Paul Stephan on Foreign Relations Law Restatement

Paul Stephan on Foreign Relations Law Restatement

Paul B. Stephan, Coordinating Reporter for the Restatement Fourth of the Foreign Relations Law of the United States, shares his experience working on the Restatement project in a piece for UVA Law School.

“Most of my professional life I have gone solo, except for a few occasions working with a single co-author, and when in government I did not produce documents for public consumption that carried my name,” he said. “Organizing a group to get a serious academic and professional work out on time was like nothing I ever had done before.”

Professor Stephan also discusses the evolution of international law since the publication of the Restatement Third in 1987.

“Thirty years ago, the reporters were able to see international law as a single field, more or less homogenous, about which they could make authoritative statements across many different subject areas,” he explained. “They had a distinct focus, looking to the federal courts to invoke international law to protect individual rights and to reform the law to advance international cooperation. Facts on the ground today force the reporters to be a bit more modest. The problems addressed by international law have grown in number, complexity and importance.”

The next Sokol Colloquium at UVA Law, to be held in January 2019, will focus on the Restatement Fourth, which covers jurisdiction, the domestic effect of treaties and sovereign immunity, among other topics. Advisers to the project and leading specialists in foreign relations law will participate in the colloquium.

Read the full article here.

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