Briefing Paper

Q&A: Bringing a Case Before the International Court of Justice for the Rights of Afghan Women and Girls

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Q&A: Litigating for the Rights of Afghan Women and Girls Before the ICJ Download the 15-page document. 15 Pages, 310.66 Kb, PDF Download
April, 2024
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No country has yet been brought before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for violations of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). This briefing paper addresses the following 21 questions around the feasibility of bringing a case at the ICJ against Afghanistan's Taliban for egregious and prevalent violations of women’s and girls’ rights:

  1. What is the International Court of Justice? 
  2. What is the difference between the ICJ and the International Criminal Court (ICC)? 
  3. Why can Afghanistan be brought before the ICJ for violations of women’s and girls’ rights? 
  4. Who can bring the case under CEDAW against Afghanistan before the ICJ? 
  5. Who exactly would be sued: the State of Afghanistan or the Taliban? 
  6. Would a case against Afghanistan before the ICJ legitimize the Taliban or result in its recognition? 
  7. What are the next steps for initiating an ICJ case against Afghanistan? 
  8. What can the ICJ order against Afghanistan? 
  9. How long will the case take? 
  10. Will filing a case against Afghanistan have any immediate impact? 
  11. Are ICJ orders legally binding? 
  12. What happens if Afghanistan does not comply with an ICJ ruling? 
  13. How could an ICJ case help Afghan women, especially if a decision is not directly enforced?
  14. What are the risks of bringing an ICJ case? 
  15. How can an ICJ case affect other accountability and justice mechanisms? 
  16. Why bring a case under CEDAW to the ICJ instead of the CEDAW Committee? 
  17. Is it possible to bring a case to the ICJ under other human rights treaties that Afghanistan is violating? 
  18. Why use resources on an ICJ case versus other avenues? 
  19. Can, or must, Afghan civil society play a role in an ICJ case against Afghanistan? 
  20. Can Afghan individuals submit evidence to the Court? 
  21. What is the role of the Open Society in the proposed case? 

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