Wizarding WReform: Justice System

One can argue that the justice system of the wizarding world could use reform. Some of the areas that should be evaluated for change include rights during a trial, minor protections during court proceedings, the Decree for the Reasonable Restriction of Underage Sorcery, and the workings of Azkaban. One should have certain rights when going through the legal system in the wizarding world.

One of the rights should be the right to trial. One should also be provided with legal counsel. Simply observe the events of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Hagrid is sent to Azkaban, a high-security prison often viewed as the Muggle equivalent of Alcatraz, simply for being a person of interest in the reopening of the Chamber of Secrets. No form of a trial is held, and as a result, no form of legal counsel is provided. This leaves Hagrid and those who believe his innocence with little to no options to prevent his wrongful imprisonment. Hagrid should have been properly investigated and given proper legal counsel.


You can view a screening of "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" this month at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. 

The inner workings and goals of Azkaban should also be reevaluated, updated, and reformed. It appears that there has been progress made with the removal of the Dementors under the leadership of Kingsley Shacklebolt following the end of the Second Wizarding War. However, the goal of rehabilitation should be considered and implemented. While the removal of Dementors suggests a shift toward a more humane approach, those leading the prison system should consider making it just that: a system, with multiple levels of security. This would also allow those who are able to be rehabilitated to go through a program designed for rehabilitation.

On multiple occasions throughout the books, Harry is seen experiencing a legal matter. From a warning for underage magic to an entire hearing, he is often by himself without being accompanied by a legal guardian. It should be required for a parent or guardian to accompany a minor during court and legal proceedings, and minors should receive proper education and an explanation of their rights. This is to ensure that the minor fully understands and is aware of what is happening.


Caption Contest, Week of April 3, 2007


Similarly, the Decree for the Reasonable Restriction of Underage Sorcery should be reexamined and reformed. One area that needs reform is the method by which underage magic is detected. As of now, the location of where the magic takes place is detectable, but not the individual who performs such magic. This, in turn, leaves it up to the magic-possessing parents or guardians to restrict underage magic usage in their own dwellings. This also means that there might be an unfair advantage for those living in magical households over those living in Muggle households. If it is left up to the parents and guardians, magical parents could both allow their child to practice magic and suggest they practice magic on holiday, whereas those living with Muggle guardians would be unable to perform magic even if suggested by their guardians. One can argue that due to those factors, it would make more sense for the regulations for underage magic to be tied to the individual rather than the dwelling in which they reside.

In addition to changing the way underage magic is detected, it might be suggested that the complete restriction of underage magic be reevaluated. One idea that can be proposed is phasing in magic usage over time. For instance, after a certain year, students could perform a very limited and carefully evaluated set of spells in their permanent place of residence. One example of how this might look is allowing those who have completed their third year to use the Wand-Lighting and Wand-Extinguishing Charms over break periods.



On the whole, these topics are only a few that could benefit from change and reform. In doing so, the wizarding world would be ensuring an environment that both creates and protects rights, considers the evolution of outdated regulations, and betters the justice system on a larger scale.

Brooke Schmitz

The magic of the Wizarding World enchanted me at an early age. Since then I have read the books more times than I can count. I love to inspire and connect with others through the Wizarding World.