Whose Restatement is it? Scholars regard it as theirs. After all, the Restatement was mainly drafted by four professors of law who had assumed the burdensome role of reporters. Other professors of law now look for its shortcomings, for signs of unevenness, for inaccuracies, and for a possible lack of perspective. However, the Restatement was prepared for U.S. law practitioners. Indeed it will be used in practice. A restatement of foreign relations law has an even greater impact on legal practice than a restatement of domestic law. Practitioners are familiar with domestic law and feel at ease drawing upon a variety of sources to confirm, or to contradict, the rule found in a restatement. In the field of foreign relations law, however, especially in customary international law, users are much less inclined to embark on similar exercises of critical scrutiny. For its peculiar effectiveness, therefore, this Restatement should be treated not merely as yet another piece of legal doctrine, albeit a collective one, but as the practitioners' Restatement, to wit itself a source of expectations regarding future conduct.
Karl M. Meessen,
Yale J. Int'l L.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/yjil/vol14/iss2/5