Lesson Two
Wizarding Government

A very long and splendid hall whose peacock blue ceiling was inlaid with golden symbols that kept moving and changing like some enormous heavenly noticeboard.

Ministry of Magic

Each country has a form of wizarding government to oversee magical affairs in their territory, the most common being either a Ministry of Magic or a Council of Magic. The International Confederation of Wizards serves as a wizarding intergovernmental organisation, responsible for international magical cooperation between different governments.

All authority, bureaucracy and law enforcement in the British magical world is central to the Ministry of Magic and there is no distinct separation between executive, legislative and judicial branches of power, that is so integral to Muggle politics. Part of it are numerous departments and offices. It is said by many that the Ministry itself is very efficient and highly organized. It is led by a Minister of Magic, who is elected. The duration of term does not appear to be fixed, such as four years that is the norm for the leaders of the Muggle world. The longest known term is that of Minister Faris Spavin who was in office spanning thirty-eight years from 1865 to 1903.

The Ministry of Magic controls a great deal of wizarding life, including transport, methods of communication, dealings between wizards and other magical beings, internal security of the wizarding world, Non-Tradable Material and sports.

The Ministry of Magic does not answer to the Muggle government, but they are obliged to inform the Muggle Prime Minister of any crucial events that might make the Muggles notice the wizarding world, like escaped criminals, transport of magical creatures or the like.

Ministry of Magic's Structure

Minister of Magic: Elected leader of the Ministry and representative of the magic folk to Muggle world. Part of Level One of the Ministry. Parts of it are:

  • Office of the Minister of Magic
  • Office of the Advisor to the Minister of Magic
  • Office of the Senior Undersecretary to the Minister of Magic
  • Office of the Junior Assistant to the Minister of Magic

The Ministry has seven departments in all, each dealing with different parts of the wizarding world.

Department of Magical Law Enforcement: The Department of Magical Law Enforcement is the largest department in the Ministry, occupying Level Two and almost all departments (save for Department of Mysteries) answer to it in one way or another. It is a combination of police and justice forces.

  • Auror Office (Protecting the wizarding world from the Dark Arts and those who practise them.)
  • Misuse of Muggle Artefacts Office (Regulating use of magic on Muggle items)
  • Office for the Detection and Confiscation of Counterfeit Defensive Spells and Protective Objects (Elimination of Counterfeit Defensive Spells and Protective Objects and the capture and prosecution of those making, selling, or distributing them.)
  • Improper Use of Magic Office (Investigation of illegal uses of magic.)
  • Wizengamot and Wizengamot Administration Services

Department of Magical Accidents and Catastrophes: Responsible for repairing accidental magical damage. It occupies Level Three of the Ministry.

  • Accidental Magic Reversal Squad (Correction of magical accidents.)
  • Obliviator Headquarters (Modification of the memories of Muggles who witness signs of magical existence in order to make sure that the Wizarding World remains secret for the Muggle Community.)
  • Muggle-Worthy Excuse Committee (Invention of excuses for the Muggle community for any magical accidents or occurrences.)
  • Invisibility Task Force (Concealment of the wizarding world from Muggles.)
  • Muggle Liaison Office (Responsibility for wizard-Muggle cooperation.)

Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures: Occupying Level Four of the Ministy, the department is responsible for studying, regulating and controlling magical creatures on their territory.

  • Beast Division
  • Being Division
  • Spirit Division
  • Goblin Liaison Office
  • Centaur Liaison Office
  • Pest Advisory Board (Providing assistance with serious pest infestations of wizarding homes.)
  • Office of Misinformation (Only employed during worst magic-Muggle collisions, they create a plausible excuse for the incidents.)

Department of International Magical Cooperation: The Department of International Magical Cooperation deals with foreign affairs, both political and public, on Level Five of the Ministry.

  • International Magical Trading Standards Body (Dealing with legislation regarding trading standards.)
  • International Magical Office of Law (Monitoring the laws and policies set down by the International Confederation of Wizards and advising on matters of international law.)
  • International Confederation of Wizards, British Seats (Uniting the magical community across the world.)

Department of Magical Transportation: Responsible for various aspects of magical transportation. Occupying Level Six of the Ministry.

  • Floo Network Authority (Establishing, maintaining, monitoring, and regulating the Floo Network.)
  • Broom Regulatory Control (Managing the usage and maintenance of magic Brooms.)
  • Portkey Office (Managing the usage and maintenance of Portkeys and authorizing the creation of Portkeys.)
  • Apparition Test Centre (Testing Apparition students if they are skilled enough to aquire an Apparition licence.)

Department of Magical Games and Sports: Deals with organising sports events and enforcing game-related laws and regulations on Level Seven of the Ministry.

  • British and Irish Quidditch League Headquarters (Organizing the annual British and Irish Quidditch League.)
  • Official Gobstones Club
  • Ludicrous Patents Office (Licencing of "ludicrous" patents.)

Department of Mysteries: Located on Level Nine, is a section of the Ministry of Magic that carries out confidential research regarding particular enigmas (death, time, space, thought, and love) and stores copies of prophecies. Most of its operations are carried out in total secrecy. 

  • Brain Room
  • Space Chamber
  • Death Chamber
  • Time Room
  • Hall of Prophecy
  • Love Chamber (a.k.a. The Ever-Locked Room)

The Ministry contains several other offices:

  • Magical Maintenance Department
  • Ministry of Magic Public Information Services
  • Department of Magical Education
  • Very Important Members of Section M.I. Trx.
  • Wizarding Examinations Authority
  • Ministry of Magic research committee
  • Ministry of Magic exploding bonbons disposal unit
  • Foreign Affairs and Sports Department
  • Committee on Experimental Charms
The British magical government gives off from time to time an impression of incompetence when dealing with important wizarding matters. Some of such examples are a campaign to smear Hogwarts' Headmaster Albus Dumbledore and Harry Potter, their response to the breakouts from Azkaban and dealing with the matter of Sirius Black. It is known that some employers of the Ministry were corrupt and were prepared to enforce very strict laws regarding non-pureblood society members, though all of that slowly changed since Kingsley Shacklebolt has become the Minister of Magic.

Sources

  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by Joanne K. Rowling
  • Wizarding Law in the 21st Century by Nicholas Moline
  • http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Wizarding_world
  • http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/British_Ministry_of_Magic
  • http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Auror_Office
  • http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Misuse_of_Muggle_Artefacts_Office
  • http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Office_for_the_Detection_and_Confiscation_of_Counterfeit_Defensive_Spells_and_Protective_Objects
  • http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Improper_Use_of_Magic_Office
  • http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Obliviator_Headquarters
  • http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Accidental_Magic_Reversal_Squad
  • http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Muggle-Worthy_Excuse_Committee
  • http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Invisibility_Task_Force
  • http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Muggle_Liaison_Office
  • http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Pest_Advisory_Board
  • http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Office_of_Misinformation
  • http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/International_Magical_Trading_Standards_Body
  • http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/International_Magical_Office_of_Law
  • http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Floo_Network_Authority
  • http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Broom_Regulatory_Control
  • http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Portkey_Office
  • http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Apparation_Test_Centre
  • http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Wizards'_Ordinary_Magic_and_Basic_Aptitude_Test