Barry Capp


State of New Jersey v. Robertson was the first case to have interpreted the mens rea requirement in the criminal provisions of the Freshwater Wetlands Protection Act of 1987. The Superior Court, Appellate Division, unlike a majority of the courts that have examined criminal provisions of environmental statutes, held that a defendant's knowledge of the illegality of his acts was a necessary element in a criminal prosecution under this Act. This Case Note asserts that the decision in Robertson was improper and inconsistent with the background principles of criminal law, and that the criminal provisions of the Act should have been analyzed in light of the public welfare doctrine.