Skip to main content

United States: legal resources: Restatements of the law

Restatements of law and the work of the A.L.I.

Restatements of the Law, published by the American Law Institute (A.L.I.), were intended to restate the common law in a clear and systematic way. It was hoped that they would eventually be accorded almost the same degree of authority as the decisions of the courts.They have been more influential than most treatises, and have been described (Cohen and Olson) as an unofficial common law emulation of the codes of the civil law system.

Principles of the law  are attempts to "express the law as it should be."

The A.L.I. also publishes uniform laws and model acts, which are proposed laws recommended for adoption by the individual states as part of their own law.  These include the Uniform Commercial Code (U.C.C.), and the Model Penal Code.

The library's print holdings of the above (including some working papers & drafts) are at USA 045 on level 3.

 Holders of an Oxford SSO can find online access to ALI's Restatements & Principles of the Law via Westlaw UK. (Sign in- then click Services - International Materials - US Materials - Secondary Sources.


Most uniform laws and model acts are also included in Uniform Laws Annotated (see above under Legislation).