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"Level two, Department of Magical Law Enforcement, including the Improper Use of Magic Office, Auror Headquarters, and Wizengamot Administration Services."
—Description of Auror headquarters[src]

The Department of Magical Law Enforcement is the largest department at the Ministry of Magic, and roughly the equivalent to the Home Office of Muggle Britain and all other departments are answerable to this one, with the exception of the Department of Mysteries.[3]

Since at least 2019, former Head Auror Harry Potter led the department.

Function

The Department of Magical Law Enforcement is the biggest and arguably the most important of the various departments in the Ministry of Magic, functioning as a combination of police and justice facilities. As such, it has many different subdivisions through which it works to uphold wizarding laws.

Office location

Level Two of the Ministry of Magic houses the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. Once the personnel and/or guests step out of the lift, they find themselves in a corridor lined with doors on both sides, around the corner of which there are a set of heavy oak doors leading into the Auror Headquarters: a large open area divided into small cubicles, one for each Auror.

A second set of double doors and another passage lead to a dimly lit and distinctly shabby corridor. A broom cupboard sits at the left end of the corridors, and the right side has the Misuse of Muggle Artefacts Office: a room of almost the same size as the cupboard with two desks and overflowing filing cabinets crammed inside.

History

The Department of Magical Law Enforcement was founded by the first Minister of Magic Ulick Gamp and it became his greatest legacy.

Justus Pilliwickle worked for the Ministry of Magic in the 19th century. He was a celebrated Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. His work in the department earned him is own Chocolate Frog Card.

In the 1970s Barty Crouch Sr was a former Head of the department, famous for aggressively prosecuting Dark Wizards in the days of Voldemort's rise to power. His fervor led him to authorize methods almost as bad as those of the Death Eaters they were hunting; he allowed the Aurors to use the Unforgivable Curses, and imprisoned people like Sirius Black in Azkaban without a trial. Crouch was much admired at the time, but fell from grace around 1982 after he sentenced his own son to Azkaban for being a Death Eater. After losing out the position as Minister for Magic to Cornelius Fudge, Barty was demoted to being the Head of the Department of International Magical Cooperation. He was later murdered by his son in 1995.

CouncilOfMagicalLawPottermore1

The four culprits tried before the Council of Magical Law

The 1980s trial in which Crouch sentenced his son to Azkaban was notoriously famous. It was governed by the Council of Magical Law. Four culprits were brought before the council: Bartemius Crouch Jr, Bellatrix LestrangeRabastan Lestrange, and Rodolphus Lestrange. The offence was described as so heinous that such a crime was rarely heard of in court. It was for the capture and torture of Aurors Frank and Alice Longbottom. The Longbottoms were heavily tortured by all four Death Eaters by the means of the Cruciatus Curse, eventually their minds snapping from the strain and they became permanently insane. During the court proceedings the crowd roared in savage pleasure when Crouch proposed that they send the Death Eaters to Azkaban for life, and the sentence was passed without question.

The Hearing

Harry Potter's disciplinary hearing

Amelia Bones was the Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement in 1995 and presided over the Wizengamot. Amelia was murdered “nastily” by Death Eaters in the first weeks of the Second Wizarding War; it was speculated that she was murdered by Voldemort himself. Amelia was described as being a fair individual. However despite Amelia's fair nature the department did hold bias within it-this was due to Minister Fudge's vendetta against Harry Potter. On 12 August, 1995 a full criminal trial was held during Harry's disciplinary hearing, even though his infraction was a simple cause of underage magic. It turned out to be nothing but a show trial and merely a way for Fudge to further his agenda, though the intervention of Dumbledore prevented his plan. About a year later, Amelia was murdered, suspected as by Voldemort personally.

After the Fall of the Ministry of Magic in 1997 Pius Thicknesse became the head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. He was under the Imperius Curse and was acting as a puppet for Voldemort, in order to do the Dark Lord's bidding. Under his reign many atrocities were committed, such as the formation of the Muggle-Born Registration Commission and the sentencing of numerous Muggle-borns to Azkaban.

After the Second Wizarding War the corruption within the department and the rest of the Ministry was weeded out and it became an enjoyable place to work. Hermione Granger became a deputy Head in this department and helped rid the wizarding community of the pro-pure-blood laws that were in effect. Harry Potter and Ron Weasley joined the Auror Office at the age of 17 and helped reshuffle it. Harry became Head Auror at the age of 26 and by the summer of 2020 Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement.

Divisions

Main divisions

Auror Office

Main article: Auror Office

An Auror is a highly trained specialist officer who investigate crimes involving the Dark Arts and apprehend Dark Wizards. According to Minerva McGonagall, the Auror Office takes in new recruits with a minimum of 5 N.E.W.T.s (with marks no lower than 'Exceeds Expectations'). She suggests that Potions, Defence Against the Dark Arts, Transfiguration, Charms, and Herbology are the most appropriate for someone who aspires to be admitted to the training programme. A potential recruit will also have to pass "...a series of character and aptitude tests."

Nymphadora Tonks mentions that two of the programme's courses of study are "Concealment and Disguise" and "Stealth and Tracking" and that the training is hard to pass with high marks (a requirement). Aurors are the magical equivalents of Muggle counter-terrorism operatives and, during the First Wizarding War, Aurors were authorised to use the Unforgivable Curses on suspected Death Eaters; specifically, they were given the licence to kill, coerce and torture them.

Many of the Dark criminals first duel with the Aurors sent to arrest them before surrendering, or even fight to the death. Aurors are also used to protect high-profile targets such as Harry, Hogwarts, and the Muggle Prime Minister.

Improper Use of Magic Office

This office, the Improper Use of Magic Office, punishes violations of the International Statute of Wizarding Secrecy. This includes underage witches and wizards intentionally using magic, which suggests that this office may be in charge of the Trace, permitting them to monitor the magic used by those under the age of seventeen.

Wizengamot Administration Services

An office which undertakes administrative and clerical duties for the Wizengamot. Its function seems analogous to Muggle court registries; this would typically include maintenance of court documents, hearing dates, judges' schedules, and the administration of legal proceedings.

Other divisions

Administrative Registration Department

The Administrative Registration Department is responsible for the registration of the wizarding population. After the Fall of the Ministry of Magic, the Muggle-Born Registration Commission was created under this department. It is also possible the Animagus Registry is found within this department.

Department of Intoxicating Substances

The Department of Intoxicating Substances is a sub-division of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, and is responsible for making regulations on the consumption of alcoholic beverages. This included no alcohol being sold to underage witches and wizards.

Hit Wizards

Main article: Hit Wizard

Hit Wizards comprise a team of highly trained wizards tasked with arresting dangerous criminals. The entry requirements include five O.W.L.s, one of which must be Defence Against the Dark Arts. Possibly the equivalent of a Muggle S.W.A.T. Team. Members have a personal bed reserved at St Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries.[4] In 1993, Cornelius Fudge suggested that only Hit Wizards should attempt to capture Sirius Black, an Azkaban escapee then believed to be a highly dangerous criminal.

Investigation Department

The Investigation Department was a subdivision of the Auror Office. It centred on investigation and tracking down dark wizards. This division also exists in MACUSA's Department of Magical Law Enforcement as well.

Magical Law Enforcement Patrol

The Magical Law Enforcement Patrol (formerly the Magical Law Enforcement Squad) is tasked with general law enforcement, like with the Muggle police. In the 1920s it was headed by Bob Ogden, who led a team to Little Hangleton to arrest Marvolo and Morfin Gaunt for crimes against both Muggles and the Ministry, since the House of Gaunt had avoided previous attempts at arrest.

Ministry of Magic Witch Watchers

Ministry of Magic Witch Watchers are a special Ministry force that presumably is stationed at strategical places in search of fugitive criminals. This branch of the department was in charge of the 1993 manhunt for Sirius Black. It is also possible that they were in charge of tracking the escapees of the 1996 mass Azkaban breakout.

Misuse of Muggle Artefacts Office

This office regulates the use of magic on Muggle objects and confiscates those which have been illegally bewitched. One of the laws they enforce is the prohibition on magically altering a Muggle vehicle with the intent to fly it. It was headed by Arthur Weasley until his promotion in 1996.

Office for the Detection and Confiscation of Counterfeit Defensive Spells and Protective Objects

This office was created in 1996 by Minister for Magic, Rufus Scrimgeour, in response to the growing threat of Lord Voldemort and the rise of dangerous or dubious spells and products which claimed to provide protection against the Dark Arts. Arthur Weasley was promoted to head this operation. Its duties involved preventing the trade of fake and/or useless spells, potions and artefacts that appeared during the Second Wizarding War.

Known personnel

Heads of department

Aurors

Other personnel

Appearances

Notes and references


Department of Magical Law Enforcement employees
DMLE clear
Heads of Department
Justus Pilliwickle · Bartemius Crouch Sr. · Amelia Bones · Pius Thicknesse · Corban Yaxley · Harry Potter
Auror Office
Heads: Rufus Scrimgeour · Gawain Robards · Harry Potter

John Dawlish · Alice Longbottom · Frank Longbottom · Neville Longbottom · Alastor Moody · Proudfoot · Savage · Kingsley Shacklebolt · Nymphadora Tonks · Ronald Weasley · Williamson · Unidentified Aurors · Unidentified male Auror at Hogwarts · 3 Unidentified Aurors at Hogwarts · Director of the Investigation Department No. 61042
Other Personnel
Minerva McGonagall · Elphinstone Urquart · Alastor Gumboil · Arnold Peasegood · Mafalda Hopkirk · Honoria's fiancé · Cerberus Langarm · Rufus Fudge · Perkins · Hermione Granger · Travers · Bob Ogden · Arthur Weasley · Dempster Wiggleswade · Mafalda Hopkirk's Ministerial Superior · Arthur Weasley's ten subordinates