UCL Faculty of Laws


Online | Accountable Algorithms

24 February 2022, 6:15 pm–7:15 pm

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This lecture is part of the Current Legal Problems Lecture Series 2021-22

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Accountable Algorithms - Adopting the Public Law Toolkit Outside the Realm of Public Law

Speaker: Prof. Rebecca Williams (University of Oxford)
Chair: Dr Michael Veale (University College London)

About the Lecture

As algorithmic decision making in both the private and public spheres becomes ever more prevalent, we know that this has the capacity to bring both advantages in term of efficiency, cost and increased precision, and potential disadvantages in terms of opacity and unfair treatment of individuals. In order to respond to these developments in the public sphere, public law and the grounds of judicial review are in need of further development. But if this development is undertaken successfully, public law will then contain a toolkit which is specifically adapted to guide, control and render accountable the use of algorithmic decision making. Even if we do not wish to extend the sphere of public law itself we could at the very least make use of this public law toolkit, even in the private sphere.

About the Speaker

Rebecca Williams is a Professor of Public Law and Criminal Law at Pembroke College, Oxford, having previously been a fellow of Robinson College, Cambridge, following her PhD at Birmingham. Increasingly her work focuses on the relationship of law and technology and the ways in which the law will need to develop in order to keep pace with technological developments and together with Professor Tom Melham from the Department of Computer Science and Dr Václav Janeček from the Faculty of Law she is a co-founder of OLTEP, the Oxford LawTech Education Programme. Her work also includes examining optimum methods of decision-making and the use of criminal law as a form of regulation and it has been cited in the European Court of Justice, the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal of England and Wales, and the High Court of Australia.

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About Current Legal Problems

The Current Legal Problems (CLP) lecture series and annual volume was established over fifty five years ago at the Faculty of Laws, University College London and is recognised as a major reference point for legal scholarship.

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