LLAW6109 Public international law

1.1 Course details

Course code: LLAW6109 / JDOC6109
Course name: Public International Law
Programme offered under: LLM Programme / JD Programme
Semester: First
Prerequisites / Co-requisites: No
Credit point value: 9 credits / 6 credits

1.2 Course description

In this introductory course to public international law, we will start by looking at the nature and role of international law and how it is made and applied, with particular emphasis being placed on the law of treaties. We will then shift our focus to discussing the different subjects of international law, starting with states, international organizations (especially the United Nations), and individuals, among others. With this introduction, we will be prepared to explore the pressing issues in the important fields of international human rights law and international humanitarian law, international economic law, the law of the seas and international criminal law. Sovereignty over territory, jurisdictional sovereignty, and immunities from national jurisdiction are the next topics, followed by an analysis of how states can be held responsible for violations of international law. Special attention then will be paid to the international law relating to the use of force, with particular emphasis being placed on the UN collective security system, and the peaceful settlement of international disputes. By the end of the course, students will not only be able to advise future clients and employers on the basic rules and characteristics of international law, they will have the problem-solving skills needed to analyze and resolve many of the legal problems that have plagued the international system.

1.3 Course teachers

Name E-mail address Office Consultation
Course convenor James Fry jamesfry@hku.hk CCT 712 By email

2.1 Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs) for this course

CLO 1  Demonstrate a sophisticated understanding of public international law in relation to current events.

CLO 2 Demonstrate critical reasoning and writing skills through in-class debate, a mid-term exam and a final paper.

CLO 3 Evaluate international law in light of the perceived needs of international society and the alleged purposes of international law.

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

CLO 1  ✓  ✓
CLO 2  ✓  ✓
CLO 3  ✓  ✓

3.1 Assessment Summary

Assessment task Due date Weighting Feedback method* Course learning outcomes
Oral mid-term exam 21 Oct 2020 50% 1, 2, 3
Research essay 16 Dec 2020 50% 1, 2, 3
*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 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 convenor.


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.