LLAW6036 & JDOC6036

General Course Information

1.1 Course details

Course code: LLAW6036 / JDOC6036
Course name: International Criminal Law
Programme offered under: LLM Programme / JD Programme
Semester: First
Prerequisites / Co-requisites: Not applicable
Credit point value: 9 credits / 6 credits

1.2 Course description

International criminal law is an extremely topical, relevant and increasingly controversial area of international governance. This course explores the rationale, origins, normative development, and institutional mechanisms of international criminal law, and discusses its current state and place in the modern international legal system in light of important recent developments. The course comprises three parts. The first part discusses the historical development of international criminal law, introducing students to early attempts to enforce rules prohibiting war crimes before the Second World War, the establishment of various international criminal tribunals in the second half of the 20th century, and the evolution of rationale and sources of international criminal law. The second part of the course discusses principles of international law, particular international crimes (i.e., war crimes, crimes against humanity, crimes of aggression and genocide), modes of criminal liability, and defences developed by recent jurisprudence of international criminal tribunals. In the final part, the course considers contemporary politics and anxieties surrounding international criminal law and examines various backlashes, critiques and crises faced by international criminal law and tribunals.

1.3 Course teachers

Name E-mail address Office Consultation
Course convenor Cong Wanshu wshcong@hku.hk CCT 612  By email

Learning Outcomes

2.1 Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs) for this course

CLO 1 Grasp the principles of international law, the elements of specific international crimes, modes of liabilities, and defences.

CLO 2 Apply these to the analysis of legal problems.

CLO 3 Explain the historical origin, rationale, and institutional development of international criminal law.

CLO 4 Critically evaluate the role and function of international criminal law in global governance.

2.2 LLM and JD Programme Learning Outcomes (PLOs)

Please refer to the following link:

LLM – https://course.law.hku.hk/llm-plo/

JD – https://course.law.hku.hk/jd-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 20% 1, 5 1, 2, 3, 4
Group presentation TBC 30% 1, 5 1, 2, 3, 4
Take home exam 15 Dec 2022 50% 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(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 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/