The International Crime of Gender-Based Persecution and the Taliban

30 Pages Posted: 30 May 2019 Last revised: 4 Jun 2019

See all articles by Widney Brown

Widney Brown

International Secretariat, Amnesty International

Laura Grenfell

University of Adelaide

Date Written: 2003

Abstract

This paper seeks to establish that the prohibition gender-based persecution is already part customary international law. We begin by tracing the history of crimes against humanity and the concept of gender-based crimes in international law; we argue that their historical background demonstrates that the concept of gender-based persecution is not an entirely novel one, in that the principle of non-discrimination on the basis of sex has been incorporated into custom law through its pervasiveness in both humanitarian law and human rights law. This argument is applied to the Taliban's treatment of women, which we argue qualifies as gender-based persecution as it is understood in custom international law. For this purpose we consider the jurisprudence of international and national courts to determine what constitutes persecution. From this jurisprudence we identify and analyses the six elements that need to be established/or the successful prosecution of persecution as a crime against humanity as outlined in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court We conclude that the cumulative impact of the gender-based discrimination by the Taliban exceeded the threshold necessary for it to amount to persecution.

Keywords: gender-based persecution, gender, International Criminal Court, taliban

JEL Classification: K10

Suggested Citation

Brown, Widney and Grenfell, Laura, The International Crime of Gender-Based Persecution and the Taliban (2003). ‘The International Crime of Gender-Based Persecution and the Taliban’ (2003) 5 Melbourne Journal of International Law 347-375 (co-authored with Widney A. Brown) ; U. of Adelaide Law Research Paper No. 2019-63. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3396224

Widney Brown

International Secretariat, Amnesty International ( email )

London EC1R 4RE
United Kingdom

Laura Grenfell (Contact Author)

University of Adelaide

No 233 North Terrace, School of Commerce
Adelaide, South Australia 5005
Australia

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