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The Department of TILT (Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society) has a vacancy for a Postdoctoral Researcher in law. This project will address the question how public values underpinning fundamental rights are affected by automated decision-making systems (ADS) and what checks and balances are needed to restore citizens’ rights to justice.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and automated decision-making systems (ADS) may use data to create profiles in order to categorise individuals or make predictions about their behaviour. Such systems raise ethical and legal issues relating to rights of justice, including rights such as fairness, non-discrimination, consistency, good governance, equality of arms, a fair trial or effective remedies.
In this light, this project will first examine the notion of rights to justice and their relationship to the concept of access to justice. It will then analyse how the values underpinning fundamental rights – such as dignity, autonomy, equality, fairness and justice – inform these justice rights and how and to what degree they are affected by ADS. Finally, it will explore what checks and balances are needed to restore citizens’ rights of justice when fundamental right violations take place.
The project will rely on the doctrinal legal method and will make use of findings derived from law and technology studies, as well as will borrow from ethics and political sciences by conducting a literature study on the values underpinning fundamental rights, on the particular characteristics of ADS and its impact on these public values, on the existing remedies and their benefits and shortcomings, and on existing and suggested solutions to improve the protection of these rights. The potential solutions will be further studied by having discussions with focus groups and conducting semi-structured interviews with experts/stakeholders.
The selected candidate will work on this project and can also be involved in education activities of TILT for a maximum of 0.2 FTE.
This project is part of the Gravitation program Public Values in the Algorithmic Society (algosoc). The Gravitation program is an initiative by the Dutch government to support excellent research in the Netherlands. The funding is reserved for scientific consortia that have the potential to rank among the world's best in their field. Algosoc is a response to the urgent need for an informed societal perspective on automated decision-making. Funded by the ministry for Education, Culture and Science for a period for 10 years, research in the algosoc program will develop a deep understanding of the systemic changes that automated decision-making entails for core public institutions, for society, and for how public values are realized. The research will focus on three sectors: justice, health and media. The program brings together researchers in law, communication science, computer science, media studies, philosophy, public governance, STS, economy and social sciences from five Dutch universities (Amsterdam, Utrecht, Tilburg, Delft and Rotterdam). Together, the algosoc community will develop solutions for the design of governance frameworks needed to complement technology-driven initiatives in the algorithmic society.
If the vacancy appeals to you, but you are doubting whether you might be THE person we are looking for, please do apply. We encourage all qualified applicants, including minorities, women, people with disabilities, and members of other groups underrepresented in academia to apply. We wish to create a consortium that consists of persons who each contribute in their unique way to the team. Complementarity and not homogeneity is what we are looking for.
Developing a societal vision on automated decision-making concerns us all. We believe that a diversity of perspectives in our consortium will be important in developing an inclusive societal vision and strive therefore also in our hiring policy for encouraging applicants from diverse backgrounds. We are committed to creating an environment of mutual respect, inclusiveness, equal opportunities with room for situated experiences, diverse perspectives, and ideas to flourish. This commitment applies to our research, organisation, room for flexibility, training, and community activities as well as our hiring strategy.
Tilburg University is curious about how you can contribute to our research, education, impact, and to the team you will be part of. Therefore, we would like to get the best possible picture of your knowledge, insight, skills, and personality. Below you can find the qualifications we consider important for the position.
To maintain a vibrant and active university community, it is important that we meet each other regularly and that the connection between us remains good. Therefore, the premise is that all staff members carry out their work in the Netherlands and that lecturing is done physically.
Fixed-term contract: 36 months in total.
Tilburg University offers excellent terms of employment with attention to flexibility and room for (personal) development. We recognize and reward our employees and encourage the use of talents and strengths.
Tilburg University is committed to an open and inclusive culture, embracing diversity, and encouraging the mutual integration of groups of staff and students. We create equal opportunities for all our staff and students so that everyone feels at home in our university community.
We work in a vibrant and lively (work) environment on our beautiful campus, close to the forest and easily accessible by public transport. We are committed to a sustainable society and challenge you to make an active contribution to this.
For this position, we offer:
Visit working at Tilburg University for more information on our terms of employment.
Tilburg University's motto is Understanding Society. Based on this vision, our more than 1,500 employees conduct research, inspire more than 19,000 students of 110 nationalities, and bring people from different disciplines and organizations together to learn from each other. In this way, we want to contribute to solving complex social issues. In doing so, we work from the fields of economics, business and entrepreneurship, social and behavioral sciences, law and public administration, humanities and digital sciences, and theology. We seek the connection between the various disciplines to find solutions to the major issues we face as a society. Our students are educated to become responsible and entrepreneurial thinkers, driven by solidarity, a sense of responsibility, and empathy, who are able to influence and give direction to a rapidly changing society in an innovative way. Tilburg University has a culture of collaboration and co-creation, at local, regional, national, and international level.
Since its founding in 1963, Tilburg Law School has become one of the leading law schools in Europe. Through top research and the provision of high-quality university education, the School contributes to society. Tilburg Law School is organized into five Departments: Public Law and Governance; Law, Technology, Markets and Society; Private, Business and Labour Law; the Fiscal Institute Tilburg; and Criminal Law. The mission of the School is to understand and improve the role of law and public administration in addressing the social problems of today and tomorrow. Through research and education, our scholars contribute to that mission.
More than 4,000 students pursue a Bachelor's, pre-Master's or Master's degree at Tilburg Law School. Through this education, we train students in law, public administration, and data science. The Tilburg Educational Profile (TEP) is unique in the Netherlands. Central to it are three core concepts: knowledge, skill and character. A university education provides students with the latest substantive knowledge and trains them to be critical thinkers and resilient professionals. In addition, the School is committed to innovative educational concepts and, partly in response to the coronavirus crisis, has invested heavily in the quality of online education and in innovative didactic tools to make and keep students inquisitive.
Tilburg Law School's research is highly regarded nationally and internationally. The Tilburg Law School Departments work closely together in their research in four signature research programs: 1) Global Law and Governance; 2) Law and Security; 3) Connecting Organizations; and 4) Regulating Socio-Technical Change.
The Department Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society (TILT) is home to teaching and research on the effects of socio-technical change on the regulation and management of economic activities in an era when information technology is a key driver of innovation. TILT is one of the leading research groups in Europe at the intersection of law, technology, and society. It is based on multidisciplinary research on socio-technical change, aimed at understanding the interaction between technology and social and normative practices to clarify how to address the regulatory challenges of socio-technical change.
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