The U. S. Judicial System v. The Wizarding Judicial System

*I am absolutely obsessed with Harry Potter so enjoy!

In the United States, the judicial system works on a common-law system that originated from Britain, meaning that the court must adhere to precedent from prior court rulings when making a judgement. This common-law system legitimizes the Court and makes it look like one united system that is consistent. There is no way to prohibit justices from not following Court precedent but it is usually very unlikely for them to not follow precedent. The U. S. system also has two courts, one pertaining to litigation against two individuals (Civil Court) and litigation pertaining to the state arguing against an individual (Criminal Court). How does our Court system correlate with the Wizengamot, the wizarding court system, from Harry Potter? There are commonalities between the two and major differences.

The U. S. judicial system had a rocky start at the beginning of our country because the constitution is written in such a way that the Judicial system should not have much power. Article 3 of the Constitution clearly lays out the Court’s role in government: hear cases of Original Jurisdiction, alleviate conflicts between Congress and the Presidency, hear cases that have standing (can be heard or there is an actual conflict), cases chosen per the rule of Four (four justices say that they want to hear it), Writ of certiorari, conceptual ambiguity in the Constitution (clarify). There is no mention of Judicial Review or of the number of justices to man the bench. Marbury v. Madison, 1803 was a crucial case to grant the Courts any type of power. In this case, John Adams was President of the United States, and promised Marbury a justice position right before he was kicked out of the white house (Jefferson was president-elect). Chief Justice Marshall was the Secretary of State and never gave Marshall his appointment. Jefferson decided not to approve the appointment and appointed James Madison for the position. Marbury sues Madison in his frustration. The final ruling: Marbury would receive his commission, but the supreme court did not have the authority to tell Madison to give Marbury the position. So, it ruled it did not have the authority to rule… Marbury would have had to start at District Court then go to the Appellate Court and finally plead before the Supreme Court. Justice Marshall also established Judicial Review– the supreme court’s authority to review acts of other branches of government and potentially render those acts unconstitutional.

The Supreme Court of the Wizarding World is the Wizengamot and is governed by the Wizengamot Charter of Rights. It is assumed that this body is sovereign of the Ministry of Magic, though the Ministry arraigns lawbreakers. The Wizengamot is a judicial boy that consists of over 50 witches and wizards to rule in favor of justice in the wizarding community. This Court seems to be a court of law and a court of equity. Because the judicial body is so large, the Ministry of Magic may have thought that one combined Court would be easier to manage than two courts with a substantial number of witches and wizards.

Harry Potter pleaded in front of this body in The Order of the Phoenix where he was accused by the Ministry of Magic for using magic in front of his muggle-born cousin, Dudley Dursley, without proper causation. Professor Albus Dumbledore acted as his counselor (it is not known if a wizard must possess a law degree to be a legal counselor). He pleaded that Harry be innocent and brought in witnesses to testify on behalf of Harry’s freedom by indicating that there were scary creatures that had to be compelled away with the use of magic. The Minister of Magic, Cornelius Fudge, seemed to be one of the leaders of the body and was not shy of voicing his disdain for freeing Harry. The Wizengamot ultimately ruled in favor of Harry’s freedom.

In any country, the judicial system is full of twists and turns that never seem to be fully defined. Rulings from the Court seem to weigh heavy in the United States system, but there is no indication of common-law precedent in the Wizarding World. Both systems appear to promote justice and fairness in their own unique ways. Though the Wizengamot could essentially be its own legislative body, it still functions as a judicial body to ensure the safety of witches and wizards alike. And that’s all the judicial system wants to promote—justice and safety for everyone.



Do you know someone who is selfish? Do you need to look in the mirror too? We are all selfish but let’s change that.


*Just as a side note, I do not have any research to back my opinion nor is this an opinion based on facts. These are merely my views and opinions of how I have seen the world.

As a young adult, I have unfortunately observed what I view as the true nature of most individuals regardless of age, race, sex, etc. It comes down to a majority of individuals being inherently selfish and self-absorbed (probably the same meaning- who cares). It is honestly a scary thing to see how people will put others needs aside just to get further ahead in life. For the most part, this ambition is aimless with absolutely no life goals for the future. So, what is the point? Why do you need to be so selfish if you have no end goal to reach?

*Side note: Yet, the funny part of it all is that most young adults favor socialism as the primary form of government, but a socialist form of government does not favor the individual. They honestly probably favor this regime for the pure fact that it is not the current administration, so they are “fighting the man.”

With social media like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat, people are now able to validate their opinions by having someone else like, comment, or share this idea. And this probably has a lot to do with the selfish syndrome that has penetrated the minds of so many individuals. We have this stigma now that my opinion matters because social media says so. But where does this opinion go? Nowhere. It stays trapped with the same people who feel the same way and only allows the initial instigator to feel special. Social media has become a diary for individuals to give their problems to the world to fix or judge. Social media isn’t the only cause for selfishness but it could be a huge factor.

Everything in our society is about how YOU can get ahead in life and it forms jealousy. People will stab you in the back just to get the better grade, the best position at work, or to get the guy/girl. We constantly take and take but never give back. When was the last time you looked at someone and were genuinely concerned about their day? Everything is so superficial now. It is all about politics, sex, drugs, foreign affairs, and what was the latest Trump tweet. Nothing is substantial anymore. No one tries to have deep and meaningful conversations because deep down, they don’t care. They don’t want to know why you are sad or upset. Honestly, when you vent to someone, most of the time they turn the situation to be about them. How can you get sensible relief or feel better about yourself when everyone you talk to doesn’t seem to care?

Think about your status updates. Are they really to share to the world? Or are they measures that allow you to feel better about yourself? A good question to ask yourself is “Why am I doing this?” I don’t think enough people do this often. We go to college for what? Why are you majoring in that field? We live in a world where no one seems to know what to do or how to do it, so we look for pity. But if you want change, you need to set goals for yourself. It is scary to have a game plan for the future but if you have nothing for the future, then there isn’t much to do in the present. We are so consumed with our present life that we are honestly too selfish to look toward the future.

People scream for change but they are too lazy and self-absorbed to care. The problem is that change is gradual. You can’t just flip a switch and have everything the way you want it. Life isn’t a virtual reality video-game. If you want something done, you do it with the help of others. Instead of being so enveloped in your own life, try to spend some time with another and actually listen to their problems. Put your pride away and have a stimulating conversation.

In the end, it will be the people you left behind who remember you. So, make sure that they remember someone great and kind. Not a selfish prat who would step on everyone to get what they think they want.