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How is our work influencing life in Northern Ireland and delivering equality? Learn more about our policy, legal and research work.

Harmonise, simplify and clarify

Race law reform

What you need to know


Harmonise, simplify and clarify racial equality legislation

Our recommended changes will also help harmonise and simplify the racial equality legislation making it easier for BME individuals in Northern Ireland to understand what their rights are and for employers, service providers and others to understand what their responsibilities are.

Many of our recommended changes will remove significant unjustifiable anomalies and complexities within the race equality legislation which have led to difficulties and confusion for those seeking to exercise their rights under the legislation and for those seeking to comply with the law. A number of our recommended changes will ensure greater legal certainty and clarity in areas where the scope of legislation is unclear; for example, the scope of protection against discrimination in the exercise of public functions.

Further, a number of our recommended changes will ensure that the race equality law is consistent with best practice standards that have already been adopted in other areas of equality law in Northern Ireland.

They will therefore help improve consistency between the race equality legislation and other equality legislation in Northern Ireland. For example, a number of the changes we recommend have already been implemented in other areas of Northern Ireland equality law, such as disability equality law. This will assist employers, service providers and others who struggle to understand, and keep pace with, the differences between race equality law and other equality law in Northern Ireland. 

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