Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, for whom France has issued an arrest warrant. | Foto: Wikimedia Commons | Lizenzinformation

The French Arrest Warrant for Assad – Breaking New Ground in the Prosecution of Chemical Weapons Use?

On November 14, 2023, a French Magistrate Judge issued an arrest warrant for Syria´s President, Bashar al-Assad. The Court found sufficient evidence to initiate proceedings against Assad for complicity in war crimes and crimes against humanity, specifically the use of chemical weapons. Yet, as this blog post will point out, Heads of State enjoy certain immunities under international law, which the French arrest Warrant thereby violates. This warrant could, however provide a necessary impetus to re-evaluate how states view immunities.