LLAW6316 & JDOC6316

General Course Information

1.1 Course details

Course code: LLAW6316 / JDOC6316
Course name: Transnational Criminal Law
Programme offered under: LLM Programme / JD Programme
Semester: Second
Prerequisites / Co-requisites: No
Credit point value: 9 credit / 6 credits

1.2 Course description

Transnational criminal law is a broad subject encompassing (i) the international and domestic laws used to suppress transnational crimes, and (ii) the cross-border criminal procedures applied in domestic cases. Transnational crimes are offences that occur in or affect more than one jurisdiction and include drug trafficking, money laundering, organized crime, human trafficking, people smuggling, terrorism, cybercrimes, bribery, trafficking in endangered species or cultural property, and violation of sanctions. Cross-border criminal procedures may be needed in domestic cases, whether the crime is transnational or local, if an essential aspect of the case (e.g. the defendant, a witness, or material evidence) lies outside the territory of the place handling the case. Such procedures include extradition, mutual legal assistance (e.g. in evidence gathering), asset freezing and recovery, and transfer of sentenced prisoners.

Students in this course will study these various aspects of transnational criminal law from reading both primary and secondary sources. The course approaches these topics from both theoretical and practical perspectives and with reference to the international and domestic laws/practices relevant to Hong Kong.

Some issues that may be discussed in the course include the tension between sovereignty interests and the domestic exercise of extraterritorial jurisdiction, the elements of transnational criminal offences, the implementation of treaty crimes into domestic law, reconciling cross-border criminal procedures with protections for human rights and the rule of law, mutual recognition of legal procedures, practical difficulties in criminal cooperation between states and within the People’s Republic of China, latest developments in cross-border digital data/evidence requests, and the role of international organizations such as the United Nations, INTERPOL, Financial Action Task Force, etc in addressing transnational criminal activity.

1.3 Course teachers

Name E-mail address Office Consultation
Course convenor Simon Young snmyoung@hku.hk CCT 602 By email
Course convenor Wayne Walsh SC wwalsh@parksidechambers.com N/A By email

Learning Outcomes

2.1 Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs) for this course

CLO 1 Describe and explain the scope of and rationale for transnational criminal laws and the various challenges involved in the implementation and application of transnational criminal laws.

CLO 2 Identify the international treaties and domestic laws that make up the transnational criminal law regime in Hong Kong and outline the basic content of the relevant laws.

CLO 3 Demonstrate (by way of group presentation) an in-depth understanding of at least one major topic in transnational criminal law.

CLO 4 Write a full-length research paper with proper citation to primary and secondary sources on an approved research question (where the research paper assessment is chosen).

CLO 5 Apply the relevant laws to hypothetical problems with reference to caselaw, legislation, treaties, and other sources (where the final examination assessment is chosen).

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
Group presentation 11 Mar – 22 Apr 2024 30% 5 1, 2, 3
Research paper or take home exam Research paper  due: 20 May 2024
Take home exam due: 21 May 2024
70% 1, 2, 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

Students will be assessed by their participation in a group presentation and by their individual written work, either in the form of a research paper or take-home final examination. They will be assigned their presentation topic and timeslot early in the course.  Students who choose the research paper option will need to have their paper proposal approved before the start of the Reading Week period.  Students who choose the final examination option will be given approximately 48-hours to complete a take-home examination on their own during the examination period.

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

Teachers will lead the seminar format classes. Assigned student groups are expected to lead their assigned group presentations, which are likely to take place on a weekly basis after the introductory classes. Students are expected to prepare for each class by reading the assigned readings and preparing answers to exercises, if any. Students are also expected to participate in class discussions.

Learning Resources

5.1 Resources

Reading materials: Reading materials are posted on Moodle
Core reading list: TBA
Recommended reading list:
  1. Neil Boister, An Introduction to Transnational Criminal Law (2nd edn, OUP 2018)
  2. Neil Boister and Robert J Currie (eds), Routledge Handbook of Transnational Criminal Law (Routledge 2015)
  3. Wayne Walsh, Cross-Border Crime in Hong Kong: Extradition, Mutual Assistance, Financial Sanctions (2nd edn, LexisNexis 2020)

5.2 Links

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