LLAW6296 Climate and energy justice in practice

1.1 Course details

Course code: LLAW6296 / JDOC6296
Course name: Climate and Energy Justice in Practice
Programme offered under: LLM Programme / JD Programme
Semester: First
Prerequisites No
Credit point value: 9 credits / 6 credits

1.2 Course description

Climate change is dramatically impacting on the future of the planet and the survival of the human race. Legal regimes are emerging slowly as the political process lags behind the science. This course examines the international law regime addressing climate change and how countries are incorporating this into national law. However, we cannot discuss climate change solutions in an idealistic bubble. The human demand for energy and consumption is a key driver and therefore this class will also examine the related topic of energy law and how law enables innovation to provide solutions.

This course is part of the HKU experiential learning program, and addresses the increasing market demand to combine theoretical knowledge with knowledge of the law in practice. Students will contribute to on-going cases and climate litigation throughout the Asia-Pacific region, with the option to explore cases in other international jurisdictions. This provides HKU students with the opportunity to experience climate justice in practice domestically, regionally and internationally. This practice-based learning will be done with select NGOs as well as foreign Universities. Students will have the opportunity of engaging in a wide range of skills based legal work, including drafting submissions, conducting legal research for lawyers, contributing to advocacy campaigns, policy analysis, fact finding, report writing, submissions to human rights bodies, trainings and capacity building.

The content will cover the following fundamental issues:

  • Climate science: the facts and the skeptics
  • Energy: the consumption and the alternatives
  • Legal context: environmental law & indigenous rights
  • Climate law: legal history
  • Kyoto & Paris Agreement
  • COP26 in 2020 and beyond
  • Emissions trading & climate tax
  • Innovation, tech & IP law
  • Pacific climate challenge: sea level rise
  • China climate challenge: energy

1.3 Course teachers

Name E-mail address Office Consultation
Course convenor Alison cole acole@hku.hk CCT 615 By email

2.1 Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs) for this course

CLO 1 Demonstrate advanced knowledge of climate change law and its links to related concepts such as energy law, environmental law and human rights law.

CLO 2 Critically assess the policy and legal implications of proposals to address climate change under national, regional, and international law.

CLO 3 Apply legal knowledge to casework and translate legal theory into practical settings, including the application of legal ethics such as client-centered, rights-based protocols.

CLO 4 Conduct core skills related to the practice of law such as fact-finding, advocacy, legal research, legal analysis, legal drafting and argument relevant to the practice of climate change law (related to the factual legal issues arising in the context of the casework assigned).

CLO 5 Lead and participate actively in classes and casework.

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
Final exam 12 Dec 2020 50% 2 1, 2
Research paper 13 Dec 2020 50% 5 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: 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.