The 2012 Ward Kershaw Symposium – Too Big to Jail: The Roadblocks to Regulatory Enforcement

The Maryland Law Review will host the 2012 Ward Kershaw Symposium, “Too Big to Jail: The Roadblocks to Regulatory Enforcement,” which will address the failure of the regulatory system to respond to the housing crisis, the BP oil spill, and other disasters in a proactive and effective manner. The regulatory system is meant to ensure that statutes enacted to improve quality of life and protect against potential dangers are fairly, efficiently, and effectively enforced across the country. From the mundane to the arcane, the regulatory system touches almost every aspect of modern life: banking, workplace safety, environmental protection, taxes, social security, food safety, the availability of medicine, natural disaster response, and many more. It is no surprise then, that when a disaster occurs, the media, politicians, and the public are quick to ask: where were the regulators? This question has only become more meaningful in recent years as incidents like the housing collapse, the BP oil spill, the Big Branch Mine Collapse, and salmonella outbreaks in multiple types of food have not resulted in many, if any, consequences from regulators. In light of these problems, this symposium will bring together scholars, practitioners, and regulators from different regulatory areas: health and safety, labor, banking, finance, and the environment, to discuss potential solutions to the current regulatory mess.

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