In recent years, the Home Office has started using automated systems to make immigration decisions. These systems promise faster, more accurate, and cheaper decision-making, but in practice they have exposed people to distress, disruption, and even deportation.

A new book by Jack Maxwell and Dr Joe Tomlinson, Experiments in Automating Immigration Systems, examines these issues and their implications for our public law system. It focuses on three recent case studies: a voice recognition system used to detect fraud in English-language testing; an algorithm for identifying ‘risky’ visa applications; and automated decision-making in the EU Settlement Scheme. Ultimately, the book argues that a precautionary approach is essential to ensure that society benefits from government automation without exposing individuals to unacceptable risks.

PLP, together with the University of York, is pleased to launch this book on 27 January 2022 at 5-6pm. The launch will be hosted on Zoom.

The launch will focus on the ‘big questions’ arising from the growing use of automation in the Home Office and across government more generally. What legal and political tools are currently being used to respond to risky automated systems in government? Which tools have worked well or poorly? What rules should govern the development and use of government automated systems in the future?

We are delighted to have the following panellists joining us to consider these questions and more:

  • Chair: Charlotte Kilroy QC, Blackstone Chambers
  • Tatiana Kazim, Public Law Project
  • Jack Maxwell
  • Dr Brendan McGurk, Monckton Chambers
  • Divij Joshi, University College London
  • Dr Joe Tomlinson, University of York
  • Professor Rebecca Williams, University of Oxford

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