General Course Information

1.1 Course details

Course code: LLAW3055
Course name: Use of Chinese in Law I
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
Cap on student numbers: 30 (priority to final year students if the number of applications exceeds the cap)
Note: Students taking the course will be assumed to be reasonably proficient in traditional Chinese (written) and Cantonese (oral), and priority in enrolment will be given to students who achieved Grade 4 or above in the HKDSE exam. The course is not intended to be a general Chinese language course (although there will be lectures and tutorials to refresh students’ memory of the basic rules of Chinese grammar).

1.2 Course description

In light of the ever-increasing use of the Chinese language in the Hong Kong legal system and legal profession, this course aims to introduce students to some of the areas of legal practice in which written and spoken Chinese is frequently used, to impart to students basic skills in using Chinese in legal practice, and to encourage students to reflect upon the future development of Chinese in the Hong Kong legal system. The course, to be conducted in traditional Chinese (written) and Cantonese (oral), starts with an overview of the history of the use of Chinese in the Hong Kong legal system and legal sector, and then moves on to an introduction of the essential Chinese skills as applied in the legal context. Three major areas will be covered, namely legal translation, drafting legal documents in Chinese, and use of Chinese in client interviews. Guest lectures will be delivered in which legal practitioners and related professionals share their experience in using Chinese in specific aspects of legal practice such as law drafting, litigation and mediation. At the same time, small-group tutorials are conducted with a view to introducing skills and points of note in the three major areas stated above.

1.3 Course teachers

Name E-mail address Office Consultation
Course coordinator Edmund Cham chamske1@hku.hk; chamskehku@gmail.com N/A By email appointment
Course tutor Wilson Lui cywlui@connect.hku.hk N/A By email appointment

1.4 About the teachers

Edmund Cham is a HKU law graduate and practised as a solicitor until 1996. He has been doing legal translation work for more than 20 years, serving the Judiciary, the Law Society, the Bar Association, law firms and other organizations, and has been conducting legal translation courses for judges and court interpreters. He is also Adjunct Associate Professor of the Department of Professional Legal Education at the Law Faculty and Coordinator of this course and “Use of Chinese in Legal Practice” (PCLL).

Alan Lau is a HKU law graduate and a qualified solicitor. He has served as a tutor for this course since 2020.

Wilson Lui is also a HKU law graduate and has obtained Masters degrees from University of Oxford and University of Cambridge.

Learning Outcomes

2.1 Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs) for the course

CLO 1 Learn about the history of, and increasing importance of, the use of Chinese in the Hong Kong legal system and profession.

CLO 2 Become aware of various areas under the Hong Kong legal system and in the legal profession in which Chinese is used, including drafting documents, meeting and advising clients, legal translation and use of Chinese in court hearings.

CLO 3 Learn the basic skills of using legal written and verbal Chinese, including terminology, drafting skills, translation skills and verbal skills (such as interviewing clients).

CLO 4 Stimulate thoughts and ideas on the future development of the use of Chinese in the Hong Kong legal environment.

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
Class participation N/A 15% 2, 4 N/A
Oral presentation TBC 40% 2, 5 2, 3, 4
Course work (3 assignments) TBC 45% 1, 2, 3, 5 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

Three written assignments throughout the semester, plus one group presentation (see 4.2 below) to take place during the tutorial sessions in the last week of November. Details to be announced by course coordinator in October.

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 11 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

Apart from lectures and tutorials, each group of students will, in one of the assessments, have to attend one or more court trial(s) conducted in Chinese and give an oral presentation thereon.  Topics to be covered by presentation will be announced by the course coordinator in October.

Learning Resources

5.1 Resources

Reading materials: Reading list to be posted on Moodle before semester starts; reading materials for specific topics to be provided during the course.
Core reading list: To be posted on Moodle
Recommended reading list: To be posted on Moodle

5.2 Links

Please refer to the following link: http://www.law.hku.hk/course/learning-resources/