The text below is excerpted from the introduction of “Book Review: The Restatement and Beyond: The Past, Present, and Future of U.S. Foreign Relations Law,” available for download on SSRN.
Paul B. Stephan and Sarah H. Cleveland, Coordinating Reporters of the Restatement (Fourth) of the Foreign Relations Law of the United States, are to be commended. In addition to leading the daunting task of developing the first (but hopefully not last) installment of the Restatement Fourth, they have produced a valuable companion contribution. Their edited volume, The Restatement and Beyond: The Past, Present, and Future of U.S. Foreign Relations Law, offers twenty-five essays by even more authors on a range of important topics, from the status of customary international law (CIL) in the U.S. legal system,1 to international comity2 and the immunities of international organizations,3 to the capacity of the Restatement to produce legal stability.4
The book is best approached topically. As the title suggests, the book’s coverage is broad, addressing issues related to both the Restatement and the broader past, present, and future of U.S. foreign relations law. Approached cover-to-cover, the volume reads something like a scatterplot with the Restatement as the trendline. Some essays focus closely on the Restatement Fourth but diverge as to whether they address the enterprise of formulating the Restatement or positions the Restatement has taken, or might take, on substantive questions. Other essays address foreign relations law topics without drawing a close connection to the Restatement. As to these chapters, the Restatement Fourth provided the moment, but not the organizing principle, for a discussion of foreign relations law questions. As a result, the volume provides wide-ranging content that will benefit both those interested in the Restatement enterprise and those interested in specific questions of foreign relations law.
- See Thomas H. Lee, Customary International Law and U.S. Judicial Power: From the Third to the Fourth Restatements, in THE RESTATEMENT AND BEYOND: THE PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE OF U.S. FOREIGN RELATIONS LAW 251 (Paul B. Stephan & Sarah H. Cleveland eds., 2020); John C. Harrison, International Law in U.S. Courts Within the Limits of the Constitution, in THE RESTATEMENT AND BEYOND, supra at 265.
- See William S. Dodge, International Comity in the Fourth Restatement, in THE RESTATEMENT AND BEYOND, supra note 1, at 319
- See David P. Stewart & Ingrid Wuerth, The Jurisdictional Immunities of International Organizations: Recent Developments and the Challenges of the Future, in THE RESTATEMENT AND BEYOND, supra note 1, at 411.
- See Jide Nzelibe, Can the Fourth Restatement of Foreign Relations Law Foster Legal Stability?, in THE RESTATEMENT AND BEYOND, supra note 1, at 551.