LLAW6253 Law of the cities

1.1 Course details

Course code: LLAW6253 / JDOC6253
Course name: Law of the Cities
Programme offered under: LLM Programme / JD Programme
Semester: Second
Prerequisites / Co-requisites: No
Credit point value: 9 credits / 6 credits

1.2 Course description

This course explores legal institutions of cities in the world, including two parts: the political law of cities and the economic law of cities. The first part explores the constitution of city governments (e.g., whether it is authoritative or democratic, and in the latter situation whether it is dominated by the legislative council or the executive branch; its relationship with upper level governments; etc.) and its influence on city development. The second part focuses on laws and regulations that govern various economic issues, in particular land use regulations, immigration policies, affordable housing, environmental and other social issues. We will investigate cases from different cities around the world, including but not limited to Chinese cities such as Beijing and Shanghai, and American cities such as New York and Los Angeles. Chinese and American cities are facing similar problems today, such as the ongoing pandemic, conflicts in land use, sky-rocketing housing prices, and tension between property protection and economic development. This course endeavors to provide a universal framework for students to understand urban governance in different contexts. We hope students in this course will learn how to address various challenges to urban governance. This course takes an interdisciplinary approach by building on frontier research in law, politics, sociology and economics. Through this course, we endeavor to answer the question why cities fail or succeed, and hope to improve students’ understanding of city governance from both theoretical and comparative perspectives.

1.3 Course teachers

Name E-mail address Office Consultation
Course convenor Shitong Qiao justqiao@hku.hk CCT 815 By email

2.1 Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs) for this course

CLO 1 Describe and explain the concept and structure of land use regulations in China and the U.S.

CLO 2 Describe and explain challenges to land use regulations in American and Chinese cities.

CLO 3 Demonstrate capacity to understand political and legal reasons behind real estate development in Chinese and American cities.

CLO 4 Demonstrate capacity to solve problems related to land use regulations, such as designing legal framework for public housing supply and urban redevelopment.

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
Class participation N/A 30% 1, 2, 3, 4
Final essay TBC 70% 1, 2, 3, 4
  *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).


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 the 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.