Political Opinion (NI only)


According to the Equality Commission political opinion means:

  • Nationalist, republican, loyalist or unionist
  • Northern Ireland constitutional politics
  • Any political opinion related to the conduct or government of the state, or matters of public policy
  • Any lawful political party that does not endorse violence.

Reference to political opinion includes a reference to not holding any political opinions.

Courts will ultimately be responsible for interpreting the meaning of political opinion.


Northern Ireland

Under the Fair Employment & Treatment (NI) Order 1998, it is unlawful for those who provide services to the public to discriminate against a person on grounds of their political opinion.

The Equality Commission advises under the law it is unlawful to discriminate on grounds of religious belief and political opinion in:

  • The provision of goods, facilities and services
  • Access to and use of any place which members of the public are permitted to enter
  • Accommodation in a hotel, boarding house or other similar establishment
  • Facilities by way of banking or insurance or for grants, loans or finance
  • Facilities for training
  • Facilities for entertainment, recreation or refreshment
  • Facilities for transport or travel
  • The services of any profession, trade or business open to the public.