- "All Student Organisations, Societies, Teams, Groups, and Clubs are henceforth disbanded. An Organisation, Society, Team, Group, or Club is hereby defined as a regular meeting of three or more students. Permission to re-form may be sought from the High Inquisitor (Professor Umbridge). No Student Organisation, Society, Team, Group, or Club may exist without the knowledge and approval of the High Inquisitor. Any student found to have formed, or to belong to, an Organisation, Society, Team, Group, or Club that has not been approved by the High Inquisitor will be expelled."
- —The Decree[src]
The Educational Decree Number Twenty-Four was the first Educational Decree created by Dolores Umbridge, Hogwarts High Inquisitor. It was passed to prevent the formation of Dumbledore's Army,other organisations, clubs, team or societies.
Shortly after their first Defence Against the Dark Arts lesson with Dolores Umbridge, it soon became clear to Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger that practical defensive magic would not be taught in the class. Instead, a Ministry-approved course of theory would be taught. Minister Cornelius Fudge was afraid that Albus Dumbledore would use these lessons to train an army of wizards and witches to oppose him and try to take over the Ministry since he refused to believe that Lord Voldemort had returned. Concerned that they needed defensive magical skills to combat Lord Voldemort and his Death Eaters, Hermione proposed the formation of a practical study group to be taught by Harry. The association became known as Dumbledore's Army and its first meeting took place at the Hog's Head pub in Hogsmeade. Without anyone noticing, the meeting was overheard by Willy Widdershins, who informed Umbridge of the meeting in a plea-bargain to avoid punishment for a series of Regurgitating toilet incidents.
After hearing about the defensive magic organisation, Dolores Umbridge used her power as Hogwarts High Inquisitor to pass this Educational Decree on 7 October 1995, which forbade the regular meeting of three or more students without the High Inquisitor's consent. Any student found to be in noncompliance of the Decree was to be expelled immediately.
This Educational Decree disbanded all of the student organisations, like the Gobstones club and Quidditch teams. As such, there was initially some disapprovement from the student body, but as Umbridge eventually reformed said organisations, the main student body was not very affected by it. However, the members of Dumbledore's Army became upset and speculated that someone had told Umbridge about the meeting. Regardless, they formed the group and secretly trained themselves in Defence. Eventually, Marietta Edgecombe betrayed the group, and Umbridge attempted to use this decree to expel all the members of the Army, which failed as Dumbledore took the blame for its formation, and said that the night they were caught was supposed to be the first meetings, as opposed to them happening for six months.
The decree was eventually abolished when Dolores Umbridge was suspended from her post as High Inquisitor and Albus Dumbledore returned to his post as Headmaster following the Battle of the Department of Mysteries, in the summer of 1996.
During Severus Snape's tenure as Headmaster of Hogwarts, and Alecto and Amycus Carrow's as Deputy Heads during the 1997–1998 school year, this Decree was reinstated to prevent the reformation of Dumbledore's Army and oppress the rest of the student body. However, it did not stop the organisation from returning nevertheless. After the Battle of Hogwarts and Lord Voldemort's reign ended, on 2 May, 1998 the Decree was presumably abolished again.
Behind the scenes
- This decree is Educational Decree Number Sixty-Eight in the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, as in said film adaptation the Ministry passed many more Educational Decrees than in the novels.
- As such the message is also different:
ALL STUDENT ORGANISATIONS
ANY STUDENT IN
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (film)
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