LW4638 - Criminal Justice

Offering Academic Unit
School of Law
Credit Units
Course Duration
One Semester
Equivalent Course(s)
Exclusive Courses:
Course Offering Term*:
Semester B 2022/23

* The offering term is subject to change without prior notice
Course Aims

This course aims to provide students with an understanding and appreciation of the main features of the Criminal Justice system in Hong Kong; its mode of operation, the interaction between its principal agents, institutions and practices, and the theoretical foundations underpinning those bodies and processes. This course will not only deal with the mechanical ‘how’ about the manner in which various Criminal Justice practices are conducted, but also with the philosophical and moral ‘why’ it should or should not continue to be conducted in a particular manner. To this end, the Criminal Justice practices in the pre-trial, trial and post-trial stages of the Hong Kong Criminal Justice System will be considered and juxtaposed with Criminal Justice practices from past time periods and cultures, as well as contemporary practices in other jurisdictions. This is necessary because it is only once we know and understand the origins and development of the various mechanisms, stakeholders and institutions of our own Criminal Justice system, and are able to reflect on the similarities and differences it has with Criminal Justice Systems of other jurisdictions, that we can critically evaluate and comment on its efficiency, reliability, and scope for improvement. The course takes a Discovery Enriched Curriculum to the assignment in the course, requiring students to write a reflective 3000 word assignment on visits in criminal matters to a Magistrates Court, the District Court, the Court of First Instance and the Court of Appeal or the Court of Final Appeal. In particular, students will be asked a question as to how, after examining the different court procedures, the criminal justice system can be improved in this area.

Assessment (Indicative only, please check the detailed course information)

Continuous Assessment: 100%
• Written assignment: 30% (Writing an assignment based on independent research.)
• In-class group presentation: 10% (Conducting a class presentation)
• In-class discussion: 15% (Contributions to class discussion)
• In-class test: 45% (A two-hour test to examine students’ ability to understand, analyse, and evaluate the topics set out in the curriculum.)

To pass this course, students must obtain an aggregate mark of 40% and a minimum of 30% in each of the above assessment tasks/activities.

Detailed Course Information


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School of Law