Questions at the Interface Between Automated Decision Making, Administrative Law and Socio‑Economic Rights: The Example of Access to Affordable Housing in Kenya

Author: Alexander Beyleveld
Senior Researcher at the Mandela Institute, University of the Witwatersrand

A number of African governments have begun to integrate automated decision-making (ADM) into processes that give effect to fundamental rights, which has given rise to a number of interesting questions about the manner in which different areas of law interact in ADM contexts.  ADM has thus far been most directly regulated by data protection legislation, such as the Kenya Data Protection Act (KDPA).  Automated decisions, however, also implicate administrative law, and constitutionally enshrined rights related to administrative action.  An additional layer of complexity is added in situations where automated decisions form part of the process governments have elected to use to give effect to fundamental rights, especially when a number of different rights are implicated.  Understanding the interface between ADM, data protection laws, administrative law and constitutional law, then, will only continue to grow in importance in assessing the extent to which governments are giving effect to certain fundamental rights – as well as for assessing the extent to which governments and individuals are actually reaping the potential benefits of ADM technologies in the first place.

About the Author:
Alexander Beyleveld is a legal, economics and policy professional with experience in the public, international public, private, NGO and academic sectors. Alex holds a PhD from the Graduate School of Economic Globalisation and Integration at the World Trade Institute, University of Bern, is an admitted legal practitioner of the High Court of South Africa (enrolled as an attorney) and is currently a senior researcher at the Mandela Institute (Wits Law School). Alex predominantly works on issues of economic law (international trade, competition and taxation for the most part), technology and public policy, with a particular focus on economic development, inequality and inclusion.

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