Automation: Developing Technological Procedural Fairness

This paper explores the implications of automaton for procedural fairness and the ways in which procedural fairness can be developed to deal with technological developments. Automation raises concerns for this administrative law area because it is not clear whether decision-makers in charge of automated systems will be able to sufficiently understand the highly technical information which have been used in an automated decision and to communicate that to the affected person (the ‘explainability’ problem). Another debated area is how to draw the boundaries of automation. Will there be some decisions where there needs to be a ‘human in the loop’? Further, given that provision of an oral hearing is a central component of the procedural fairness principles in Australian law, how does that interact with automation? Can a machine give an applicant a ‘hearing’?