LLAW6318 / JDOC6318

General Course Information

1.1 Course details

Course code: LLAW6318 / JDOC6318
Course name: Public Health Ethics and 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

This course will introduce students to public health law and ethics. With the understanding that ethics and law are two different domains of praxis and governance, and that ideally ethics should ground law, the first part of the course will focus on the ethics of public health. Through particular case studies such as the COVID-19 pandemic, this course will discuss emerging as well as recurrent themes in public health ethics discourse, including the tensions between private interest and the common good, and between the right to health and other human rights; as well as the practice of distributive justice and solidarity in the protection and promotion of population health. Specifics topics will include the ethics of isolation/quarantine and the social determinants of health. The second part of the course, informed by ethical perspectives from the first part, will focus on Hong Kong public health law in comparative perspective. Topics include the conceptual and historical foundations of public health law; the legal infrastructure of the public health system and the constitutional duties of actors within this system; the legal control of communicable diseases and non-communicable diseases; the law of public health emergencies; the legal regulation of food and drug safety; and occupational and environmental health law. During the course students will be encouraged to think critically and independently about complex ethical and legal dilemmas. No formal training in philosophy or ethics or jurisprudence is necessary.

1.3 Course teachers

Name E-mail address Office Consultation
Course convenor Eric Ip ericcip@hku.hk CCT 705 By email
Course convenor Zohar Lederman lederman@hku.hk TBA By email

Learning Outcomes

2.1 Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs) for this course

CLO 1 Acquire a concrete, critical, and comprehensive understanding of all main branches of public health law and ethics, with a focus on the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

CLO 2 Develop the ability to creatively apply legal and ethical principles to address public health dilemmas in their political, social, and cultural contexts.

CLO 3 Attain the ability to evaluate new public health policies ethically and legally.

CLO 4 Strengthen sensitivity of the importance of the rule of law, human rights, and ethical values in the formulation of public health interventions.

CLO 5 Demonstrate awareness of the importance of holistic One Health and planetary health considerations in public health law and ethics.

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
Debate essays 9 Apr 2024 20% 2 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Essay assignment 22 Apr 2024 30% 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Final exam 19 May 2024 50% 1 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
*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/