LLAW6269 Introduction to medical law

1.1 Course details

Course code: LLAW6269
Course name: Introduction to Medical Law
Programme offered under: LLM Programme
Semester: First
Prerequisites / Co-requisites: No
Credit point value: 9 credits
Cap on student numbers: 50

1.2 Course description

This course will be compulsory for those LLM in Medical Ethics and Law students without a foundational LLB, JD or other equivalent common law system qualification and which aims at introducing students without a common law background to the legal system, legal methods and the law of tort. LLM in Medical Ethics and Law students with a foundational LLB, JD or other equivalent common law system qualification will be required to take the Introduction to Medical Practice Core Course instead. Where a LLM in Medical Ethics and Law student has both a foundational LLB, JD or other equivalent common law system qualification and a degree in medicine, the Programme Director will exercise his or her discretion to decide whether to (1) require the student to take Introduction to Medical Law or (2) require the student to take Introduction to Medical Practice or (3) grant an exemption.

The introductory portion of the course will consist of Legal System and Methods: an overview of the nature of legal method and precedent and of sources of law, as well as the framework of the Basic Law and general legal system in Hong Kong. In particular, the workings and methodology of the English common law system (on which Hong Kong medical law is largely based) will be examined. Students will be equipped with the necessary academic tools for legal analysis, research and writing. The course will familiarize students without legal backgrounds with distinctions between civil and common law systems as well as the role of international law. Within the common law framework, students will build understanding of the role of precedent, sources of law and governmental authority and distinctions between procedural and substantive law. The course will also cover the topic of health as a human right and its relation to national and international law.

The second portion of the course will cover Introduction to Medical Law. In this section, students will be given an introduction to the law of tort, with an emphasis on the torts of trespass and negligence. Case studies drawn from medico-legal claims will be used. The concept of causation and damages will also be covered briefly. A short introduction to the differences between the various kinds of actions that may be faced by healthcare professionals (coroners’ inquiries, professional disciplinary proceedings, criminal proceedings, and civil claims in trespass, negligence or in contract) will also be given. Consideration will also be given to the legal responsibilities of healthcare professionals other than physicians, including nurses, allied healthcare professionals, medical social workers and counsellors.

1.3 Course teachers

Name E-mail address Office Consultation
Course convenor James Badenoch QC TBA TBA By email
Course convenor Calvin Ho cwlho@hku.hk CCT 803 By email

2.1 Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs) for this course

CLO 1 Students will be able to acquire a basic understanding of the framework of the Basic Law, the legal system and the structures of the administration of justice in Hong Kong.

CLO 2 Students will be able to understand the principal sources of law in Hong Kong (ordinances, subsidiary legislation and other sources of written law, and the common law) and the differences between them and how the common law operates, and how it is applied in Hong Kong.

CLO 3 Students will be able to familiarize themselves with the distinctions between civil and common law systems as well as the sources of international law.

CLO 4 Students will be able to understand the role of precedent and the sources of law and governmental authority, and the distinctions between procedural and substantive law.

CLO 5 Students will be able to use current medico-legal topics as teaching tools to develop understanding of basic legal concepts, build analytical skills, hone skills for reading cases and statutes and apply legal rules to fact patterns through focused case study units on relevant medico-legal topics illustrating legal principles.

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 2  ✓  ✓  ✓
CLO 4  ✓  ✓  ✓
CLO 5  ✓  ✓  ✓

3.1 Assessment Summary

Assessment task Due date Weighting Feedback method* Course learning outcomes
Class participation TBC 30% 1 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Take home exam 13 Dec 2020 70% 1 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
*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: Seminars in an intensive mode in August and September 2020
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.