BLOOD FEUD IN “LEKE DUKAGJINI CODE” (KANUNI I LEKË DUKAGJINIT) AND ITS IMPACT IN THE CONTEMPORARY LAW IN ALBANIA AND KOSOVO

Muhamed Çitaku, Orhan Çeku, Ardian Emini

Abstract


Having spent centuries under foreign occupation, Albania and Kosovo inregulating social and tribal relations turned to the establishment of customary laws. These customary laws later on were to be known as “Kanuni i Lekë Dukagjinit”. The Kanun was vigorously implemented in Northern Albania, Kosovo and Western Macedonia. The customary rules set out by the Kanin were orally spread, from generation to generation and then later on were collected and compiled into “Kanuni i Lekë Dukagjinit” by the priest Shtjefen Gjeqovi. This paper focuses on the Albanian Customary Law system with special attention being focused towards the phenomenon of blood feud, a phenomenon which is implemented even to this day in Northern Albania and Kosovo. This paper also underlines the judicial and criminal norms in which the phenomenon of blood feud has been incorporated and treated within the criminal codes of Albania and Kosovo and the impact that the latter has had in contemporary law practices. The paper intends to highlight the fact that the lack of judicial and social norms and governing bodies in these regions in different historical periods of time has resulted in the surfacing of such customary rules which were used to regulate social, family and tribal relations. An important aspect of these rules was the phenomenon of blood feud which found application in cases of murder and dishonor. In today’s reforming states of Kosovo and Albania, blood feud has been categorized as a first-degree murder. Albania has given the phenomenon of blood feud a special legal denomination alongside intimidation and incitement of the latter. This paper has made use of scientific methods which are applied in social sciences such as the historical method, comparative, descriptive, deductive, inductive as well as the judicial-normative methods together with doctrinal methods.

Keywords


Kanuni i Lekë Dukagjinit; blood feud; criminal offence; customary law; Northern Albania

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