Influence • Data governance • Completed
Legal and Regulatory Frameworks Governing the Use of Automated and Assisted Decision Making by Public Bodies
Lilian Edwards, Rebecca Williams, Reuben Binns | 26th July 2021
This briefing paper was prepared in advance of a technical legal workshop: “Reforming the law around the use of automated and assisted decision making by public bodies”. The workshop was convened to support the Law Commission in developing priorities for its 14th Programme of Law Reform.
The authors highlight the urgent need for legal reform. They find that Automated Decision Making (“ADM”) and Assisted Decision Making (“ASDM”) systems are widely used across the public sector. As their use becomes more ubiquitous, the limitations of these systems and the harms that can arise from their deployment are increasingly well recognised.
Four key sources of law together comprise the legal frameworks governing the use of ADM and ASDM systems by public sector bodies:
- Data Protection law
- Equality law
- The common law of judicial review
- Contract law.
Overall, the authors argue that these frameworks are complex, piecemeal and insufficient to secure transparency. Existing law mitigates against the early identification and rectification of issues at the design stage- before harm occurs. The legal frameworks governing whether an ADM or ASDM system can or should be used are insufficient to guide good practice. There is an urgent need to clarify the processes through which public authorities can justify their use of ADM/ASDM systems on data protection, equality and public law grounds.
‘Justice System Data’: A Comparative Study
This report analyses the ways in which justice system data is managed in three countries: Australia, Canada and Ireland. It considers how data-sharing methods are perceived to relate to judicial independence, innovation, and public understanding of, and confidence in, the justice system.
Reforming the Law Around the Use of Automated and Assisted Decision Making by Public Bodies: Report from a Technical Legal Workshop
This report is a summary of a technical legal workshop held online on Thursday 17 June 2021 under the Chatham House rule. The workshop was hosted by The Legal Education Foundation (“TLEF”), as part of their Fairer Systems and Smarter Justice work programmes.
Response to the Law Commission: Reforming the Law Around the Use of Automated and Assisted Decision Making by Public Bodies
Our response argues for the need for the Law Commission to develop positive regulatory and legislative solutions to govern the use of automated and assisted decision-making systems by public sector bodies.