Disputing Decisions in Digital-By-Design Systems

The right to appeal in the UK’s digital ‘Universal Credit’ program

Wednesday 15 November, 9-10am ET / 2-3pm GMT

Individuals are increasingly interacting with their governments primarily online. Whether they are applying for welfare benefits or filing their taxes, individuals often go through an online portal and use online systems to communicate with government officials and decision-makers. In this event, we will examine one of the earliest ‘digital-by-design’ government systems – a mainly-online system for claiming and receiving benefits in the United Kingdom – where decisions about families’ welfare claims and payments are partially-automated and mostly communicated through an online ‘journal.’ We will explore how the design of this digitalized system might serve to increase transparency in some ways, while, in other ways, leaving individuals less able to understand and challenge potential errors. We will ask: how has this system affected beneficiaries’ ability to dispute decisions if they believe a mistake has been made? What are the implications for access to justice and the right to appeal?

Speakers: Rosie Mears, welfare rights worker at the Child Poverty Action Group, and lead author of ‘You Reap What You Code: Universal credit, digitalisation and the rule of law
Sophie Howes, Head of Policy at the Child Poverty Action Group, and co-author of ‘You Reap What You Code

Registration link: https://nyu.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_JsiqPJXhQuqWQO470Nf3Nw


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