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The Automated State

The Automated State

Implications, Challenges and Opportunities for Public Law

Edited by Janina Boughey and Katie Miller


The first Australian book to examine in depth the public law implications of government automation

Australian governments are using technology to assist in the administration of the law and delivery of services to the community in a range of contexts, including tax, social security, immigration, health and national security. Use of automation by Australian governments has a mixed record of success. It allows governments to administer complex laws and deliver services more efficiently and accurately than humans could. However, recent experiences such as ‘Robodebt’ have highlighted that automation carries risks – for governments and citizens.

This book explores the implications, challenges and opportunities that automating government functions presents for our system of public law. It asks whether the laws and institutions we have in place to ensure accountability and transparency in government are fit for purpose in an age of automation. The book brings together judges, senior public servants, practitioners, and law and technology academics to interrogate these issues and find solutions that are workable from legal, technology and policy perspectives.

For readers new to the field, the book provides an entry point, including explainers on technology concepts commonly found in government automation. For readers familiar with developments in government automation, the book provides an opportunity to move beyond asking questions to exploring how elements of the public law system – both those that are familiar, as well as those less studied – can be adapted to preserve accountability and transparency in the digital age.


           The Hon Justice Duncan Kerr

1. iDecide: Digital Pathways to Decision
           The Hon Justice Melissa Perry

2. Fairness in Automated Decision Making
           Professor Matthew Groves

3. Evaluating Automation: The Need for Greater Transparency
           Dr Darren O’Donovan AO

4. Better Decisions? Robodebt and the failings of merits review
           Joel Townsend

5. Automated Decision Making and Human Rights: The Right To An Effective Remedy
           Dr Maria O’Sullivan

6. Public Law Limits on Automated Courts
           Dr Joe McIntyre & Dr Anna Olijnyk

7. Holding An Automated Government to Account?: The Role if Parliamentary Committees
           Dr Sarah Moulds

8. Outsourcing Automation: Locking the "Black Box" inside a Safe
           Dr Janina Boughey

9. Government procurement and project management for automated decision-making systems
           Sarah Crossman & Rachel Dixon

10. Who Oversees the Government’s Automated Decision-Making?: Modernising Regulation and Review of Australian Automated Decision Making
           Dr Marc Cheong & Dr Kobi Leins

11. Retaining the Citizen in the Loop – the role of the citizen in Digital Government
           Katie Miller

12. Untapped Opportunities for the Use of AI in Comparing Legislation for National Reforms
           Dr Guzyal Hill

13. Laws for Machines and Machine-made Laws
           Professor Lyria Bennett Moses, Dr Janina Boughey and Dr Lisa Burton Crawford



Publishing 17 June 2021
Publisher The Federation Press
ISBN 9781760022952
Australian RRP $120.00
International Price $110.00
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Not yet published

Law - Administrative
Law - Constitutional
Law - Legal Interpretation
Government / Political Studies

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