LLAW6076 & JDOC6076

General Course Information

1.1 Course details

Course code: LLAW6076 / JDOC6076
Course name: Seminar in Human Rights Research
Programme offered under: LLM Programme / JD Programme
Semester: First
Prerequisites / Co-requisites: No
Credit point value: 9 credits / 6 credits

1.2 Course description

This seminar is the required Capstone course for participants in the Master of Laws (Human Rights) Programme.  The seminar aims to facilitate participants’ exploration of human rights tools and skills. The seminar sessions will provide opportunities to develop your own critical thinking, legal research and writing skills in the area of international human rights law.

1.3 Course teachers

Name E-mail address Office Consultation
Course convenor Stefano Osella osella@hku.hk CCT 504 By email

Learning Outcomes

2.1 Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs) for this course

Course objectives:

This course aims to:

  1. Engage participants in the practice of domestic, regional and international human rights law, and comparative legal analysis; and
  2. Provide an opportunity for participants to critically analyze and contribute to the growing body of human rights research, knowledge and scholarship.

Course learning outcomes:

CLO 1 Identify and demonstrate competence and skills in using (and effectively combining) various approaches to research in the field of human rights law.

CLO 2 Demonstrate familiarity with basic databases of human rights materials and locate primary sources (including treaties, treaty body interpretive materials, cases, legislation, etc.) and secondary sources (including books, book chapters, academic articles, NGO reports, etc.) on specific topics.

CLO 3 Apply techniques for carrying out online research using general search engines, specific law and human rights related websites, and some of the major commercial on-line services.

CLO 4 Become familiar with the documentation of the United Nations human rights bodies, UN specialized agencies, regional human rights systems, international organizations, and non-governmental organizations.

CLO 5 Consider, assess, and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of available resources and techniques and better understand how to assess the reliability of sources.

CLO 6 Prepare a research proposal which identifies a topic and a research gap, includes an appropriate research question, suggests a hypothesis, designs an appropriate methodology to answer the question (test the hypothesis), sets out a draft outline (structure), and provides an initial bibliography of at least ten primary and secondary sources.

CLO 7 Effectively research and write a clear, persuasive original academic research paper on a human rights topic including: a clear argument, accurate citation of sources, substantiation of claims without plagiarism, on a legal human rights issue.

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
Research paper 8 Dec 2023 70% 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
Participation TBC 30% 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
*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 course 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/