Reijer Passchier on imbalance within Trias Politica and Big Tech
What is the impact of digitalisation and Artificial Intelligence (AI) on the functioning of our constitution? Reijer Passchier, Assistant Professor of Constitutional and Administrative Law, warns in an article in Leidraad that digitalisation is giving the executive branch more and more power, and that parliament and the judiciary are lagging behind. He is also concerned about the power of Big Tech.
At the moment, it is the executive in particular that is benefiting from digital technology. For example, by using AI which is already applied in the public sector in many ways: to detect fraud, to determine the risk of dropping out of school, to estimate the reliability of property values (WOZ) and so on. The judiciary and parliament are lagging behind in this process. The already existing imbalance within the trias politica will therefore only increase.
Passchier believes that more multi-disciplinary cooperation is needed and, following the German example, a special office for Technology Assessment should be established. This office should support MPs in their monitoring and legislative tasks, by assessing the impact of new technology and legislation on society.
Reijer also warns of the power of Big Tech and its consequences for the legal position of citizens.