TU Dresden
A joint project with Uni Leipzig DE EN

The Use of AI by the Civil Service in Light of the Principles of Democracy and the Rule of Law

Mentored by Stephanie Schiedermair, Anne Lauber-Rönsberg, Sabine Müller-Mall
at Leipzig University

The use of AI by the civil service provides chances and challenges. On the one side, the use of AI has the potential to make civil service more efficient and more citizen-friendly. On the other side, it is clear that the fundamental constitutional structures are not available for disposition. Therefore the use of AI has to be implemented carefully into the already existing legal framework.

This framework is characterized by the principle of democracy demanding that all major political decisions have to be made by parliament. The crucial question of responsibility therefore is answered in general by the principle of democracy implying that minor decisions can be delegated to an algorithm, but major decisions cannot. Moreover, the transparency principle demands that citizens are able to get to know what happens inside the decision-making process of the civil service, for which the use of algorithms provides challenges as well.

As for the rule of law, fundamental citizen´s rights such as the right to data protection or the right of access to information as well as the right to non-discrimination provide the legal background for actions of the civil service. In addition, the rule of law determines the structures of processes within the civil service and also influences those structures, e.g. by administrative and judicial review. The project shall analyze the existing challenges and examine the legal structures provided. Therefore it will be clear which applications of AI in civil service will be possible under which conditions and which applications might not be possible at all.

Work Environment

You will be working with the team of Prof. Dr. Schiedermair, which is dedicated to research in public law and international law as a multi-level-governance system. The transformational process of digitization and its implications for democracy and the rule of law are at the heart of the research of the Chair. Prof. Schiedermair is also part of the ScaDS.AI network and member of the Commission to Determine the Financial Requirements of Public Broadcasting in Germany (KEF).

Prerequisites

To conduct this research, you should hold a First State Examination with Distinction in law. A strong interest in public law and European law is necessary for the project.