Robot Government: Automated Decision-Making and its Implications for Parliament
This is a draft chapter, to be published in A Horne and A Le Sueur (ed), Parliament: Legislation and Accountability; IBSN 9781849467162, a volume in the Hart Studies in Constitutional Law series (Oxford, Hart Publishing, 2016 Forthcoming) .
18 Pages Posted: 6 Oct 2015
Date Written: October 1, 2015
Automated decision-making by government is on the rise but constitutional and administrative lawyers in the UK have hardly noticed this development. The paper starts by defining automated decision-making using a couple of examples (Part II) before examining more closely one of the few provisions on the statute book for automation – in the Social Security Act 1998 (Part III). Part IV explores how automation provides some fresh impetus to long running debates in constitutional and administrative law – about achieving compliance with the rule of law, about the relative benefit of ‘rules versus discretion’, about the legal basis for executive action, about the permissible limits of delegation, and questions why we can opt out of private sector automated decision-making (under the Data Protection Act 1998 s 12) but not in relation to such decision-making by government. Part V calls for a select committee inquiry on automated decision-making and suggest ways – some of them radical – in which Parliament could redesign legislative scrutiny and accountability practices to harness the broad transformative effects of automation.
Keywords: automated decision-making, administrative law, constitutional law, UK Parliament
JEL Classification: K1
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation