Duncan Alford, Associate Dean and Director of the Law Library from University of South Carolina School of Law, visited Peking University School of Transnational Law (STL) from Mar. 5 to Mar. 8.
On the afternoon of Mar. 8, Dean Alford gave a lecture titled, “European Union Law—Why is so complicated” to STL students. He started the lecture by introducing the evolvement and growing of the European Union. With many maps and statistics on the screen, Alford showed the development of EU very clearly. Then he introduced the legal foundation of the EU—Treaties of the European Union, “a set of international treaties between the EU member states which sets out the EU’s constitutional basis” (Wikipedia).
Alford said “EU institutions have similar functions to US institutions,” then he compared the executive branch, legislative branch and judicial branch of the EU and U.S. governmental institutions. Alford said, EU legislation can be complex because it has four different types: Directives, Regulations, Decisions, and Recommendations/ Opinions, with four different methods: Codecision, Cooperation, Assent and Consultation. Dean Alford also told the students where they can find the source of EU Law. He introduced some popular websites as well as the key EU publications.