The Origins of ‘Full Protection and Security’. From Medieval Reprisals to the Age of Enlightenment

  • Sebastián Mantilla Blanco
Part of the European Yearbook of International Economic Law book series (EUROYEAR, volume 8)


The standard of ‘full protection and security’ embodies a protection obligation in respect of foreign citizens. The standard originated in the practice of private reprisals in the European Middle Ages. It was, however, only until the eighteenth century that legal scholars ‘rationalized’ the protection obligation. In this vein, they resorted to the fiction of a ‘tacit agreement’ between the Sovereign and the foreigner who enters into his dominions. By this agreement, the Sovereign promises protection and the foreigner obedience. As an alternative to the theory of the tacit agreement, early positivist scholars sought to establish the foundations of the protection obligation through an analysis of state practice, and characterized FPS as a customary obligation. These theories had a likely influence on international treaties.

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sebastián Mantilla Blanco
    • 1
  1. 1.BonnGermany

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