Naomi Hinchen on Wizard Politics

Following a theme for the day: Just as with Star Trek, I also rarely talk or write about Harry Potter, since the details of its fictional legal system are kind of fuzzy.  Luckily, long-time reader Naomi recently wrote a post on her blog that raises some great questions about the interaction between the wizarding and muggle legal systems.

8 responses to “Naomi Hinchen on Wizard Politics

  1. As I said on her blog, essentially the Wizarding World is in a constant state of sedition against the non-magical governments. It routinely violates n-m law, ignores the rights of Wizards/Witches/non-human sentient magicals under normal law.

    In the real world, magic would have to be either strictly controlled or eliminated.

    • Melanie Koleini

      Would ‘non-human sentient magicals’ have any rights under muggle law?
      I don’t think they’d be considered legal people.

      • There’s a whole section of “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” about the wizarding community’s attempts to settle the question of which nonhuman magical creatures should be granted legal personhood. If the wizarding world were exposed, the best-case scenario for these creatures is Muggle governments agreeing to adopt the Ministry’s definition. Interestingly, some sapient magical creatures (centaurs, merpeople) have voluntarily refused legal personhood for ideological reasons.

      • That would be a disaster for the wizards. Witness that non-humans without rights can’t possible run a bank legally.

        Indeed, it is often noted that wizards disproportionately work for the government. That may be because non-humans dominate all other sectors. There’s goblins in manufacture, elves in wine — who knows what else? British folklore has fae that lived on human farms and could do the work of twenty human workmen. Humans may resort to government because they are shut out of other sectors.

  2. Given the wizards’ gleeful abandon with spells to keep Muggles ignorant, it’s not perhaps surprising that they managed to maintain such a police state in Deathly Hallows. Such things are habit forming.

  3. As an Irish friend pointed out, the wizarding world essentially has Home Rule. Of course, it’s easier to get Home Rule when your home has the power to disregard the rules. 🙂

  4. As far as I know, though, there s no reason to forbid wizards from acquiring Muggle objects and using them in an entirely nonmagical way. If I ever do a post about this in more detail, I ll have to title it Where do wizards get their toilet paper?

  5. Given the long-standing relationship between the Ministry of Magic and the British government (one assumes that this relationship is replicated in other countries too), I wouldn’t be surprised if at some point in the past, there was an actual law drafted and passed that laid out the legal relationship between the two, which may or may not have involved everyone involved having their memories wiped too.

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