Regulatory Crime: Solutions

11 Pages Posted: 2 Jul 2014

Date Written: November 14, 2013


On November 14, 2013, Professor Dervan was called to testify before the United States House of Representatives' Committee on the Judiciary Over-Criminalization Task Force. Available here is his written testimony. In his written testimony, Professor Dervan examines the phenomenon of over-criminalization, particularly in the regulatory area, and offers several recommended solutions for Congressional adoption. First, he recommends the adoption of a default rule for mens rea. Second, he recommends the adoption of a default rule applying mens rea to all material elements of an offense. Third, he recommends the codification of the Rule of Lenity. Finally, along with some additional recommendations for consideration, Professor Dervan discusses the role of plea bargaining in the U.S. criminal justice system and encourages the Task Force to more closely examine this issue in the future.

Keywords: Congressional testimony, overcriminalization, over-criminalization, mens rea, material elements, Rule of Lenity, plea bargaining

JEL Classification: K00, K10, K14, K20, K40, K41, K42

Suggested Citation

Dervan, Lucian E., Regulatory Crime: Solutions (November 14, 2013). Available at SSRN: or

Lucian E. Dervan (Contact Author)

Belmont University School of Law ( email )

1900 Belmont Boulevard
Nashville, TN 37212
United States


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