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See detailThe decisional value of information in semi-automated decision-making
Demkova, Simona UL

Article for general public (2021)

We live in the age of information. Information is accessible, fast and empowering. By automatically processing and analysing large amounts of information, the governance of modern society has become more ... [more ▼]

We live in the age of information. Information is accessible, fast and empowering. By automatically processing and analysing large amounts of information, the governance of modern society has become more efficient and reliable. The large extent to which novel forms of information processing are being relied on, is changing the very nature of the act of decision-making. This contribution defines such decision-making as ‘semi-automated’ because of the decisional value of the automatically generated information source. This article (see the full version here) starts with a brief background to the European initiatives, introducing automation in information processing, before outlining the impact of such initiatives on the decision-making conduct and the take-overs for the Union legal order at large. [less ▲]

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See detailMa thèse en 180 secondes version blogdroiteuropéen- par Simona Demková
Demkova, Simona UL

Article for general public (2021)

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See detailEffective Review in the Age of Information: The Case-study of Semi-automated Decision-making based on Schengen Information System
Demkova, Simona UL

Doctoral thesis (2021)

The speed with which the EU employs automation in large-scale informational cooperation is unparalleled by the attention devoted to the adjustment of the corresponding system of legal protection ... [more ▼]

The speed with which the EU employs automation in large-scale informational cooperation is unparalleled by the attention devoted to the adjustment of the corresponding system of legal protection. Illustrated with the case study of the Schengen Information System, yet as manifested across broader policy areas, the EU's determination to exploit the benefits of information technologies by rendering them ever smarter, fast and efficient, eventually puts to a test the Union’s fundamental values and principles. The technological progress affects not only the European constitutional promise of effective judicial protection but also of good administration. The drive to revolutionise decision-making takes a sway on the very act of deciding, rendering it an ever-more ‘automatised’ behaviour. Against this backdrop, the thesis addresses the research question: to what extent are supervisory authorities able to ensure effective protection to individuals against decisions taken based on large-scale informational cooperation, in light of the challenges arising from technological innovation, namely automation, for the exercise of effective review. The thesis offers a holistic assessment of the existing and novel challenges to effective account-giving and enforcement of individual rights in the EU multilevel system in view of contributing to the debate on the impacts of technological progress on the legal position of private persons. The assessment shows that ex post enforcement of rights is fundamentally weakened where established jurisdictional limits prevent addressing the multijurisdictional and cross-border conduct underpinning data-driven decision-making. Legal protection instead increasingly depends on the array of additional safeguards, including ex ante legal protection through the judicial authorisation or regular monitoring of the automated support systems. Their existence alone, however, does not uphold the constitutional promise of effective judicial protection. The quest to strengthen the available ex post review mechanisms needs to be addressed as the absolute priority in order to balance the magnitude of power exerted by means of automation on both public conduct and private lives. [less ▲]

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See detailThe decisional value of information in European semi-automated decision-making
Demkova, Simona UL

in Review of European Administrative Law (2021), 2(14), 29-50

This article asserts that the automated processing of information, such as via large-scale information systems in the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice (AFSJ), alters the ‘value’ of information from a ... [more ▼]

This article asserts that the automated processing of information, such as via large-scale information systems in the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice (AFSJ), alters the ‘value’ of information from a means of assistance to a key decisional asset. Information in its different forms, whether paper-based or digital, has always been fundamental to decision-making conduct. Concretely, the premise holds that decisions shall be based on correct, full, and adequate knowledge and reasoning. Technological innovation has, however, magnified information capacities and significance. The article in that respect maintains that the ‘decisional value’ of automatically-processed information consequently also alters the nature of the respective decision-making – from a conventional type where the agent exercises discretion to a ‘semi-automated’ conduct in which automation inhibits the agent’s decision-making capacity. The recognition of such transformation is necessary for the law to keep up with the technological progress and safeguard rights of individuals who are subjects of such semi-automated decisions. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Grand Chamber’s Take on Composite Procedures under the Single Supervisory Mechanism
Demkova, Simona UL

in Review of European Administrative Law (2019), 12(1), 209-220

The recent landmark judgment of Berlusconi (Fininvest) reaffirms the Union Courts’ initial stance regarding the division of jurisdiction for matters arising from composite procedures. Remarkably, however ... [more ▼]

The recent landmark judgment of Berlusconi (Fininvest) reaffirms the Union Courts’ initial stance regarding the division of jurisdiction for matters arising from composite procedures. Remarkably, however, in Berlusconi, the CJEU for the first time offers a conceptual discussion on the long discussed issue of jurisdiction in composite matters, and does so in the new context of the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM). In this respect, the Court first clarifies that where an EU institution enjoys discretion in the final decision-making under the arrangement of a composite procedure, the Union Courts shall have an exclusive jurisdiction over the procedure as a whole. Consequently, Member State courts are prevented from reviewing any steps leading to the adoption of a final decision, regardless of the legal effects thereof in the domestic legal order or the domestic procedural rules allowing for such a review. While seemingly logical, the binary approach to judicial vompetence opens more doors to uncertainty, than it closes. One key concern is regarding the appropriate conduct of review under exclusive jurisdiction; concretely whether and how the Union Courts are competent to review preliminary acts taken under national law. Generally, where interpretation of the respective national rules is clear, such a review would consist of a verification of compliance with the essential procedural guarantees by the Union institution or body, which took the final decision. This approach seems to apply also in cases where the Union institution has a limited discretion to review the national preliminary acts when taking the final decision. The following discussion identifies that despite the black-and-white understanding of discretion developed by the Court in Berlusconi, under more general jurisdiction, the Union Courts will always verify that decisions of the Union institutions are taken with all due care. [less ▲]

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