LLAW6109 & JDOC6109

General Course Information

1.1 Course details

Course code: LLAW6109 / JDOC6109
Course name: Public International Law
Programme offered under: LLM Programme / JD Programme
Semester: First
Prerequisites / Co-requisites: No
Credit point value: 9 credits / 6 credits

1.2 Course description

In this introductory course to public international law, we will start by looking at the nature and role of international law and how it is made and applied, with particular emphasis being placed on the law of treaties. We will then shift our focus to discussing the different subjects of international law, starting with states, international organizations (especially the United Nations), and individuals, among others. With this introduction, we will be prepared to explore the pressing issues in the important fields of international human rights law and international humanitarian law, international economic law, the law of the seas and international criminal law. Sovereignty over territory, jurisdictional sovereignty, and immunities from national jurisdiction are the next topics, followed by an analysis of how states can be held responsible for violations of international law. Special attention then will be paid to the international law relating to the use of force, with particular emphasis being placed on the UN collective security system, and the peaceful settlement of international disputes. By the end of the course, students will not only be able to advise future clients and employers on the basic rules and characteristics of international law, they will have the problem-solving skills needed to analyze and resolve many of the legal problems that have plagued the international system.

1.3 Course teachers

Name E-mail address Office Consultation
Course convenor Peter Malanczuk malanczuk@gmail.com N/A By email

Learning Outcomes

2.1 Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs) for this course

CLO 1 Demonstrate a sophisticated understanding of public international law in relation to current events.

CLO 2 Demonstrate critical reasoning and writing skills through in-class debate, a mid-term exam and a final paper.

CLO 3 Evaluate international law in light of the perceived needs of international society and the alleged purposes of international law

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
Case presentation TBC 25% 1 1, 2, 3
Conference simulation presentation TBC 25% 1 1, 2, 3
Research paper 15 Nov 2023 50% 1 1, 2, 3
*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-hour seminars in an intensive mode in September 2023
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 textbook: Paola Gaeta, Jorge E. Vinuñales & Salvatore Zappalà, Cassese’s International Law, 3rd ed. (Oxford University Press 2020, eBook version available)
Recommended reading list: TBA

5.2 Links

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