Back to Basics: Who “decides” in automated government decision-making?

This paper considers simple issues rendered complex by the automation of decisions traditionally made by human government officers. The paper will explore three fundamental questions about an automated decision: what is the “decision”; who makes it; and when is it made? The answers to these questions have consequences for whether such decisions are amenable to review by Australian administrative law. The paper will consider recent case law regarding what constitutes a “decision”; and the role of concepts of “officer of the Commonwealth” and a “decision” in grounding the jurisdiction of courts to engage in judicial review of government action.