Algorithmic Decision-Making and Legality: Public Law Dimensions

(2020) 94 Australian Law Journal 520

ANU College of Law Research Paper No. 20.8

15 Pages Posted: 19 Dec 2019 Last revised: 8 Dec 2020

See all articles by Will Bateman

Will Bateman

Australian National University

Date Written: October 1, 2019

Abstract

Automating the exercise of statutory powers through algorithmic decision-making carries high levels of legal risk. Fundamental public law doctrines assume that legal powers will be exercised by a particular kind of decision-making agent: one with sufficient cognitive capacities to understand the interpretative complexity of legal instruments and respond to highly dynamic environments. Public law doctrines also assume that clear reasons can be given for the exercise of public power and, by default, attribute legal responsibility for the exercise of statutory powers to a human being bearing political and social responsibility. Those doctrines provide the standards against which the legality of algorithmic decision-making in the public sector must be tested and, until they are met, lawyers should be sceptical of suggestions that statutory powers can be automated.

Keywords: Algorithms, Artificial Intelligence, Automation, Law, Government, Public Sector

JEL Classification: K00, K10

Suggested Citation

Bateman, Will, Algorithmic Decision-Making and Legality: Public Law Dimensions (October 1, 2019). (2020) 94 Australian Law Journal 520, ANU College of Law Research Paper No. 20.8, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3496386

Will Bateman (Contact Author)

Australian National University ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 2601
Australia

HOME PAGE: http://https://law.anu.edu.au/people/will-bateman

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