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{{Quote|Dear [[Harry Potter|Mr. Potter]],<br> We have received intelligence that you performed the [[Patronus Charm]] at twenty-three minutes past nine this evening in a [[Little Whinging|Muggle-inhabited area]] and in the presence of a [[Muggle]].|[[Mafalda Hopkirk]]'s letter adressed to [[Harry Potter]] on [[2 August]], [[1995]].|Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix}}
 
{{Quote|Dear [[Harry Potter|Mr. Potter]],<br> We have received intelligence that you performed the [[Patronus Charm]] at twenty-three minutes past nine this evening in a [[Little Whinging|Muggle-inhabited area]] and in the presence of a [[Muggle]].|[[Mafalda Hopkirk]]'s letter adressed to [[Harry Potter]] on [[2 August]], [[1995]].|Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix}}
   
The '''Decree for the Reasonable Restriction of Underage Sorcery''' is a bylaw of the [[British Ministry of Magic|Ministry of Magic]], written in [[1870s|1875]], which bans the use of [[underage magic]] outside of school. The Decree is enforced by the [[Improper Use of Magic Office]] in the Ministry of Magic. The restriction is for [[Wizards|wizards and witches]] who are under the age of seventeen, upon which [[The Trace]] still operates. Even so, the Ministry does recognise that they may have to use magic in certain situations such as self-defence in a life-threatening situation. In addition, young children of below school age, or children who are not in possession of a wand, are mostly exempt from the rule since they usually have little or no control over the magic they perform.
+
The '''Decree for the Reasonable Restriction of Underage Sorcery''' is a bylaw of the [[British Ministry of Magic|Ministry of Magic]], written in [[1870s|1875]], which bans the use of [[underage magic]] outside of school. The Decree is enforced by the [[Improper Use of Magic Office]] in the Ministry of Magic. The restriction is for [[Wizards|wizards and witches]] who are under the age of seventeen, upon which [[The Trace]] still operates. Even so, the Ministry does recognise that they may have to use magic in certain situations such as self-defence in a life-threatening situation. In addition, young children of below school age, or children who are not in possession of a wand, are mostly exempt from the rule since they usually have little or no control over the magic they perform. Overall, it appears the [[Ministry of Magic]] generally limits enforcement of the decree to situations where underage wizards perform magic in front of [[Muggles]].
   
 
==Known contents==
 
==Known contents==
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{{Quote|In the matter of [[Harry Potter]], the law clearly states that magic can be used before Muggles in life-threatening situations.|[[Albus Dumbledore]] at [[Harry Potter]]'s [[Disciplinary hearing of Harry Potter|hearing]]|Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (film)}}
 
{{Quote|In the matter of [[Harry Potter]], the law clearly states that magic can be used before Muggles in life-threatening situations.|[[Albus Dumbledore]] at [[Harry Potter]]'s [[Disciplinary hearing of Harry Potter|hearing]]|Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (film)}}
   
Paragraph C of the cause states that it is a crime to knowingly perform magic in a [[Muggle]]-inhabited area and in the presence of a Muggle. However, Clause 7 also states that magic can be used in front of Muggles in exceptional circumstances, including situations when the life of the witch or wizard is threatened, or the lives of other witches, wizards and Muggles are threatened.<ref name="OTP">''[[Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix]]''</ref>
+
Paragraph C of the clause states that it is a crime to knowingly perform magic in a [[Muggle]]-inhabited area and in the presence of a Muggle. However, Clause 7 also states that magic can be used in front of Muggles in exceptional circumstances, including situations when the life of the witch or wizard is threatened, or the lives of other witches, wizards and Muggles are threatened.<ref name="OTP">''[[Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix]]''</ref>
   
 
Also, it seems that a high-authority person may give permission for an underage student to perform magic under circumstances; as [[Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry|Hogwarts]] [[Headmaster]], [[Albus Dumbledore]] gave [[Harry Potter]] such an instruction if an attack was to eventuate, when he was 16 years old.<ref name="HBP">''[[Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince]]''</ref>
 
Also, it seems that a high-authority person may give permission for an underage student to perform magic under circumstances; as [[Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry|Hogwarts]] [[Headmaster]], [[Albus Dumbledore]] gave [[Harry Potter]] such an instruction if an attack was to eventuate, when he was 16 years old.<ref name="HBP">''[[Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince]]''</ref>
  +
  +
It also appears that the riding of broomsticks does not constitute the "use" of magic, as Harry once played Quidditch with the Weasley's in 1994 shortly after the [[1994 Quidditch World Cup]], and none of them were expelled from Hogwarts.
   
 
==Known breaches==
 
==Known breaches==
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|Harry Potter
 
|Harry Potter
 
|Illegal use of a [[Hover Charm]]
 
|Illegal use of a [[Hover Charm]]
|July, [[1992]]
+
|31st July [[1992]]
 
|Official warning
 
|Official warning
 
|The Hover Charm was actually produced by the [[House-elf]] [[Dobby]].<ref name="CS">''[[Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets]]''</ref>
 
|The Hover Charm was actually produced by the [[House-elf]] [[Dobby]].<ref name="CS">''[[Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets]]''</ref>
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|Harry Potter
 
|Harry Potter
 
|Illegal use of the [[Engorgement Charm|Inflating Charm]] on his "Aunt" [[Marjorie Dursley|Marge]]
 
|Illegal use of the [[Engorgement Charm|Inflating Charm]] on his "Aunt" [[Marjorie Dursley|Marge]]
|July, [[1993]]
+
|August 6th [[1993]]
 
|No action taken
 
|No action taken
 
|Action not taken due to the recent escape of [[Sirius Black]] from [[Azkaban]], and the need to keep Harry safe. Additionally, this was considered "accidental magic."<ref name="POA">''[[Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban]]''</ref>
 
|Action not taken due to the recent escape of [[Sirius Black]] from [[Azkaban]], and the need to keep Harry safe. Additionally, this was considered "accidental magic."<ref name="POA">''[[Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban]]''</ref>
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|Illegal use of the [[Patronus]] Charm in front of a [[Muggle]]
 
|Illegal use of the [[Patronus]] Charm in front of a [[Muggle]]
 
|[[2 August]], [[1995]]
 
|[[2 August]], [[1995]]
|Expulsion from Hogwarts, later rescinded and given a hearing
+
|Expulsion from Hogwarts, later rescinded and given [[Disciplinary hearing of Harry Potter|a hearing]]
 
|Acquitted of all charges due to the fact that he technically did not break any laws. [[Dolores Umbridge]] was the one who secretly orchestrated this incident as part of the [[Campaign to Discredit Albus Dumbledore and Harry Potter|smear campaign]] against Harry.<ref name="OTP"/>
 
|Acquitted of all charges due to the fact that he technically did not break any laws. [[Dolores Umbridge]] was the one who secretly orchestrated this incident as part of the [[Campaign to Discredit Albus Dumbledore and Harry Potter|smear campaign]] against Harry.<ref name="OTP"/>
 
|}
 
|}
   
 
===Undetected breaches===
 
===Undetected breaches===
* Harry Potter performed the [[Wand-Lighting Charm]] shortly after his illegal usage of the Patronus Charm and letter, it did not add to his offense.<ref name="OTP"/>
+
* Harry Potter performed the [[Wand-Lighting Charm]] shortly after his illegal usage of the Patronus Charm and letter, it did not add to his offence.<ref name="OTP"/>
 
* [[Tom Riddle]], at age 16 during his summer vacation, used the [[Stunning Spell]] to incapacitate his [[Morfin Gaunt|maternal uncle]], and then took [[Morfin Gaunt's wand|his wand]] for multitude of uses: the [[Unlocking Charm]] to break into the [[Riddle House]], the [[Killing Curse]] to murder his [[Riddle family|paternal family]], and then to [[False memory charm|implant a false memory]] into his uncle to frame him. The Ministry did not even account Tom into the multiple breaches, let alone crimes, due to his uncle was in the vicinity, who instead became the suspect for every magic performed.<ref name="HOB">''[[Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince]]''</ref>
 
* [[Tom Riddle]], at age 16 during his summer vacation, used the [[Stunning Spell]] to incapacitate his [[Morfin Gaunt|maternal uncle]], and then took [[Morfin Gaunt's wand|his wand]] for multitude of uses: the [[Unlocking Charm]] to break into the [[Riddle House]], the [[Killing Curse]] to murder his [[Riddle family|paternal family]], and then to [[False memory charm|implant a false memory]] into his uncle to frame him. The Ministry did not even account Tom into the multiple breaches, let alone crimes, due to his uncle was in the vicinity, who instead became the suspect for every magic performed.<ref name="HOB">''[[Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince]]''</ref>
 
* [[Bellatrix Lestrange]] trained her nephew [[Draco Malfoy]] in various fields of magic, which would most likely require Draco himself to use magic, during his summer vacation at age 16. Due to Draco being raised in a [[Malfoy Manor|magical household]], with both his [[Narcissa Malfoy|mother]] and aunt being adult witches (albeit the latter being a wanted criminal), Draco's breaches could not be detected.<ref name="HOB"/>
 
* [[Bellatrix Lestrange]] trained her nephew [[Draco Malfoy]] in various fields of magic, which would most likely require Draco himself to use magic, during his summer vacation at age 16. Due to Draco being raised in a [[Malfoy Manor|magical household]], with both his [[Narcissa Malfoy|mother]] and aunt being adult witches (albeit the latter being a wanted criminal), Draco's breaches could not be detected.<ref name="HOB"/>
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==Behind the scenes==
 
==Behind the scenes==
*In the [[Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (film)|film adaptation]] of ''[[Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets]]'', it is [[Hermione Granger]] who [[Oculus Reparo|magically repairs]] Harry's glasses at [[Diagon Alley]], not [[Arthur Weasley]], which should be a violation of this decree. Though maybe because Hermione was in an area where the only Muggles around are the ones aware of the Magical Community Hermione was not punished.
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*In the [[Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (film)|film adaptation]] of ''[[Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets]]'', it is [[Hermione Granger]] who [[Oculus Reparo|magically repairs]] Harry's glasses at [[Diagon Alley]], not [[Arthur Weasley]], which should be a violation of this decree. However, because the only Muggles around were those aware of the Magical Community and she was accompanied by two adults, Hermione was not punished.
 
*In the [[Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (film)|film version]] of ''[[Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets]]'' Harry did not receive a warning for the illegal use of a Hover Charm which caused a continuity error with the following films due to the fact that the book version caused the [[Dursley family]] to learn that Harry cannot use magic outside of school.
 
*In the [[Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (film)|film version]] of ''[[Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets]]'' Harry did not receive a warning for the illegal use of a Hover Charm which caused a continuity error with the following films due to the fact that the book version caused the [[Dursley family]] to learn that Harry cannot use magic outside of school.
*The [[Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (film)|film version]] of ''[[Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban]]'' has Harry using the spell [[Lumos Maxima]] and yet receiving no warning. It is also possible Lumos Maxima was considered too mundane to be monitored.
+
*The [[Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (film)|film version]] of ''[[Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban]]'' has Harry using the spell [[Lumos Maxima]] and yet receiving no warning. It is also possible Lumos Maxima was considered too mundane to be monitored; moreover, it was not performed in front of Muggles.
   
 
==Appearances==
 
==Appearances==

Latest revision as of 07:59, June 18, 2014

Mafalda Hopkirk OOTP

Mafalda Hopkirk's Letter of 1995 warning Harry Potter about his breach of the Decree.

"Dear Mr. Potter,
We have received intelligence that you performed the Patronus Charm at twenty-three minutes past nine this evening in a Muggle-inhabited area and in the presence of a Muggle.
"
Mafalda Hopkirk's letter adressed to Harry Potter on 2 August, 1995.[src]

The Decree for the Reasonable Restriction of Underage Sorcery is a bylaw of the Ministry of Magic, written in 1875, which bans the use of underage magic outside of school. The Decree is enforced by the Improper Use of Magic Office in the Ministry of Magic. The restriction is for wizards and witches who are under the age of seventeen, upon which The Trace still operates. Even so, the Ministry does recognise that they may have to use magic in certain situations such as self-defence in a life-threatening situation. In addition, young children of below school age, or children who are not in possession of a wand, are mostly exempt from the rule since they usually have little or no control over the magic they perform. Overall, it appears the Ministry of Magic generally limits enforcement of the decree to situations where underage wizards perform magic in front of Muggles.

Known contentsEdit

"In the matter of Harry Potter, the law clearly states that magic can be used before Muggles in life-threatening situations."
Albus Dumbledore at Harry Potter's hearing[src]

Paragraph C of the clause states that it is a crime to knowingly perform magic in a Muggle-inhabited area and in the presence of a Muggle. However, Clause 7 also states that magic can be used in front of Muggles in exceptional circumstances, including situations when the life of the witch or wizard is threatened, or the lives of other witches, wizards and Muggles are threatened.[1]

Also, it seems that a high-authority person may give permission for an underage student to perform magic under circumstances; as Hogwarts Headmaster, Albus Dumbledore gave Harry Potter such an instruction if an attack was to eventuate, when he was 16 years old.[2]

It also appears that the riding of broomsticks does not constitute the "use" of magic, as Harry once played Quidditch with the Weasley's in 1994 shortly after the 1994 Quidditch World Cup, and none of them were expelled from Hogwarts.

Known breachesEdit

Offender Crime Date Action taken Notes
Lily Evans Magic Between Jan 30, 1960 and Jan 30, 1976 Received a few warning letters None of her warning letters were “too serious”
Hermione Granger "A few simple spells" Summer of 1991 No action taken Hermione told Harry Potter and Ron Weasley just prior to their first year at Hogwarts that she had successfully cast a few spells[3], but apparently, she received no notice or warning about this being banned.
Harry Potter Illegal use of a Hover Charm 31st July 1992 Official warning The Hover Charm was actually produced by the House-elf Dobby.[4]
Harry Potter Illegal use of the Inflating Charm on his "Aunt" Marge August 6th 1993 No action taken Action not taken due to the recent escape of Sirius Black from Azkaban, and the need to keep Harry safe. Additionally, this was considered "accidental magic."[5]
Harry Potter Illegal use of the Patronus Charm in front of a Muggle 2 August, 1995 Expulsion from Hogwarts, later rescinded and given a hearing Acquitted of all charges due to the fact that he technically did not break any laws. Dolores Umbridge was the one who secretly orchestrated this incident as part of the smear campaign against Harry.[1]

Undetected breachesEdit

Behind the scenesEdit

AppearancesEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

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