It has often struck me that the prominence of the Restatement of the Foreign Relations Law of the United States epitomizes the plight of international law in this country. The title of this standard reference on international law does not even refer to international law, but instead to foreign relations law. That is, it is meant to set out the standards by which we may legitimately judge the conduct of others. The clear, if unintended, message is that the Restatement is not really a codification of laws that bind us. And indeed, it is explicitly not just a codification, but a restatement. It is, in other words, not a simple summation of those rules that are binding under international standards of lawmaking, but a specifically American take on the rules that (ought to?) define the global order.
Hathaway, James C. "America's Apostasy." Law Quad. Notes 42, no. 3 (1999): 10-1.