Non-Discrimination: Article 2 in Context

Brexit Institute Working Paper Series No 15/2021

13 Pages Posted: 10 Nov 2021

See all articles by Aoife O'Donoghue

Aoife O'Donoghue

Queen's University Belfast, School of Law

Date Written: November 9, 2021


Article 2 of the Ireland/Northern Ireland Protocol introduces a novel human rights approach into Northern Ireland’s already unique constitutional settlement. Article 2 possesses two strands of rights. Its first set of rights links directly to the 1998 Belfast/Good Friday Agreement and includes a guarantee of non-diminution. The second set of rights listed in the Annex to the Protocol are subject to change and evolution. This chapter outlines the legal and political basis from which the Protocol’s rights and equality provisions arose, it examines the drafting of Article 2 and considers its current status and operation as well as looking at its future impact and the broader implications for our understanding of scale, temporality and the interplays between substance and procedure in rights protection. The uniqueness of the Article 2 arrangements is likely to be subject to much scrutiny and litigation in the coming years.

Keywords: Article 2, Brexit, Human Rights, Non-Discrimination, Protocol on Ireland/ Northern Ireland

Suggested Citation

O'Donoghue, Aoife, Non-Discrimination: Article 2 in Context (November 9, 2021). Brexit Institute Working Paper Series No 15/2021, Available at SSRN: or

Aoife O'Donoghue (Contact Author)

Queen's University Belfast, School of Law ( email )


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