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A law school in India is teaching a course on Harry Potter

A law school in India is teaching a course on Harry Potter

In December of this year, West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences (NUJS) in Kolkata will begin teaching students the rules of the Potterverse. But rather than learn how to concoct Polyjuice Potion or pronounce Wingardium Leviosa, students will be taught the parallels between our rule of law and the rule of law as it exists in J.K Rowling’s fictional world of wizardry.

The 45-hour course titled, An Interface Between Fantasy Fiction Literature and Law: Special focus on Rowling’s Potterverse, will look at topics such as legal traditions and institutions, including the bureaucracy of the ‘Ministry of Magic’; crimes and punishments, notably the ‘Unforgivable Curses’ and the ‘Wizengamot Trials’; social values, and class rights, especially the marginalisation of ‘Werewolves,’ ‘Giants,’ ‘Centaurs,’ ‘Mudbloods,’ and ‘Squibs.’ They will also study Quidditch and how sports law applies at Hogwarts.

Creator of the course, Professor Shouvik Kumar Guha, said it was designed as an experiment to encourage creative thinking.

‘In our current system, we simply tell students the black letter of law,’ Mr Guha told the BBC. ‘Will they be able to apply pre-existing laws to situations that have never come up before?’

‘If you look into the Harry Potter universe, there are a lot of views about the limitations of law and institutions, and it talks about a lot of things: an undemocratic form of government, a judiciary that is not independent, citizens being deprived of due process of law, and so on and so forth,' Professor Guha said. ‘There’s many scenarios with which allegorical situations can be found in the real world.’

The course has become something of an international sensation with many students requesting to enrol, however the university has only accepted a lucky 40 at this time.