A top Indian law university is employing unusual methods to train up its next generation of lawyers.
Kolkata’s National University of Juridical Sciences, in the eastern state of West Bengal, will introduce a course based around the fictional world of Harry Potter.
The course will use the role of law in the series to draw parallels between the stories and real-life situations.
Professor Shouvik Kumar Guha, the brain behind the course, says it is an “experiment” to “encourage creative thinking.”
Entitled “An interface between Fantasy Fiction Literature and Law: Special focus on Rowling’s Potterverse”, is expected to include a total of 45 hours of discussion-based teaching.
Topics included on the course point out how social and class rights in India can be equated with the “enslavement of house-elves and the marginalisation of werewolves” in the fantasy series.
The course has immediately proved popular according to Guha, who says all 40 places have already been taken, with further students approaching him to increase the class size.
This isn’t the first time that J.K. Rowling’s creation has been implemented in education. Several universities in the US and at least one in the UK have courses influenced by Harry Potter.
“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?”
The professor added that the course was all about pushing students out of their comfort zones.
“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,” he said.
“[Harry Potter author JK] Rowling’s universe talks a lot about how legal institutions are failing in some scenarios.”
The course module opens with two lines from one of the books in the series:
“Are you planning to follow a career in Magical Law, Miss Granger?” asked Scrimgeour.
“No, I’m not,” retorted Hermione. “I’m hoping to do some good in the world!”