LLAW6204 Public law in common law jurisdiction

1.1 Course details

Course code: LLAW6204
Course name: Public Law in Common Law Jurisdiction
Programme offered under: LLM Programme
Semester: First
Prerequisites / Co-requisites: No
Credit point value: 9 credits
Cap on student numbers: 25

1.2 Course description

Public Law in Common Law Jurisdiction (PLCLJ) is a course which aims to provide a strong grounding in and understanding of the principles governing the development and the operation of the Common Law, primarily in the context of Public Law.

Part A of PLCLJ consists of a series of taught Seminars.

Part B of PLCLJ consists of (assessed) Student Presentations and Discussion.

Part A of the course examines the divergent impact of the Common Law approach on the development of Public Law in the UK and the USA.  Next it considers the way in which the Chinese (Mainland) political-legal structure has been shaped by historical events both during the Imperial period and post-1912 and post-1949.  It moves on to look at the way the Public Law aspect of the Common Law has developed within British Hong Kong and in the HKSAR.  Finally Part A considers aspects of the inter-action between the HKSAR Common Law system and the PRC legal system.

Note: MCL students who are not enrolled in PLCLJ will be allowed to audit LLAW6258 Private Law in Common Law Jurisdictions (without Assessment).

1.3 Course teachers

Name E-mail address Office Consultation
Course convenor Richard Cullen richard.cullen@gmail.com CCT 813 By email

 

2.1 Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs) for this course

Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:

CLO 1 To demonstrate a good basic understanding of certain key features of a Common Law Legal System (CLLS) and the general operational framework of a CLLS.

CLO 2 To demonstrate a solid understanding of certain comparative key features and the operational framework of the Public Law system applying within the CLLS applying in the HKSAR, the UK and the USA.

CLO 3 To appreciate how Public Law within a CLLS is shaped by wider political, economic and social contexts.

CLO 4 To appreciate the fundamentals of a Rule of Law regime and how the concept of the Rule of Law has been shaped by the development of the Common Law.

CLO 5 To demonstrate an ability to formulate - based on the understanding gained in 1-4 above - a detailed comparative research project located within the framework of the PLCLJ course.

CLO 6 To demonstrate an ability to use the understanding gained in 1-4 above to write up the agreed comparative research project in the form of a well-argued and well-written Minor Dissertation.

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 3
CLO 4
CLO 5
CLO 6

3.1 Assessment Summary

Assessment task Due date Weighting Feedback method* Course learning outcomes
Presentation 6 & 13 Nov 2020 25% 2, 3, 4, 5 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Minor dissertation 20 Dec 2020 75% 2, 3, 4, 5 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
*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

Each PLCLJ enrolled student will need to agree on a topic for their PLCLJ Minor Dissertation (MD) with Richard Cullen by Week 3 of PLCLJ.  Students are able to suggest their own MD topics for consideration.  Each MD topic should focus on an aspect of the operation of the law within the home jurisdiction of the student using a comparative approach which draws significantly on the Common Law.  Richard Cullen will be available to discuss possible topics and to assist students with their selections.

Student Presentation – 25% of marks

Each enrolled PLCLJ student will need to make an individual Class Presentation (CP) to the PLCLJ class, based on their pre-chosen topic, lasting 10-15 minutes which will be followed by a Question & Answer period of similar duration.  Students should use a short PowerPoint Slide display when presenting their CP. Each CP will be assessed and will contribute a maximum of 25% of the final mark in PLCLJ.

Minor Dissertation – 75% of Marks

The MD is limited to 5,000 words approximately.  Each MD will be focussed on the pre-chosen topic for each enrolled PLCLJ student.

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

Part A of PLCLJ consists of a series of taught Seminars.

Part A of the course examines the divergent impact of the Common Law approach on the development of Public Law in the UK and the USA. Next it considers the way in which the Chinese (Mainland) political-legal structure has been shaped by historical events both during the Imperial period and post-1912 and post-1949. It moves on to look at the way the Public Law aspect of the Common Law has developed within British Hong Kong and in the HKSAR. Finally Part A considers aspects of the inter-action between the HKSAR Common Law system and the PRC legal system.

Part B of PLCLJ consists of (assessed) Student Presentations.

5.1 Resources

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

Students will be provided, in advance, with Selected Readings. There will be no set text although certain reference works are noted below. The Selected Readings are provided as a primary reference source above all. That is, the Selected Readings are not set in advance as readings to be completed prior to the taught Seminars.

Perhaps the most readable, and short, introduction to the Common Law is Glanville Williams Learning the Law. This book has gone through many editions. Read the most recent one that is available.

Recommended reading list:

The following work adopts a more philosophical approach, and is highly recommended as a reference work. It is also available in a Chinese translation. P S Atiyah and R S Summers, Form and Substance in Anglo-American Law (Clarendon Press, 1987).

Another reference work which students may find helpful is: Howard, Nick, Beginning Constitutional Law (Routledge, 2013). This book is fundamentally focussed on the (“unwritten”) UK Constitution. Although the UK Constitution is not studied in detail within PLCLJ, the UK Constitutional System remains the source of many key Constitutional Principles which underpin Constitutional Systems around the Common Law world – including the HKSAR. This book provides a good, up to date explanation of important Constitutional Principles in a well set-out manner, using clear language.

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.