LLAW6251 & JDOC6251

General Course Information

1.1 Course details

Course code: LLAW6251 / JDOC6251
Course name: Comparative Property Law
Programme offered under: LLM Programme / JD Programme
Semester: Second
Prerequisites / Co-requisites: No
Credit point value: 9 credits / 6 credits

1.2 Course description

In 1766, Blackstone wrote that here is nothing which so generally strikes the imagination, and engages the affections of mankind, as the right of property. In 1848, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels wrote that property in land should be abolished in the most advanced countries. Property rights have been at the very heart of human development in the past centuries. On one hand, property has been viewed as the basis for liberty and economic development. On the other hand, as Proudhon said, property is just another word for theft. In China, land-related social conflicts occur every day and everywhere. From ordinary farmers to university scholars, each person has his own idea of property rights. However, in the fierce debates around property rights, there is lack of consensus on such basic questions: What is property What things should we keep for ourselves And what should we share with others Why should a piece of land belong to you rather than me How is property rights structured and defined What is the relationship between property and development On the other hand, property rights are behind many challenges facing human beings: can a market of pollution permits save us from air pollution How to govern the common resources in the oceans Have intellectual property rights deterred or encouraged technological innovation Are property rights the key to economic prosperity in the U.S. How about China Why have land reform programs sponsored by the World Bank failed in many developing countries Are indigenous residents in the New Territories of Hong Kong entitled to the development value of their land This seminar will provide students with the theoretical and comparative perspectives to investigate such questions.

This seminar will begin with an inquiry into how members of a society allocate, and should allocate, formal and informal entitlements to scarce resources such as wild animals, labor, water, ideas, and land. It will explore various forms of private property and also alternative regimes such as communal and state property. It will give students an overview of the contemporary debates on property rights, in particular the debate between law and economics and critical legal studies regarding efficiency and fairness of property regimes. It will draw cases from different jurisdictions of the world, in particular the U.S., China, African and South American countries, and different fields of law, including environmental law.

Through this course, I hope to improve students understanding of property rights from both theoretical and comparative perspectives. It is more suitable to students who are interested in exploration and proactive learning rather than passive learning of black-letter laws.

1.3 Course teachers

Name E-mail address Office Consultation
Course convenor Qiao Shitong justqiao@hku.hk CCT 815 By email

Learning Outcomes

2.1 Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs) for this course

CLO 1 Describe and explain the concept and structure of property rights;

CLO 2 Describe and explain property laws in the U.S. and China;

CLO 3 Describe and explain challenges to property reforms in developing countries;

CLO 4 Demonstrate capacity to understand property rights and related issues from interdisciplinary and comparative perspectives.

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
Two response papers TBA 30% 1, 2, 3, 4
Final research paper 29 May 2021 70% 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 hour / 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/