The University of Juridical Sciences from West Bengal, India, created an elective subject for students of the final year in Law based on the Harry Potter series.
The subject approaches topics like similarities between social and class rights in India with the enslavement of house-elves and marginalization of werewolves, and contracts studies, having the Unbreakable Vow as an example. It will also approach Quidditch and sports law at Hogwarts, study of Unforgivable Curses, Wizengamot judgments, Sirius Black’s innocence and Tom Riddle’s judgment.
For professor Shouvik Kumar Guha, who created the course, it is about an experiment to encourage creative thinking. “In our current system, we simply tell students the black letter of law. Will they be able to apply pre-existing laws to situations that have never come up before?”, he said to BBC.
The professor believes that it will be an opportunity to the students to come out of their comfort zones and learn from fantasy series that most of them grew up reading. “[J.K.] Rowling’s universe talks a lot about how legal institutions are failing in some scenarios”, he exemplified. Due to its popularity, Harry Potter prevailed over other alternatives to the subject, such as Star Trek and Game of Thrones.
The course will carry 45 hours and the 40 available seats were quickly filled, with several requirements for upsizing the course capacity. This is the second university in India to offer a subject focused on Harry Potter. Around the world, universities as Yale, Georgetown, USP, and UNICAMP have already offered cursed based on the series.