Digitalisation in the context of the administrative justice system presents a wide variety of issues. The case studies in this book have demonstrated that. It is essential that the ongoing incursion of digital technology into administrative justice is not seen as some distinct field of interest and activity, but as part of the core business of those concerned with public law and administrative justice. There will be no satisfying overall answer or theory that can be developed in response to this incursion. In administrative justice, generalisations are often unhelpful and rarely true. Different instances of digitalisation – whether they are imposed as part of public service provision or arise organically from technological innovation – need to be considered in their particular institutional and political contexts.
Given this, this book has sought to provide a framework for analysing unfolding developments in the digitalisation of administrative justice, and not an overarching prescriptive theory. It has argued that analysis must reflect on how developments with digital technology fit into the central and long-stranding administrative justice concerns of evidence, politics, models and design. It has highlighted the urgent need to study closely the empirical consequences of technology and revisit, and maybe even abandon, existing frameworks for understanding how administrative justice operates. By outlining this path forwards, I am essentially re-stating what Richard B. Stewart wrote at the end of his famous 1975 essay, ‘The reformation of American administrative law’, considering the role of administrative law in the context of a changing US state and polity: ‘[g]iven “the undefined foreboding of something unknown,” we can know only that we must spurn superficial analysis and simplistic remedies, girding ourselves to shoulder, for the indefinite future, the intellectual and social burdens of a dense complexity.’
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