General Course Information

1.1 Course details

Course code: LLAW3001
Course name: Introduction to Legal Theory
Programme offered under: LLB Programme
Semester: First
Designated research course: Not applicable
Specialization: Not applicable
Prerequisites / Co-requisites: No
Course offered to non-law students: No
Credit point value: 6 credits

1.2 Course description

Legal Theory is also commonly called jurisprudence. The word jurisprudence derives from the Latin terms juris prudentia, and refers to “the study, knowledge, or science of law”. It can also be thought to refer either to the virtue (prudence) that law can help bring to society; or the wisdom (good judgement) that is required for making good laws. Today, as a subject taught in Anglo-American law schools, jurisprudence or legal theory covers a diverse range of issues and themes. It covers philosophical and political analysis of law, sociological enquiry into the role that legal institutions and laws play in modern society (sometimes referred to as the sociology of law), the relationships between law and other social systems such as the economy, and the values law may express (or suppress) such as liberty, justice, equality and so on. It does not cover any particular substantive area of law. Rather, it examines the foundations, assumptions, and practices of the whole legal system.

This introductory course provides an opportunity to investigate and reflect on in a disciplined and critical way various jurisprudential themes and concepts, on the structure and functions of legal institutions and values, on the nature of legal reasoning and discourse, and on the connections between law and other aspects of life and society. It is intended to be both thought-provoking and intellectually rewarding.

1.3 Course teachers

Name E-mail address Office Consultation
Course convenor / tutor Scott Veitch veitch@hku.hk CCT 409 By email
Course tutor David Kwok davkwok@hku.hk CCT 804 By email
Course tutor Marcelo Thompson marcelo.thompson@hku.hk CCT 308 By email

Learning Outcomes

2.1 Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs) for this course

CLO 1 Demonstrate a knowledge of some of the main schools of thought in contemporary jurisprudence.

CLO 2 Critically evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of competing theories of law.

CLO 3 Critically assess different approaches to legal reasoning.

CLO 4 Develop and defend your own jurisprudential views in light of the materials studied.

2.2 LLB Programme Learning Outcomes (PLOs)

Please refer to the following link: https://course.law.hku.hk/llb-plo/

2.3 Programme Learning Outcomes to be achieved in this course



3.1 Assessment Summary

Assessment task Due date Weighting Feedback method* Course learning outcomes
Coursework essay 17 Oct 2022 25% 1, 2, 4 1, 2, 3, 4
Final take home exam 13 Dec 2022 75% 1, 4 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).

3.3 Grading Criteria

Please refer to the following link: https://www.law.hku.hk/_files/law_programme_grade_descriptors.pdf

Learning Activities

4.1 Learning Activity Plan

Lecture: 2 hours / week for 12 teaching weeks
Tutorial: 1 hour / 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).

Learning Resources

5.1 Resources

Reading materials: Reading materials are posted to 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/