Why we need to rethink procedural fairness for the digital age and how we should do it

Simon Halliday, Jed Meers, Joe Tomlinson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The ‘frontline’ of administrative decision-making is one of the primary domains of law and policy in action. But it is also more than that: it is a critical fairness interface in contemporary society with profound effects on the lives of individuals, as well as society, the economy, and the legitimacy of government. How frontline decision-making operates is changing rapidly—not least because of the expanding use of digital technologies within government. This presents a generational challenge for those, including administrative lawyers, concerned with the advancement of the foundational idea of procedural fairness in this sphere: that fundamental idea that, separate from the outcome of a decision-making process, the person subject to that process ought to be treated in a procedurally fair manner. We argue in this chapter that this challenge requires us to move beyond traditional ways of thinking about procedural fairness—that have been dominated by legal and normative theories and principles—and place new emphasis on how citizens themselves perceive and experience fairness within public decision-making processes. Drawing on evidence from a survey with the UK public and the experiences of other disciplines, we show that this is both a viable and valuable project.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResearch Handbook on Law & Technology
EditorsBartosz Brozeck, Olia Kanevskaia, Przemysław Pałka
Place of PublicationCheltenham
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2023


  • procedural fairness
  • digital age
  • law and technology


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