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Arthur Weasley said that he can make a Ford Anglia fly legally because he did not intend to fly the car, but how is this legal? The car is still a danger if it ends up in Muggle hands. Why is he allowed to do this?

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  • Why not? There are similar laws in the real world, where you may not be allowed to use something, but you are allowed to own it. – Whelt Mar 9 '15 at 15:34
  • yeah, but in the wizard world, wizards cant bewitch muggle objects and Authur just bewitched a car. Doesnt matter if he uses it or not. – Commune Mar 9 '15 at 15:52
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    I don't think it's ever said that Wizards can't bewitch muggle objects (otherwise, I mean: Molly's self-cleaning pans, the entire concept of flying broomsticks, etc.), but that they can't use enchanted objects to "bait" muggles, i.e. to trick, deceive, cause harm, or compromise the existence of magic – Jason Baker Mar 9 '15 at 15:56
  • Ok,than why does the minsitry conduct raids on Wizard homes? what are they looking for? – Commune Mar 9 '15 at 16:03
  • i can go buy 500 dollars of fireworks right now, and i cant use them anywhere, gg laws. its the exact same situation that arthurs in, hes got a bewitched car, he just cant use it. – Himarm Mar 9 '15 at 16:52
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TL;DR:

how is this legal? ... Why is he allowed to do this?

Because Arthur Weasley himself wrote the law. AND the loophole. Just to benefit his hobby.


Details:

  1. The legal reasoning is as follows:

    You have to remember that the whole point of most of Muggle-related laws is one and the same: preventing Muggles from learning about the Wizarding world.

    “It’s all to do with bewitching things that are Muggle-made, you know, in case they end up back in a Muggle shop or house. Like, last year, some old witch died and her tea set was sold to an antiques shop. This Muggle woman bought it, took it home, and tried to serve her friends tea in it. It was a nightmare — Dad was working overtime for weeks.” (Chamber of Secrets)

    Misuse of Muggle Artefacts is most likely the same, since there appears to be absolutely zero point to prohibiting bewitching "Muggle" objects if no Muggle would ever come across them - after all, many, if not most Wizarding magical objects are indeed just that - a bewitched Muggle object (including but not limited to: Hogwarts train, Broomsticks, self-cooking kitchenware, etc...).

    As such, indeed, bewitching Ford Andlia to fly and never flying it (thus not having Muggles discover a flying car and sending Agent J to investigate) would fulfill the point of the law and thus is a possibly OK "loophole" to have.


  2. AND... the real reasoning of course, as noted by Mrs. Weasley, is:

    “Yes, Arthur, cars,” said Mrs. Weasley, her eyes flashing. “Imagine a wizard buying a rusty old car and telling his wife all he wanted to do with it was take it apart to see how it worked, while really he was enchanting it to make it fly.” Mr. Weasley blinked.
    “Well, dear, I think you’ll find that he would be quite within the law to do that, even if — er — he maybe would have done better to, um, tell his wife the truth… There’s a loophole in the law, you’ll find… As long as he wasn’t intending to fly the car, the fact that the car could fly wouldn’t —”
    Arthur Weasley, you made sure there was a loophole when you wrote that law!” shouted Mrs. Weasley. “Just so you could carry on tinkering with all that Muggle rubbish in your shed! And for your information, Harry arrived this morning in the car you weren’t intending to fly!”


  3. Having said THAT, you can see that this is really just rationalization, and indeed Arthur Weasley's loophole would probably be found "unconstitutional" (if there was indeed a judicial review of laws in Harry Potter universe) - because if Weasleys die, as noted in above quote, there's a risk that Flying Ford Anglia - or other items - would end up being seen by muggles. Or for that matter, if someone (*cough* Ron *cough*) steals it for a joyride.

    Fred laughed. “Yeah, Dad’s crazy about everything to do with Muggles; our shed’s full of Muggle stuff. He takes it apart, puts spells on it, and puts it back together again. If he raided our house he’d have to put himself under arrest. It drives Mum mad.”

    ... and Mrs. Weasley seems to agree:

    “You could have died, you could have been seen, you could have lost your father his job — ”

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  • The "If he raided our house he’d have to put himself under arrest." part means that his shed of muggle items are too risky and suspicious. right? – Commune Mar 9 '15 at 17:45
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    I'm not sure if there is much in the way of judicial review within the Ministry of Magic. I can think of a few cases where people have been convicted--sent to Azkaban, even--based on circumstansial evidence. And there is a lot of political bias in the courts even before the Death Eaters take over. – KSmarts Mar 9 '15 at 18:12
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    Re: "Arthur Weasley himself wrote the law." I just had a mental image of someone finding his collection of muggle artefacts, and Arthur protesting, "I AM the law!" – KSmarts Mar 9 '15 at 18:23
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    @KSmarts - Judicial review is something different to what your comment discusses. What you refer to is appelate apparatus and due process. Wiki definition states: "Judicial review is the doctrine under which legislative and executive actions are subject to review by the judiciary" - basically, like US Supreme Court reviewing a law for Constitutionality. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Mar 9 '15 at 18:52
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    @DVK I understand. However, at least in the US, judicial review and the appeals process are closely linked. But, more related, there are plenty of Ministry decrees that would probably not pass review by a (fair) court. For example, as "High Inquisitor," Umbridge pretty clearly commits many violations of human rights. – KSmarts Mar 9 '15 at 19:38

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