Justice in Automated Administration
31 Pages Posted: 14 Jul 2020
Date Written: January 21, 2020
Public administration has, for some time now, been undergoing a digital transformation. Part of this change is the replacement of human public officials with automated decision-making systems. Beyond its immediate social and political significance, the EU Settlement Scheme—the mechanism established to allow EU citizens to remain resident in the UK after Brexit—represents the coming of age of a new template for automated administration. Understood in its context, this template raises foundational questions about the nature of administrative justice in the emerging digital state. This template, while it has various potential advantages, is essentially half-baked, contains significant risks without sufficient safeguards, and requires revision before its suggested wider future application becomes a reality. Amendments to the template ought to be framed by reference to the precautionary principle, as this would continue to make for efficient implementation of policy while better protecting individuals in this experimental phase of automated administration.
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