A History of the Wizengamot: Order in the Court!

Ah, yes, the Wizengamot. Bringers of justice (and underground laundry scandals). An illustrious order throughout history, the Wizengamot has nonetheless had its darker moments. We, dear readers, are here to give you some background on one of the Wizarding world’s most well-known legal institutions!

Established in the 16th century, the Wizengamot is older than the Ministry of Magic itself, preceding it by nearly 200 years. In fact, the very first Minister for Magic had previously been known as the Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot! The judicial institution had run smoothly until the 1990s, when the first major instance of corruption struck. Minister for Magic at the time, Cornelius Fudge, had threatened to fire anyone remotely friendly with Albus Dumbledore and his cohort. While some council members—Madam Amelia Bones for instance—did not waver their unbiased courtly manners in the face of losing their jobs, many others were afraid of Fudge. Their input into the rulings of trials reflected this immensely, and not for the better. People were convicted who should not have been, and Fudge’s anti-Dumbledore campaign saw the targeting of many a great witch or wizard. In following years came the Muggle-Born Registration Commission. While the Wizengamot was not in charge of this, it did partake in running the trials that sentenced many innocent Muggle-borns to serving time in Azkaban prison. Such biased and shameful behavior was brought to an end after the Second Wizarding War (thank goodness!).

I’m very glad to report, dearest readers, that the Wizengamot seems to have rid itself of its corruption in present day! I’m elated to say that the dislocated hand I sustained from the Underground Wizengamot Laundry Scheme of 2017 has healed completely, and the treatment of my two adopted sickly sons (which, admittedly, are both cats) has been compensated to me by the administration under the previous leadership of Professor, Quibbler writer, and Ex-Chief Warlock Cranium Granger (_Cranium_). Under the watchful, fair eyes of him and co-Chief Ellie Unicorn (Elliiee), there have been no abusive Wizengamot-related plots—laundry or otherwise—against anyone ever since. While both Chief Warlocks have since retired, we can hope that this age of prosperity and a lack of bias will continue for years to come.

Currently, the Wizengamot functions a bit differently than it has in past times. Trials are very rare, and in their places are infraction reports. These can be filed against witches or wizards who break the law; the Wizengamot votes on the reports either in favor of or against punishing the reported person. A report can be filed if evidence of law-breaking and multiple warnings is provided, so long as a Hogwarts or Ministry Staff member was not present at the time of the incident. Wizengamot members must be unbiased when voting on such reports. This includes making sure the criteria of reports are met before voting—to ensure that the system continues to run smoothly—and voting for punishments of appropriate harshness.

In the 20th century, the Wizengamot had 50 members at any given time. This employment level has slowly dwindled to 9 general members, with 2 Chief Warlocks and 4 Undersecretaries currently holding positions. However, the council is looking to raise their number of general members! The current Chiefs are Sirius Abythrmonne (miningdeep, discord tag Sirius#6733) and myself (missingsleep, discord tag Gray#4385). Contact one of us if helping bring justice to the Wizarding world with such a position interests you! There is no formal application; merely reaching out is the best thing to do. Prerequisites for joining the council include being a 5th year student or higher with no successful infraction reports against you. Upon messaging a Chief Warlock, you’ll be put on a list of aspiring council members, and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can. Best of luck!

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