Document Type


Publication Date



As a legal scholar setting out to explore themes of law in Harry Potter, I am acutely aware of the absence of family law conflicts in these different family structures and relationships. Rowling's obvious fascination with different family structures and her relatively strong sense of an isolated, private sphere that is free of state intervention seems in keeping with traditional liberal values of the public/private divide. Yet her rejection of state interference in the private sphere of the family does not correspond to an autonomous state that is focused on the public sphere. Where liberalism separates the private world of the family from the public world of the state, Rowling has created strong families and a weak state which seems to be subsumed into a series of family dynasties. Thus, while she does not have family law -- i.e., state intervention in the family -- she instead has created a family-based state. In exploring this collapsed public/private divide we begin by considering the relation between families and family law in these books.

Included in

Family Law Commons