Revitalising public law in a technological era: rights, transparency and administrative justice

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This article examines how public law should be revitalised in light of the increasing use of technology in government decision-making. As the recent controversy concerning the implementation of an automated debt recovery system by the Department of Social Services illustrates, the automation of government decision-making engages fundamental legal principles such as transparency, procedural fairness and reviewability. The use of technology in administrative decision-making in Australia therefore raises a number of critical, and interlocking, questions: Is Australian public law fit for purpose to protect individual rights in automated governmental decision-making? If not, what reforms are necessary and how should they be instituted? This article will consider these issues in relation to three specific areas of public law: privacy law, freedom of information, and judicial review. In doing so, it sets out concrete recommendations for the revitalisation of Australian public law so that it may become more value-compliant and consistent with emerging international best practice standards.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1041-1077
Number of pages37
JournalUniversity of New South Wales Law Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2020


  • public law
  • technology
  • automation
  • judicial review
  • privacy
  • freedom of information
  • administrative law

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