What we do

Technology is rapidly changing how government makes decisions and the avenues by which people can challenge those decisions.

The UK Government already uses algorithms and big data to make decisions across a vast range of areas, including tax, welfare, criminal justice, immigration and social care. A sweeping program to digitise the courts and tribunals system is currently underway.

Through research, training and litigation, PLP aims to ensure that these changes deliver better public decision-making and greater access to justice.

Our ultimate goals in this area are to ensure that:

  • Automated decision-making is fair and lawful, and that meaningful public law remedies are available when things go wrong
  • The increasingly digitalised justice system operates fairly, lawfully and accessibly

Scroll down to see more examples of our work in this area.

Digital justice: digital exclusion
Latest

Digital justice: digital exclusion

Read the latest article published in LAG by Jo Hynes. Digital justice systems bring the promise of efficiency and convenience. Along with it comes the risk of reducing access for the digitally excluded. As the HMCTS ‘digital by default’ reforms roll on, this challenge is being addressed through a service called Digital Support, which has…

Digital support for HMCTS reformed services
Policy briefings and submissions

Digital support for HMCTS reformed services

There is a global trend towards the adoption of digital ways of working in justice systems. Working to shorter timescales than smaller digitalisation programmes undertaken in other countries, the UK’s ongoing digital transformation of courts and tribunals is particularly ambitious. Meanwhile, the COVID-19 pandemic has served to accelerate this work and has brought to the…

Rise of the Robots: Challenging automated decision-making in government
Events

Rise of the Robots: Challenging automated decision-making in government

1 July 2021 @ 10:00 am – 1:00 pm – Chair: Angela Jackman QC, Simpson Millar Facilitators: Matt Ahluwalia, Garden Court Chambers Will Bordell, Blackstone Chambers Tatiana Kazim, Public Law Project Olivia Mowll, Public Law Project Second chair to be confirmed. This workshop aims to equip public lawyers with the practical knowledge and skills required to challenge automated government decisions. The workshop will have two […]…

How we do it

Research and policy

  • Research into automated decision-making and administrative justice: We conduct research into the challenges and opportunities which automated decision-making presents for administrative justice in the UK.
  • Developing the evidence base for online courts and tribunals: We conduct rigorous, empirical research into how online courts and tribunals are working in practice, particularly for disadvantaged and marginalised groups.
  • Scrutinising the digitisation of the UK justice system: We scrutinise the UK Government’s programme to digitise the justice system and provide Parliament and policymakers with insights into this dynamic and technical area of policy.
  • Tracking Automated Government (TAG) Project: We are tracking and analysing examples of automated decision-making, to ensure that they conform to public law principles and operate in the interests of disadvantaged and marginalised groups. This project is modelled on our successful Brexit SIFT Project.

You can access all our research and briefings on public law and technology here.

Training and resources

‘Rise of the Robots: Challenging automated decision-making in government’: PLP is developing training for public lawyers on challenging automated government decisions.

Casework

We are keen to share our expertise and speak to individuals and organisations concerned about artificial intelligence and public law decision making.