Deconstructing Harry: A legal scholar examines the role and rule of law in the world of Harry Potter

Law review article examines law in the world of Harry PotterLord of the Rings fans may recall a post from last April about my discovery of a playful but provocative essay on mediation entitled “Gollum, Meet Sméagol: A Schizophrenic Rumination on Mediator Values Beyond Self-Determination and Neutrality”, by Professor James Coben, Director of the Dispute Resolution Institute at Hamline University School of Law.

Devotees of Harry Potter, who perhaps may have been feeling neglected by legal scholars, will rejoice to know that Aaron Schwabach, Associate Professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, has recently published “Harry Potter and the Unforgivable Curses: Norm-formation, Inconsistency, and the Rule of Law in the Wizarding World,” an exhaustively researched article examining the anomalies and inconsistencies in law and justice in the world inhabited by Harry Potter and his kind.

Professor Schwabach, in his own words, is neither “snobbish academic” nor “intolerant prude” “who [hasn’t] actually read any of the books, bashing Harry Potter”. He tells his readers, “If you like Harry Potter, I hope you’ll like the article. If you don’t like Harry Potter, go away and read something else.”

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