The right to good governance in the digital transformation era

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Author: Elena Gritsenko

DOI: 10.21128/1812-7126-2022-4-15-36

Keywords: right to good governance; right to good administration; informatization; digitalization; administrative procedures; Information systems; digital rights; remote electronic voting; electronic communication


The right to good – i.e., proper or effective – governance has a complex character and international, supranational and national dimensions. It is understood ambiguously in that it relates both to the organisation of public authority in general (the right to good governance) as well as specifically to the right to prompt, impartial and fair administrative proceedings (the right to good administration). Informatization and its highest stage – digitalization – has a significant impact on the transformation of the right to good governance due to the emergence of new digital elements in the normative content of each of the rights included in the right of good governance. In the era of digitization, many rights are substantively affected: the right to apply to an administrative body in electronic form using information systems; the right to receive electronic public services; the right to disclosure of the motives of an automatically adopted administrative act; the right to access one’s personal information contained in information systems, i.e., in your digital profile; the right to protect your digital profile’s personal data by the confidentiality of these data; the right to depersonalize your data and delete it; the right to be heard using information technology; the right to pre-trial appeal in electronic form; and the right to e-justice. The legal formalization of the digital transformation of public administration in Russia is distinguished by a number of features: the absence of general administrative law and of basic regulation of administrative procedures; the concept that public services for people and business should be the foundation of legislation on the digitalization of public administration; and the development of new information solutions faster than the law comprehends them. The problems and risks of introducing digital elements and guarantees of the right to good governance include constitutional and legal issues related to the need to ensure the principle of equality, access of private entities to law, to public services, to information, to pre-trial and judicial protection; the problem in a number of cases of the lack of alternative means of electronic interaction between private entities and administrative bodies; the problem of insufficient regulation of the rights and obligations of all participants in electronic interactions, including operators of information systems and other entities employed by them for maintenance of these systems; the problem of shifting the regulatory functions of the rights and guarantees of private entities to the internal rules of information systems, i.e., the replacement of a legislative framework with internal rules such as algorithms that restrict rights; problems of meaningful differentiation of errors and violations made in the process of electronic communication of private entities with administrative bodies leading to, among other things, refusal to accept an application or provide a service; and the problem of contesting automatically made decisions, where the decision-making algorithm is hidden for security reasons, resulting in a lack of transparency.

About the author: Elena Gritsenko – Doctor of Sciences in Law, Professor, Department of Constitutional Law, State University of Saint Petersburg, Saint Petersburg, Russia.

Citation: Gritsenko E. (2022) Pravo na khoroshee upravlenie v usloviyakh tsifrovoy transformatsii [The right to good governance in the digital transformation era]. Sravnitel’noe konstitutsionnoe obozrenie, vol. 31, no. 4, pp. 15–36. (In Russian).


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