Juris Doctor
Juris Doctor
Award Title
Juris Doctor
Offering Academic Unit
School of Law
Mode of Study

Normal Period of Study

2 years

Maximum Period of Study

5 years

Credit Units Required for Graduation


Programme Aims

This programme aims to:
  1. provide a liberal education in the theory and practice of law at the level of rigour appropriate to a postgraduate degree;
  2. instil a critical understanding of the law and legal institutions;
  3. harness a range of intellectual skills such as the ability to analyse information critically, devise creative solutions to new problems, and communicate effectively both orally and in writing; and 
  4. produce graduates who are well equipped to serve Hong Kong and the international community in the realms of law, commerce, industry, government, the media and community service. 

Programme Intended Learning Outcomes (PILOs)

Upon successful completion of this Programme, students should be able to:
  1. explain and assess specified areas of the law and the legal system of Hong Kong, with particular emphasis on the law in action and the dynamic interplay between law and other social phenomena;
  2. assess the common law system and its values, and its interaction with the law and legal system of mainland China, the East Asian region and the wider world;
  3. explain, interpret and apply main principles of ethics, civil duty, and social and professional responsibility; 
  4. critically assess the strengths and weaknesses of law as a means of regulating society in the context of competing and conflicting interests; and
  5. demonstrate and apply skills of legal analysis and reasoning, of legal research, or problem solving, and of oral and written communication to a level appropriate to a graduate-entry degree in law. 

Programme Requirements

1. Core Courses (9 credit units)

Course CodeCourse TitleCredit UnitsRemarks
LW5621Legal Systems of Hong Kong and Mainland China3
LW5622Legal Methods, Research and Writing3

2. Electives (63 credit units)

Designated courses from the JD, LLMArbDR and the LLM Programmes
Course CodeCourse TitleCredit UnitsRemarks
LW5552Independent Research3Pre-requisite: LW5622
LW5602Law of Contract3
LW5603Law of Tort3#
LW5606ACriminal Law I3
LW5606BCriminal Law II3Pre-requisite: LW5606A and #
LW5607ALand Law I3#
LW5607BLand Law II3LW5607A
LW5608Constitutional Law3
LW5610Administrative Law3Pre-requisite: LW5608 and #
LW5612Legal Placement3Only JD students with a CGPA of 2.85 or above immediately prior to undertaking the placement are allowed to take this course. In order to complete this course, students must have their application approved by the Course Leader prior to commencement of the placement. Only application approved by the Course Leader prior to commencement of the placement will be considered as an eligible basis for this course and #.
LW5616Law of Evidence3Prerequisites: LW5606A and #
LW5617Family Law in Hong Kong3#
LW5626@Comparative Law3#
LW5630Equity and Trusts3#
LW5631Banking Law3#
LW5634Public International Law3#
LW5641Intellectual Property: Theory, Copyright and Design3Prerequisites: JD students who completed Year 1 are eligible to apply and #.
LW5643 Cyber Law3#
LW5647Law of Wills (Succession)3Prerequisites: LW5607A and LW5630 and #.
LW5649International Mooting & Advocacy3#
LW5649BInternational Mooting & Advocacy6#
LW5656Company Law I3#
LW5657Company Law II3Prerequisites: LW5656
LW5658Commercial Law3#
LW5659Civil Procedure3Prerequisites: LW5603 and #
LW5660Criminal Procedure3Prerequisites: LW5606A&B and #
LW5661Human Rights Responsibilities of Business3#
LW5662Intensive Seminar1 or 2*
LW5664European Competition Law and Policy3Prerequisites: JD students who completed Year 1 are eligible to apply and #.
LW5665Aviation Law3#
LW5667City University Law Review3Only those students who are selected for the Editorial Board of the City University of Hong Kong Law Review (CityU LR) are eligible to enrol in this elective course
Prerequisites: LW5621 and LW5602
LW5669Employment Law in Hong Kong3
LW5670Contemporary Issues of Human Rights Law3#
LW5672Introduction to Information Law3
LW5674Global Legal Education and Awareness Project3^
LW6959Energy and Environmental Law3

* This being an umbrella course, the course codes of seminars offered under this course will be labeled as LW5662A, LW5662B and so on. The code numbers and the exact title of each seminar will be recorded in Appendix-A to the SYL of LW5662.
^ This being an umbrella course, the course codes of seminars offered under this course will be labeled as LW5674A, LW5674B and so on. The code numbers and the exact title of each seminar will be recorded in Appendix-A to the SYL of LW5674.
@ Course Syllabus will be available in due course.
# LW5621 Legal System of Hong Kong and Mainland China, LW5622 Legal Methods, Research and Writing, and LW5602 Law of Contract are prerequisites for any course taken subsequent to Semester A of year 1.

Notes: Please observe the requirements of pre-requisite course(s) if any before you take a course. For details about pre-requisite courses, please refer to the SYL/Form 2B of respective courses. 

Professional Recognition

Provided that the student has completed all courses required for PCLL admission, the JD degree is recognized for the purposes of applying for entry into the PCLL programme which is recognized by the professional bodies for legal practice in HK.

Additional Information

1. Research Course: All students may take either LW5552 Independent Research (3 credit units) or LW6137E Dissertation (6 credit units). LW5552 requires a written research paper of between 8,000 and 10,000 words, while the length of the paper for LW6137E shall be in the range of 16,000 to 20,000 words. Students may enrol in either LW5552 or LW6137E in a flexible manner.  Please note LW5552 Independent Research will be offered in Semester A, B and Summer.  For LW6137E Dissertation, students can take it in Semester A and B or only Semester A or only Semester B. The course of Independent Research can also be taken in the University of Münster in Germany in summer.

2. Admission to the Legal Profession: Students aspiring to admission as a barrister or solicitor in Hong Kong must first complete the Postgraduate Certificate in Laws (PCLL) programme. In order to apply for admission into the PCLL programme, Juris Doctor graduates must have completed all of the following elective courses:
LW5602 Law of Contract
LW5603 Law of Tort
LW5606A Criminal Law I
LW5606B Criminal Law II
LW5607A Land Law I
LW5607B Land Law II
LW5608 Constitutional Law
LW5610 Administrative Law
LW5616 Law of Evidence
LW5630 Equity & Trusts
LW5656 Company Law I
LW5657 Company Law II
LW5658 Commercial Law
LW5659 Civil Procedure
LW5660 Criminal Procedure

3. Optional specialization: As a result of the programme re-structuring, students have scope to do more non-PCLL elective courses (i.e., 5 courses instead of 3 under the existing structure). JD students are given an option to specialise in the following areas by taking at least 4 elective courses (minimum 12 credits) from the respective list:

i) International Commercial Law: LW6161E Competition Law; LW5631 Banking Law; LW5664 European Competition Law of Policy (G-LEAP); LW5641 Intellectual Property: Theory, Copyright and Design (G-LEAP); LW5643 Cyber Law, LW6144E International Trade Law: LW6140E Chinese and Comparative Commercial Law; LW6180E International Commercial Contracts and Uniform Sales Law; LW6167E Current Issues in WTO Law

ii) Alternative Dispute Resolution: LW6126E Dispute Resolution in Theory and Practice; LW6405 Arbitration Law; LW6406 Mediation Practice; LW6407 Arbitration Practice and Award Writing; LW6408 International Arbitration; LW6142E International Investment Law; ^LW5649 International Mooting and Advocacy or ^LW5649B International Mooting and Advocacy

iii) Chinese and Comparative Law: LW5626 Comparative Law; LW6127E Chinese and Comparative Intellectual Property Law; LW6134E Chinese and Comparative Company Law; LW6140E Chinese and Comparative Commercial Law; LW6141E Chinese Foreign Trade and Investment Law

iv) Air and Maritime Law: LW6175E Maritime Insurance Law; LW6176E International Air Law; ; LW6179E Maritime Arbitration Law; LW6189E Bills of Lading Law; LW6190E Charterparties Law; LW6191E Admiralty Law; LW6192E Maritime Law; LW6194E The Law of the Sea; ^LW5649 International Mooting and Advocacy or ^LW5649B International Mooting and Advocacy

^ Students can take either LW5649 (3 credits) or LW5649B (6 credits).

Depending upon the interest of students and the course offering in future, these specialised streams may be modified. The offering of the above courses may be reviewed and amended from time to time subject to the availability of the teaching staff. We shall keep students informed regarding the offering of the elective courses.

Students who choose to or do not choose to specialise in any of the above areas will receive the same award title as Juris Doctor. Information about streams like International Commercial Law, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Chinese and Comparative Law, Air and Maritime Law will also be indicated in students’ transcripts.
4. International Mooting & Advocacy: The 2 courses of LW5649 and LW5649B are different in terms of the duration of study in that LW5649 lasts for one semester whereas LW5649B spans over two semesters. Students can take either one course or both courses (up to 9 credit units).

5. Credit Transfer: Students may apply for credit transfer from other programmes of the University or from previous programmes undertaken at other tertiary institutions. Please refer to the University’s Academic Regulations.

6. Programme Transfer: Students who wish to change from their current programme of study to another of the same level (e.g. transfer from a taught postgraduate programme to another taught postgraduate programme) can apply for such a change by completing an application form for Programme Transfer obtainable from the SGS Taught Postgraduate Student Records Service Counter and the SGS website ( within the application period. Applications for programme transfer are processed twice a year, normally in November (for transfers to be effective in Semester B of the current academic year) and March (for transfers to be effective in Semester A of the next academic year). For non-local students, any transfer of programme approved by the University would be sent to the Immigration Department for final endorsement before the transfer comes into effect.
According to the Academic Regulations for Taught Postgraduate Degrees, a student's previous period of study before the programme transfer comes into effect will be counted in the calculation of the student's maximum period of study.
7. Attendance Requirement: Students who take elective courses hosted by the LLM and LLMArbDR programmes should comply with their attendance requirements.

8. Minimum Pass Mark: A student must obtain a minimum mark of 40% in both coursework and examination components in order to pass the courses offered by the JD Programme.  To obtain full benefit from courses, students should attend all of the classes and activities.

Requirements for a pass mark in courses in the LLM and the LLMArbDR programmes may be different.  In order to secure a pass mark in LLM and LLMArbDR courses, Juris Doctor students must comply with the requirements applicable to those programmes/courses.

9. Grade Point Average (GPA): Juris Doctor students will need to achieve a minimum Cumulative GPA of 2.0 in order to graduate.

10. Classification of Awards: The Juris Doctor degree will be awarded to each graduating student with one of the following classifications; (i) Distinction, (ii) Credit, or (iii) Pass.