The Restatements of Foreign Relations and the Rule of Law

Kristina Daugirdas, University of Michigan Law School

Reproduced by permission of Oxford University Press.

The author-accepted manuscript is available at SSRN, DOI:


This chapter explores the promotion of the rule of law. In drafting and publishing Restatements of Foreign Relations Law, both the American Law Institute and the reporters have understood the projects as contributing to the rule of law at the international level, at the domestic level, or both. There are at least three distinct ways that these Restatements might promote the rule of law. First, they might do so by clarifying the content of the law. Second, the Restatements might contribute to the development of new legal rules, specifically to the evolution and consolidation of customary international law. Finally, the Restatements might promote the rule of law by promoting compliance with the law. Ultimately, the Third and Fourth Restatements have taken quite different approaches to promoting the rule of law. To some extent these different approaches are a consequence of changes in the legal landscape over the past three decades. They also reflect different choices that the reporters and the American Law Institute have made about how to carry out the project of restating foreign relations law.