back to article Yer a solicitor, 'arry! Indian uni takes cues from 'Potterverse' to teach students law

What can identity and class rights as seen in the enslavement of house elves or the marginalisation of werewolves, giants and centaurs possibly teach India's future legal eagles? One institution believes it has the answer. West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences in Kolkata is due to launch a module titled "An …

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Happy

Let's hope that ..

They learn the differences between demurrer and dementor or indeed malfeasance and Malfoy,

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WTF?

Smh

"When the course kicks off, those lucky lawyers-in-waiting can expect to examine topics not limited to..."

Is this part of a real law degree? Sounds more like one of those wank elective modules business students take to pad out their credits for a semester...

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hmv

Re: Smh

You've missed the point. Try reading the whole article.

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Not as crazy as it sounds...

I studied law at Durham, when some of the Harry Potter were being filmed... but anyway there's plenty of scope for creative legal thinking in the Potterverse... do users of magic owe a special duty of care to people around them? If a dangerous substance/item/troll escapes and causes carnage, who is responsible? Is there a product defect with a wand that causes havoc? Is the manufacturer of the wand liable, or the retailer in Diagon Alley? The nice thing about studying law is that when you learn about defining legal cases, it's often because some very strange things have happened to people, who have gone to court to argue about who's at fault! ... or whether you can kill a cabin boy if you need to eat him to survive when marooned at sea (is "necessity" a defence to murder? Answer: no, but you may get a pardon)

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Re: Not as crazy as it sounds...

Is the manufacturer of the wand liable, or the retailer in Diagon Alley?

I believe they are one and the same, Mr Ollivander makes his own stock.

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TRT
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Re: Not as crazy as it sounds...

"[...]if you need to eat him [...] but you may get a pardon"

Only if you burp out loud.

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DJV
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Regarding wands

I expect the manufacturer will attempt to cover any legal liabilities using the small print in the WEULA (or should that be EWULA?).

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I get about three of the references in the article, I suspect I have a new reason for not becoming a lawyer.

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Failed to get the question on Harry Potter in the bonus round in our quiz last weekend. Thus missing out on 10/10, the bonus points and our last chance to avoid the ignominy of last place. We literally won the wooden spoon. Got one each in fact.

So you could argue that this lack of knowledge was disastrous. Or looking on the bright side, we'd only have gone up by a few places anyway, and so would have been deprived of a new cooking implement.

Now if it had been a Lord of the Rings question...

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> "Now if it had been a Lord of the Rings question..."

Indeed. These allegedly-intriguing legal issues aren't really specific to the Potterverse. Any universe with magic will do. I suppose the Potterverse was used in the law course due to its current popularity. IMHO they could have done better than borrow from an author who thought Quidditch was a good idea. Oy.

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@Big John - "These allegedly-intriguing legal issues aren't really specific to the Potterverse. Any universe with magic will do."

I disagree. In Middle Earth, the legal system is largely feudal: the local lord decides. The Shire does seem to have some code of law, but it doesn't seem to be consistently enforced; Bilbo had a lot of trouble re-acquiring his possessions after been declared dead.

Conversely, in the Potterverse, the legal structures are frequently referenced: the Misuse of Muggle Artefacts law, the Decree for the Reasonable Restriction of Underage Sorcery, there's two trials at the Wizengamot shown, characters are imprisoned, released and escape from Azkaban, 28 Education Decrees, the list goes on. There is also a lot about how law, society and a free press (well, a slightly beetle-napped Rita Skeeter, anyway) interact in the rise is extremism. It's easy to see the influence of JK's time with Amnesty International.

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> "...In Middle Earth, the legal system is largely feudal..."

Point taken, but I was mostly referring to the presence of magic in the hands of a few, leading to the need and desire for laws to constrain those few powerful ones, as the minimal price for living in the larger, non-magical society. Absent such controls, human nature + great power will inevitably lead to continued abuses, creating an unstable situation. Only two outcomes are really possible: Direct suppression of the muggles by the magic users, or special laws (with teeth) to restrain those magic users.

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Trollface

so long as there's a dungeon

and a high mortality rate for the lawyers involved, I'll buy into the idea.

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Meh

Let's hope they got permission from JK...

...otherwise they're going to be learning a great deal about copyright law.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Let's hope they got permission from JK...

One of the core items in copyright law is that use of copyrighted material is allowed in an academic setting.

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Unhappy

Re: Let's hope they got permission from JK...

Ralph gets an 'F'.

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Re: Let's hope they got permission from JK...

So... By that logic buying text books is not necessary?

Come to think of it, I've been handed photocopies for homework, I suppose over the course of a semester/term that could be a good chunk of the book...

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TRT
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Re: Let's hope they got permission from JK...

To a limited degree! And I quote from the Government website...

"Teaching:

Several exceptions allow copyright works to be used for educational purposes, such as:

the copying of works in any medium as long as the use is solely to illustrate a point, it is not done for commercial purposes, it is accompanied by a sufficient acknowledgement, and the use is fair dealing. This means minor uses, such as displaying a few lines of poetry on an interactive whiteboard, are permitted, but uses which would undermine sales of teaching materials are not"

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DJV
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Re: Ralph gets an 'F'

Be proud, Ralph - that's better than most Llamas get! Most of them can't even get the hang of using a keyboard enough to post on El Reg!

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Re: Ralph gets an 'F'

Yeah, bloody Llamas! What have they ever done for us?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Ralph gets an 'F'

Llamas? Watch out, the last time I started talking about llamas, the lot of us got sacked.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Ralph gets an 'F'

Alpaca your bag, vicuña yourself outta here.

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Coat

Re: Ralph gets an 'F'

"The Llama is a quadruped, which lives in large rivers like the Amazon. Llamas are equipped with fins and a beak for eating fish. Llamas are dangerous. If you see llamas where people are swimming, shout 'Look out! There are llamas!'"

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TRT
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I have to admit I have a certain desire...

to bangalore student. ;-)

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Facepalm

Justice and law according to JKR

“Are you planning to follow a career in Magical Law, Miss Granger?” asked Scrimgeour.

“No, I’m not,” retorted Hermione. “I’m hoping to do some good in the world!”

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Headmaster

Re: Justice and law according to JKR

But she did later work in the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, so her plans changed.

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Coat

I hope the reporter wasn't trying to Currie favour with those puns.

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Anonymous Coward

The Harry Potter books are quite similar to legal documents

Terrible punctuation and unfathomable grammar.

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