A top Indian law university is adopting unusual methods to train its next generation of lawyers.
Kolkata’s National University of Juridical Sciences, in the eastern state of West Bengal, is offering its students a course based around the fictional world of Harry Potter.
The course, entitled “An interface between Fantasy Fiction Literature and Law: Special focus on Rowling's Potterverse”, intends to provide a breather from the orthodox law school curriculum by drawing parallels between real-life situations and the legal aspects of wizarding.
Topics mentioned in the course module point include the comparison of social and class rights in India with the “enslavement of house-elves and the marginalisation of werewolves” in the fantasy series.
The curriculum also involves Quidditch and sports law at Hogwarts, the rule of law in a magical society, Wizengamot trials and the innocence of Sirius Black.
Professor Shouvik Kumar Guha, who designed the course, says it is an “experiment” to “encourage creative thinking.”
“In our current system, we simply tell students the black letter of law,” Mr Guha told the BBC.
“Will they be able to apply pre-existing laws to situations that have never come up before?”
He continued: “You can also see so many examples of how media is subverted by political institutions in the Potter books and see parallels in the real world.
“Rowling's universe talks a lot about how legal institutions are failing in some scenarios.”
The course is expected to include a total of 45 hours of discussion-based teaching and will be offered as an elective to senior students at the university. It has already reached its capacity of 40 students with calls to increase the class size.
This isn’t the only university to offer such a course though.
Durham University in the UK is believed to have been the first to offer a Harry Potter-inspired course.
During the second year of this degree students study a module dedicated to the most famous wizard of our time as they consider the social and cultural context of Harry Potter and look at the reasons behind its popularity.
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