General Course Information

1.1 Course details

Course code: LLAW3232
Course name: Courts
Programme offered under: LLB Programme
Semester: Second
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

Many courts around the world are becoming salient actors, but what exactly are courts? And what are they for? This course takes an interdisciplinary approach on politically relevant questions concerning the design and operation of courts. Potential topics include the basic functions of courts; the nature and basis of judicial power; the dynamics between judicial actors and other socio-political actors; the practical effects of judicial review; whether judicial review is counter-majoritarian; the role of courts across different regime types; the challenges of defining and achieving judicial independence; and the ways through which courts expand into the domain of politics. We will also apply what we have learnt to contemporary examples to explore the role that courts play in political systems of different corners of the globe.

1.3 Course teachers

Name E-mail address Office Consultation
Course convenor Julius Yam yamj@hku.hk CCT 303 By email

Learning Outcomes

2.1 Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs) for this course

CLO 1 Understand the basic functions of courts.

CLO 2 Critically assess courts’ impact on constitutional politics and vice versa.

CLO 3 Apply theories of comparative constitutional studies, judicial politics and judicial behavior to different regime types and real-life examples.

CLO 4 Critically analyze the dynamics between judicial actors and other socio-political actors.

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 10% 1, 3, 5 1, 2, 3, 4
In-class presentation TBC 20% 1, 3, 5 1, 2, 3, 4
Essay TBC 70% 1, 3, 5 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

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 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/