The First Generation of National Security Exceptions: The GATT and Its Legacy

  • Sebastián Mantilla Blanco
  • Alexander Pehl
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Law book series (BRIEFSLAW)


Article XXI of the GATT is at the heart of the first generation of security exceptions in post-Second World War economic treaties. The GATT national security exception grants a Member State discretion to adopt trade-restrictive security measures which ‘it considers necessary for the protection of its essential security interests’. An analysis of the GATT exception’s wording, object and purpose, and drafting history, shows that such discretion was never intended to apply without limits.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sebastián Mantilla Blanco
    • 1
  • Alexander Pehl
    • 2
  1. 1.BonnGermany
  2. 2.CologneGermany

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