LLAW3172 & LALS3012

General Course Information

1.1 Course details

Course code: LLAW3172 & LALS3012
Course name: Law and Social Theory
Programme offered under: LLB Programme / BA&LLB Programme
Semester: First
Designated research course: No applicable
Specialization: Not applicable
Prerequisites / Co-requisites: Normally an Introduction to Legal Theory course or its equivalent
Course offered to non-law students: No
Credit point value: 6 credits

1.2 Course description

Most people, lawyers included, take for granted the more or less stable conditions of modern society within which law operates. But these conditions are the result of the development and operation of a range of social forces and institutional forms. These developed historically and they form the basis of much unreflective social understanding and action. Most of us operate within these structures, and rarely think about them. One of the key aims of this course is to investigate the social conditions within which law operates in a more systematic way, drawing on the insights of some of the key thinkers about modern society.

The course will thus develop students’ knowledge of the basic paradigms of social theory as they relate to law. Topics to be covered include: competing theoretical accounts of law in modernity; modern law and economic development; law, conflict, and social solidarity; disciplinary and bio-political power; law, gender and social change; symbolic power and the legal profession; law and the challenges of climate change.

By developing a critical understanding of the relationship between law and social theory students will assess the differences between diverse theoretical approaches and be able to develop and articulate their own understanding of the appropriate paradigms for analysis in legal and social theory. The aim is therefore to deepen students’ understanding of contemporary law and legal institutions in their social context.

1.3 Course teachers

Name E-mail address Office Consultation
Course convenor Scott Veitch veitch@hku.hk CCT 409 By email

Learning Outcomes

2.1 Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs) for this course

CLO 1 Demonstrate a familiarity with a range of socio-theoretical analyses of law and legal institutions.

CLO 2 Assess critically the differences between diverse theoretical approaches.

CLO 3 Apply social theoretical methods to legal problems or issues.

CLO 4 Articulate in writing and orally their own understanding of the appropriate paradigms for analysis in legal and social theory.

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
Oral presentation (20 minutes) TBC 20% 1, 3, 5 1, 2, 3, 4
Essay (3,500 words) TBC 80% 1, 2, 3 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 the convenor.

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

Seminar: 3 hours / week for 11 teaching weeks
Private study time: 9.5 hours / week for 11 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).

Learning Resources

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/