Magistrates Court : The current Magistrates Court was built in 1982. Previously on this spot, stood a row of back to back houses which were tightly packed in. These houses offered poor conditions and were demolished as part of the slum-clearance measures.
In 1195, Richard I commissioned certain knights to preserve the peace in unruly areas – they were known as Keepers of the Peace. This was the origin of the lay magistracy in England and Wales.
Today’s title of “Justice of the Peace” dates back to 1361, to the reign of Edward III, and JPs still retain and use some of the powers conferred on them at that time to bind over unruly persons “to be of good behaviour”.
During their history, lay magistrates have had responsibility for:
- administration of the Poor Law
- marriage ceremonies
- building of houses of correction
- fixing wages
- building and controlling roads
Today their role is almost exclusively judicial, and JPs are appointed on behalf of the Sovereign by the Lord Chancellor.
Wizengamot and Ministry of Magic : The Wizengamot is wizarding Britain’s high court of law and parliament. It predates the Ministry of Magic itself, dating back to the days of the medieval Wizards’ Council. Dumbledore held the position of Chief Warlock for most of the 20th century. The Wizengamots administrative are located in the Department of Magical Law Enforcement of the Ministry of Magic, whilst the trials take place in the dungeons of the lower levels.
Ministry of Magic is the primary governing body of the magical community in many countries. Headed by a Minister for Magic, a Ministry of Magic is responsible for regulating and enforcing laws for the magical community, as well as keeping said community hidden from the Muggle world.