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Symposium on Crime Without Fault: The Justifiability of Public Welfare Offenses and the Responsible Corporate Officer Doctrine

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Symposium on "Crime Without Fault: The Justifiability of Public Welfare Offenses and the Responsible Corporate Officer Doctrine"

Hosted at the Georgetown Law Center, Gewirz Student Center - 12th Floor, March 31, 2017.

Public Welfare Offenses are crimes that do not require mens rea. Originally limited to regulatory offenses that carried only small penalties, over the decades the scope of what falls within the ambit of such strict liability crimes has been expanding. The Responsible Corporate Officer doctrine allows those who stand in a responsible relationship to a violation of law to be convicted for crimes committed by those that they supervise. This form of vicarious criminal liability is not always limited to public welfare offenses and in some circuits supervisors to be convicted of crimes requiring mens rea that are committed by their subordinates. Our symposium is designed to explore whether the introduction of crimes of strict and vicarious liability is theoretically consistent with the underlying purposes of the criminal law.

 

Agenda at a Glance

8:15 - 8:30 am - Welcome

John Hasnas, Executive Director, Georgetown Institute for the Study of Markets and Ethics and
William Treanor, Dean, Georgetown Law

8:30 - 10:00 am | Panel I - Arguments For and Against the Punishment of Public Welfare Offenses and the Responsible Corporate Officer Doctrine, Part I

Moderator: John Anderson, Mississippi College of Law

Essayists:
Leo Katz, University of Pennsylvania Law School, Strict Liability and the Paradoxes of Proportionality
Vera Bergelson, Rutgers Law School: Does Fault Matter?
Gideon Yaffe, Yale Law School: Mens Rea by the Numbers

10:15 - 11:45 am | Panel II - Arguments For and Against the Punishment of Public Welfare Offenses and the Responsible Corporate Officer Doctrine, Part II

Moderator: David Luban, Georgetown Law

Essayists:
Paul Robinson, University of Pennsylvania Law School: Strict Liability’s Criminogenic Effect
John Hasnas, Georgetown Law: Reflections on Prince: Public Welfare Offenses, American Cyanamid, and the Wisdom of the Common Law
Kenneth Simons, University of California, Irvine School of Law: Can Strict Criminal Liability for Responsible Corporate Officers be Justified by the Duty to Use Extraordinary Care

12:00 - 1:15 pm | Lunch Recess

1:30 - 3:00 pm | Panel III - The Utility of the Responsible Corporate Officer Doctrine

Moderator: Govind Persad, Johns Hopkins University

Essayists:
Kimberly Ferzan, University of Virginia School of Law: (Ir)responsible Extensions of the Responsible Corporate Officer Doctrine
Samuel Buell, Duke Law: The Responsbility Gap in Corporate Crime
Craig Lerner, Antonin Scalia Law School: The Trial of Joseph Dotterweich and the Origin of the "Responible Corporate Officer" Doctrine

3:15 - 4:45 pm | Panel IV- Extrapolations and Larger Questions

Moderator: John Hasnas, Georgetown Institute for the Study of Markets and Ethics

Essayists:
Michael Moore, University of Illinois College of Law: When Is Libiality Strict?
Lawrence Alexander, University of San Diego School of Law: Is There a Case for Strict Liability?
Joshua Kleinfeld, Northwestern, Pritzker School of Law: Conversability, the Corporate Form, and Criminal Responsibility

4:45 - 5:00 pm | Closing remarks

John Hasnas, Executive Director, Georgetown Institute for the Study of Markets and Ethics

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Date: 
Friday, March 31, 2017 - 12:30pm
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