LLAW6252 Construction of commercial contracts

1.1 Course details

Course code: LLAW6252 / JDOC6252
Course name: Construction of Commercial Contracts
Programme offered under: LLM Programme / JD Programme
Semester: First
Prerequisites / Co-requisites: Students must have previously studied (and passed) the Law of Contract
Credit point value: 9 credits / 6 credits
Cap on student numbers: 30

1.2 Course description

This LLM elective is designed to provide students with an understanding of the principles of construction of commercial contracts. Unlike the substantive law of contract, construction of contractual terms is essentially intuitive in nature, with no rules but, rather, with fundamental guiding principles which have evolved from a large body of case law and, indeed, continue to evolve. It is, therefore, essential that any commercial lawyer has a solid grasp of such principles so as to enable them to anticipate how contractual terms are likely to be interpreted by the court for the purposes of giving advice and drafting contractual documents.

Other than examining the guiding principles of contractual construction, the course will also consider related concepts, such as implied terms, rectification and estoppel by convention, which are also highly relevant to the overall construction issue. To this end, the course will draw on, develop and deepen the knowledge acquired from their undergraduate study of the Law of Contract.

1.3 Course teachers

Name E-mail address Office Consultation
Course convenor Lee Mason masonlee@hku.hk N/A By email


2.1 Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs) for this course

CLO 1  explain the fundamental principles of contractual construction;

CLO 2  describe how various related concepts may be relevant to the overall construction issue; and

CLO 3  apply the knowledge and understanding of those principles and related concepts to assess the likely judicial interpretation of various contractual terms for the purposes of providing advice to commercial clients and informing the drafting process of contractual documents.

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 research, 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 On successful completion of the curriculum, students should be able to 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 On successful completion of the curriculum, students should be able to 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 On successful completion of the curriculum, students should be able to demonstrate an 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 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 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 for the betterment of the human community.

PLO G On successful completion of the curriculum, students should have built on the research, critical thinking and writing skills they have acquired in their undergraduate study and further honed these skills for the purpose of legal practice. They should be effective critical analysts of legal issues and should be able to articulate their thoughts in writing.

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
Group project 27 Nov 2020 20% 1, 2, 3
Take home assignment TBC 80% 1 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 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.