hong Kong (Lexis Nexis, 2020)Michael Jackson, Criminal Law in Hong Kong (Hong Kong University Press, 2003)
  • John Child & David Ormerod, Smith, Hogan & Ormerod’s Essentials of Criminal Law (OUP, 3rd ed, 2019)
  • David Ormerod and Karl Laird, Smith, Hogan & Ormerod’s Criminal Law (OUP, 15th ed, 2018)
  • Andrew Simester, John Spencer, and Findlay Stark et. al., Simester & Sullivan’s Criminal Law: Theory and Doctrine (Hart Publishing, 6th ed, 2016)

Statutory Materials (optional)

Simon Young, "The Essential Statutes on Hong Kong Criminal Law and Procedure 2008/2009", (Lexis-Nexis Butterworths, 2008)

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.