Based on theoretical analysis and numerical simulations, the factors that influence the slip and fracture instability of coal-rock parting -coal structure (CRCS) were investigated. Stress, coefficient of friction and energy dissipation during slip and fracture instability were analysed individually. The macro- and microscopic mechanical behaviours, especially acoustic emission (AE) characteristics, were determined. According to the variations in stress, energy and b-value of AE events, the precursors of CRCS slip and fracture instability were summarized. Finally, the instability mechanism was proposed. This work is relevant for early warning coal-rock dynamic disasters that are triggered by slip and fracture instability of CRCS in coal mines.