LLAW6306 & JDOC6306

General Course Information

1.1 Course details

Course code: LLAW6306 / JDOC6306
Course name: The Economic Analysis of Law
Programme offered under: LLM Programme / JD Programme
Semester: First
Prerequisites / Co-requisites: No
Credit point value: 9 credit / 6 credits
Cap on student numbers: 35

1.2 Course description

Judges make policy through their decisions in individual cases. This observation is especially true of jurisdictions that recognize opinions as authoritative sources of law. To distill precedents and extract from them a rule to govern future cases, skillful lawyers imbue doctrine with spirit and purpose. Are case outcomes best explained by the economic notion of efficiency? How should legal regimes be designed to maximize welfare? Finally, should social efficiency and welfare—as defined by the economist—be the normative goal of law and its institutions?

This lecture-based seminar will introduce students to the economic analysis of the common law, including property, contracts, and torts. It will also cover public law themes such as voting and delegation. Finally, challenges to the neo-classical law and economics tradition will be considered. Students should come to each meeting prepared to discuss the assigned readings.

1.3 Course teachers

Name E-mail address Office Consultation
Course convenor Benjamin Chen benched@hku.hk CCT 512 By email

Learning Outcomes

2.1 Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs) for this course

CLO 1 Describe and explain basic microeconomic and game theoretic concepts such as Pareto efficiency, Kaldor-Hicks efficiency, Nash equilibrium etc.

CLO 2 Describe and explain standard theories of the economic analysis of law.

CLO 3 Apply economic principles and reasoning to evaluate legal rules and institutions and identify the justifications for and against different regimes.

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
Mid-term exam 14 Oct 2021 50% 4, 5 1, 2
Final paper 19 Dec 2021 50% 2, 3 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 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/