Bot and Gemots: Anglo-Saxon Legal References in Harry Potter

22 Pages Posted: 5 Jan 2009 Last revised: 30 Dec 2010

See all articles by Susan Liemer

Susan Liemer

Elon University School of Law

Date Written: December 30, 2008


In the popular Harry Potter book series, author J.K. Rowling obliquely references the legal world of the old Anglo-Saxon tribes. This article explains how she does so and offers explanations to help readers understand the parallels between legal institutions of the Anglo-Saxon world and the legal institutions in Harry's wizard world. This understanding may deepen readers' appreciation of the dynamics in each trial scene in the series.

This article has now been published as a chapter in The Law & Harry Potter, Jeffrey E. Thomas & Franklin G. Snyder eds. (Carolina Academic Press 2010).

Keywords: law and literature, legal history, Anglo-Saxon law, storytelling

Suggested Citation

Liemer, Susan, Bot and Gemots: Anglo-Saxon Legal References in Harry Potter (December 30, 2008). Available at SSRN: or

Susan Liemer (Contact Author)

Elon University School of Law ( email )

201 N. Greene Street
Greensboro, NC 27401
United States
336-279-9232 (Phone)

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