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Wizengamot

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Wizengamot1995
Wizengamot
Organisation information
Leader(s)

Albus Dumbledore (?-July 1995, June 1996-1997)

Headquarters

Level 2, Ministry of Magic

Intentions

Judicial and legislative branch of the Ministry

Affiliation

Ministry of Magic
Department of Magical Law Enforcement

Enemies
"Feeling rather sick, Harry looked up at the people seated at the bench above. There were about fifty of them… all staring down their noses at him, some with very austere expressions, others looks of frank curiosity"
Harry Potter during his hearing before the Wizengamot[src]

The Wizengamot is wizarding Britain's high court of law and parliament. It may be a continuation of the old Wizards' Council. Its administrative headquarters is located in the Department of Magical Law Enforcement of the Ministry of Magic. At least some of its trials take place in the dungeons of the lower levels.

The Wizengamot appears to act as a form of parliament: the various Educational Decrees introduced by Minister for Magic Cornelius Fudge in 1995 were passed and sanctioned by the Wizengamot. Similarly, Muggle laws in Great Britain must be agreed to by Parliament. It is unstated how much control the Wizengamot has over passing these decrees, and how much control the Minister exercises in such circumstances.

Structure

The Wizengamot is made up of around fifty members. The selection process is unclear, though the Minister for Magic appears to have some control over selection or deselection. In addition, a Court Scribe acts as stenographer. The Minister for Magic, Senior Undersecretary to the Minister, and Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement preside over the Wizengamot ex officio. There also was a British Youth Representative no more than 17 years old.[1]

Albus Dumbledore held the position of Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot, except during the period of July 1995 to June 1996, in which he was removed from the post because of his insistence that Lord Voldemort had returned. He was reinstated when the Ministry was forced to acknowledge Voldemort's return, specifically when he appeared in person at the Ministry of Magic in 1996.

While court is in session, members wear plum-coloured robes embroidered with a silver letter W .

Known members of the Wizengamot

Ameliabones
Amelia Bones, a member of the Wizangamot and head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement.
Pol 871Added by Pol 871

Trials

Trials appear to be brief and concise. The accused may present witnesses to be questioned by the Wizengamot. A third-party with legal knowledge may speak on behalf of a defendant, fulfilling a similar role to that of a modern barrister. However, no wizarding lawyers seem to exist, and the practice of having a spokesperson on behalf of a defendant appears to be rare.

Aberforth and the goats

Aberforth Dumbledore was once prosecuted for "using inappropriate charms on a goat".[2][3]

Dementor Attack in Little Whinging

HarryonTrial
Harry Potter at his Wizengamot trial in 1995.
OreadAdded by Oread
See also: Disciplinary hearing of Harry Potter

In 1995,[4] the Wizengamot tried Harry on a charge of violating the Decree for the Reasonable Restriction of Underage Sorcery. Harry had been forced to produce a Patronus to defend himself and his cousin Dudley Dursley against two Dementors. Albus Dumbledore presented Harry's defence and Cornelius Fudge reluctantly dismissed the charges after a majority ruled in favour of clearing him. It was later revealed that Dolores Umbridge had sent the Dementors to attack Harry in order to silence him.

Percy Weasley later sent a letter to his brother Ron referring to "the whole Wizengamot," implying that this type of trial was unusual. Smaller disciplinary hearings do not require the court's attention at all and are dealt with by a single investigator.

Etymology

The word "Wizengamot" is a portmanteau formed with the words "wizard" and "Witenagemot." The Witenagemot was a council of powerful nobles who convened to advise and appoint kings in Anglo-Saxon England. The word derives from the Old English for "meeting of wise men" - witan, meaning "wise man" or "counsellor", and gemot, meaning "assembly". So it can be said that "Wizengamot" means "assembly of wizards".

Appearances

Notes and references


Department of Magical Law Enforcement
Level 2, Ministry of Magic
Department of Magical Law Enforcement
Auror Office · Department of Intoxicating Substances · Improper Use of Magic Office · Misuse of Muggle Artefacts Office · Office for the Detection and Confiscation of Counterfeit Defensive Spells and Protective Objects · Magical Law Enforcement Patrol · Hit Wizards · Ministry of Magic Witch Watchers · Department of Magical Equipment Control · Administrative Registration Department · Wizengamot Administration Services · Department of Security · Animagus Registry · Misuse of Magic Office
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