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The WTO, the National Security Exception and Climate Change


Felicity Deane

Article XX has been a valuable instrument to justify exceptions from the anti-discrimination provisions of the GATT 1994. In general, this Article is considered by experts to be the most likely defence for any climate change mitigation measure in breach GATT 1994 obligations. That assumption is not in dispute here; rather, this article considers the requirements of the Article XX exceptions, but also explores the conditions of the National Security exception contained in Article XXI. Although it is possible that this exception could be used for climate change mitigation measures, this paper argues that it is unlikely that the National Security exception could be legitimately applied in these circumstances without member agreement to the contrary.


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