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The PNR decision and beyond: Melanie Fink on the consequences of automation for the right to good governance

From 23 to 24 February 2023, the Conference ‘The Future of the European Security Architecture: The CJEU’s decision on Passenger Name Records and beyond’ took place at the KNAW in Amsterdam.

The conference explored from a multi-disciplinary perspective the far-reaching consequences that the PNR decision has on the future of the European security architecture, the protection of fundamental rights, and the accountability of different actors, including EU agencies. The conference was organised by Evelien Brouwer, Elspeth Guild, Valsamis Mitsilegas, Stefan Salomon, and Christian Thönnes.

The two-day programme included speakers from a range of fields, covering the role of Artificial Intelligence in EU security governance, the requirements for independent oversight mechanisms and judicial review, the limits of national security exceptions, and public-private collaborations and the protection of privacy and other fundamental rights.

Melanie Fink spoke on automation and the right to good governance. She examined the meaning of the right to good administration as protected in Article 41 of the Charter on Fundamental Rights, especially with regard to the use of risk assessments and automated decision-making. What are the implications of the duty to reason for automation? What is the relationship between reasoning obligations and the right to an effective remedy? How did the Court of Justice of the EU approach these questions in Ligue des droits humains (Case C-817/19)? And what can we learn from this judgment concerning the role of courts with regard to the use of other EU large-scale databases and automated decision-making?

Melanie Fink is currently developing a project on this topic. For a related publication see here.

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