Criminal Law and Regulation: What are the Boundaries

Jun 07, 2004Jun 08, 2004
B-339 Rayburn House Office Building


Session One:
Ethics and the Problem of White Collar Crime
John Hasnas
Professor of Law
George Mason University 

Click Here to listen to audio archive.

Session Two:
Criminal Law as Regulation
Paul Rosenzweig
Adjunct Professor of Law
George Mason University 

Click Here to listen to audio archive.

The field of criminal law touches upon many empirical and moral dimensions. Indeed, there remains great debate whether criminal sanctions should focus on punishment, deterrence, rehabilitation, or some blend thereof. Furthermore, there is no consensus within the legal community as to what makes an act "criminal" or the extent to which a criminal actor's knowledge and intent should be taken into account.

For policymakers, the matter of criminal law is even further complicated by the existing political climate. When is it appropriate or effective to incorporate criminal sanctions into legislative enactments? What are the effects of expanding the application of Federal Criminal Law? How might we measure an effective criminal program? Are there alternatives to criminal enforcement that might be more beneficial or just? To what extent should economic considerations play a role?

John Hasnas Professor Hasnas will present an introduction to criminal law, including a discussion of the empirical and moral dimensions of punishment, an overview of the concepts of mens rea and actus reus, and an explanation of common law versus statutory law. Professor Hasnas will then explore the federal nature of white-collar crime and the challenges of white-collar crime enforcement.

Paul Rosenzweig Picking up from day one, Professor Rosenzweig will lead the class through a more nuanced presentation on the expanded application of federal criminal law over the past century. By engaging participants through an interactive fact-pattern, Prof. Rosenzweig will illustrate the concepts of malum in se, malum prohibitum, and respondiat superior as they relate to federal criminal law. Professor Rosenzweig will conclude with some suggestions for measuring an effective criminal program, including a discussion of regulatory crimes, compliance rates and alternatives to criminal enforcement