Department of Magical Law Enforcement

The Department of Magical Law Enforcement was the largest department in the Ministry of Magic. It dealt with lawmaking and the upkeeping of wizarding laws and regulations.

The Definitive Glossary for Harry Potter

The Department of Magical Law Enforcement is believed to be an equivalent of the Home Office of muggle Britain within the British Government, which upholds the laws of Britain. However, this department is a combination of police and justice facilities. It is located on Level 2 in the British Ministry of Magic building. It is known for being the most important of the departments in the Ministry, and every other department, with the probable exception of the Department of Mysteries, is supposed to answer this department when in question. Other ministry departments like the Department of International Magical Cooperation, Department of Magical Transportation, and Department of Magical Games and Sports are constantly regulated by this department. The secretive Department of Mysteries dealt with classified details that required to be kept a secret from everyone. It was a combination of military, lawmaking, and judiciary elements of the Ministry that worked together. 

It had various departments which had further different subdivisions. The major divisions of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement include the Auror Office, Improper Use of Magic Office, Misuse of Muggle Artefacts Office, Wizengamot Office, Wizengamot Administration Services, and Office for the Detection and Confiscation of Counterfeit Defensive Spells and Protective Objects.

Department Of Magical Law Enforcement – A History

The Department of Magical Law Enforcement was founded by Ulick Gamp, the first Minister of Magic ever. When he was elected as Minister during the creation of the Ministry of Magic in 1707, he was already the Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot, an entity that was later merged into the Department. Barty Crouch Sr. was a member of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. He later went on to become the Head of the Department and was known for his ruthless methods during the First Wizarding War. He gave Aurors in the department the power to use the Unforgivable Curses without mercy on Death Eaters. This was during the First Wizarding War when Lord Voldemort was just beginning to gain power. Barty Crouch Sr. was also a hot favourite for the post of the Minister of Magic but had to eventually resign after the trials for catching Death Eaters revealed that his son Barty Crouch Jr. was a Death Eater himself and was responsible for torturing Alice and Frank Longbottom with the Cruciatus Curse.

In 1995, Amelia Bones was the head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. As head of Magical Law Enforcement, she headed the Wizengamot during the trial of Harry Potter for breaking the International Statute of Secrecy by conjuring a Patronus in front of his cousin Dudley in Little Whinging. Amelia Bones was said to be kind and just and played a crucial role in getting Harry justice despite the insinuation by Minister Cornelius Fudge and his Undersecretary Dolores Umbridge that Harry is guilty.

In Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, it is revealed that Harry eventually became the head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, and Hermione Granger, too, was a member of this department and was a deputy head but got promoted to the Minister of Magic.

Unforgivable Curses

The Unforgivable Curses were an essential topic of discussion within the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. When the Ministry was first established in 1707, and Ulick Gamp was the Minister of Magic, strict laws were placed around the usage of the three curses – The Imperius Curse, the Cruciatus Curse, and the Killing Curse. They were all banned from use in the wizarding world, and anyone who used them or attempted to use them would be punished, most probably with a sentence to Azkaban prison. 

However, when Lord Voldemort rose to power, it became almost impossible to fight back or capture him and his Death Eaters because they used dangerous dark magic as well as the three Unforgivable Curses. This is when Barty Crouch Senior, the head of this department at that time, legalized the usage of these curses for self-defence against dangerous criminals and Death Eaters. He also urged Aurors and the other employees of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement to use it on Death Eaters, making him a ruthless yet very effective head of the department. These curses were once again legalized after a brief stint when Pius Thicknesse came to power. He himself was under the Imperius Curse when he was made the Minister of Magic, making it very easy for the Death Eaters to gain control of the Ministry.

Auror Office

The Auror Office or the Auror Headquarters is one of the main divisions within the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. The personnel who worked in this department were called Aurors. It is the office where the Aurors convene and report for their missions. Aurors are Dark Wizard catchers and usually the first in the line of defense against any threat that the wizarding world faces. The entry requirements for becoming an Auror were very overwhelming. Minerva McGonagall claimed that Aurors had to score at least an Exceeds Expectations grade in at least five NEWTs.

Furthermore, she also said that the best-suited subjects for an Auror would be Defence Against the Dark Arts, Potions, Herbology, Transfiguration, and Charms. Aurors were also trained in a lot of advanced techniques to help them counter dark forces, dark wizards, and the dangers of dark magic. They are similar to the special-ops and counter-terrorism units in the Muggle world which are known to fight dangerous terrorists with advanced techniques and ammunition. Rufus Scrimgeour was the head Auror before his promotion as Minister of Magic. Nymphadora Tonks was also a member of this department.

A part of the squad of Aurors was also assigned as security detail for important members of the Ministry or people whose lives were in danger, like Harry Potter and the Muggle Prime Minister.

Improper Use Of Magic Office

The Improper Use of Magic Office is responsible for regulating the usage of magic, especially in front of Muggles. This department was also assigned to regulate magic done by underage witches and wizards. For instance, when Dobby, the house-elf, dropped pudding on Uncle Vernon’s guests, Harry was alerted with a warning from this office. Interestingly, the department was only notified when an underage witch or wizard did magic in a Muggle household and not in a wizarding household. This was probably because magical households were very different culturally and used magic in their daily lives.

Wizengamot Administration Services

The Wizengamot was a major part of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. It was responsible for making decisions, passing laws and delivering justice for the wizarding community. The Wizengamot administration services were responsible for maintaining registries, keeping records of the proceedings in the Wizengamot, and maintenance of court documents. Furthermore, members of this office were also sometimes secretaries of the members of the Wizengamot.

Misuse Of Muggle Artefacts Office

This was the office that regulated Muggle objects and artefacts that had been bewitched by magic and caused a nuisance in the Muggle world. This was a common problem as several mischievous wizards and witches would bewitch household items in Muggle houses as pranks for amusement. Even accidental magical catastrophes would cause similar effects, but this department was specifically responsible for misuse done deliberately.  Arthur Weasley, the father of Ron Weasley, worked in this office. He was very interested in Muggle artifacts and even bewitched a Muggle vehicle to make it fly. Despite the prohibition of such practices, his love for magic and muggle objects probably made him do it.

There also existed many sub-divisions in this department. Some major ones include the Magical Law Enforcement Squad, which later came to be known as the Magical Law Enforcement Patrol, the Administrative Registration Department, which was to register the wizarding population, and the Hit Wizards, who were highly trained in capturing Dark Wizards and making high-profile arrests and the Department of Intoxicating Substances that regulated consumption of alcohol.

An Appreciation of Witches and Wizards

It is very interesting and praiseworthy that most of the witches and wizards spent a major part of their lives building systems and working in an establishment whose major task was to prevent Muggles from finding out about their magical world or preventing other dangerous wizards from hurting and discriminating against Muggles. It is very commendable that so many wizards and witches gave up their lives and stood for what was right and not what was easy, just like Dumbledore always claimed.

FAQs

What does Magical Law Enforcement do?

The Department of Magical Law Enforcement is responsible for regulating and controlling the wizarding community as a whole. Furthermore, it is also responsible for overseeing the other departments in the Ministry of Magic, excluding the Department of Mysteries. It has several major departments within it and sub-divisions as well.

What Death Eater became the Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement

Corban Yaxley was appointed the Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement after Pius Thicknesse was made the Minister of Magic under the influence of the Imperius Charm. Yaxley was a very strict Head of the Department and was present in the courtroom at the Ministry when Harry, Hermione and Ron stole the Locket of Slytherin from Dolores Umbridge.

Are Aurors cops?

Yes, Aurors are the equivalent of highly trained cops in the wizarding world who catch Dark Wizards. However, they are trained very rigorously and are in par with the military and special-ops personnel in the intensity of their training.

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