Aggravated Murder by Albanian Canons

Scientific Essay, 2011

16 Pages


Table of contents:

1. ALBANIAN’S CANONS General Observations on Aggravated Murder coverage
1.1 Canon of Lekë Dukagjini
1.2 Canon of Skënderbeu
1.3 Canon of Labëria

2. Treatment of Aggravated murder by Albanian Canons
2.1 Aggravated murder by Canon of Lekë Dukagjini
2.1.1 Sanctions of suspects
2.1.2 Types of aggravated murders
2.2 Aggravated murder by Canon of Skënderbeu
2.2.1 Sanctions of suspects
2.2.2 Types of aggravated murders
2.2.3 Family Killings
2.3 Aggravated murder by Canon of Labëria
2.3.1 Types of aggravated murders
2.3.2 Familly killings

3. Conclusion 15 Reference

1. ALBANIAN’S CANONS General Observations on Aggravated Murder coverage

Even before the state was estabilished, the society harshly acted against murderers. The society has acted with its most radical measures against those ‘outlaws’ who took lives.

Historically, murder is known on Hamurabi law, 28th century BC- (Persia), at Manu Laws (India)- 1100-1200, 12 tables (Roma)- 450 BC, at medieval Albanian canons, Canon of Leke Dukagjini, Canon of Skenderbeu, Canon of Laberia, etc.1

The reaction of the society towards murders, depending on the time we speak, was done in different manners and specific manners. In this period, the sentence had one aim “to cause physical suffering to the murderer”2.

Since the unorganized societies, on the most primitive societies, the most common sentence was “eviction or outlawing the murderer from the society, revenge, compensations or blood requital”3.

We can conclude that at all societies, starting from the most unorganized one and to the best organized one, the harsh sentences, especially Capital punishment, death penalty, are assigned on the manner that the perpetrator “physically disappear from the society where he committed the act”4.

The revenge applied not only during the unorganized society times but even during the time of state of law.

Even Albanians had institutions that reacted towards murders and Traditional Albanian Law, especially, dealt with murders’ coverage.5 Traditional Albanian Law “it’s a summary of the unwritten rules-norms, established while rules were used and inherited through centuries and eons, verbally passed from one generation to another, that were used to regulate the social relations in different law disciplines and other social and life scopes within Albanian society”6.

Related to the Traditional Albanian Law and its undisputable value towards the other Traditional laws of the world, wrote lots of international writers, historians, judges and analysts. Professor of the Penal law- Allcock Young says about the Traditional Albanian Law “… the unwritten law of Albanian mountains have been (and still are) one of the unlimited charming sources for Durham, Hasluck, Wilder Lane and many other voyagers”7, who visited and wrote about Albania.

Traditional Albanian Law, which mostly is identified by the Revenge as the most recognized element of the power of the Traditional Albanian Law, was very powerful in times and was very dominant at Albanians and its neighbors. “At Albanians and Montenegrins, the oblige to revenge is inherited. At Albanians there were cases that people took revenge even as 2-3 generations passed”8, was assessed as the power of the revenge, “this had to deal with revenge that was demonstrated with effusion of blood, to kill for a kill”9. This act in the Homerian society time was considered as “Legal act”10.

At Albanians who had been ruled by different invaders for centuries, it was necessary to codify rules and norms by which it’s regulated the penal issue. So, within Albanian populated areas, were several such codifications namely Canons or Laws, this work was brought from Otoman turks. The most common codifications are: Canon of Leke Dukagjini, Canon of Skenderbeu and Canon of Laberia; they were applied through all Albanian areas and in the best way reflect the overall Albanian Traditional laws at Albanians. Canon is the code of unwritten norms, inherited from generation to generation, reflecting the socio-economic situation of the past periods and that in his time protecting the interests of certain classes of social strata, is a set of norms of customary law.11

Canon presents the continuation of the observance of those norms that from ancient times and which are inherited through the mouth and mind of people, generation after generation, and which are respected and implemented throughout the Albanian area.

So, although the canon has its source in the Albanian ancient, and parallel of criminal law, codes and laws applicable yet in Albanian life. Self perpetrator of the murder of often serious attempts to find "excuses" that acted according to the canon. Today the canon is historical, but lives as covered speaks of the time and acting head of anarchy in all circumstances.12

In Albanian canons important place occupied by the treatment of murder and can say that in practice many times mentioned the canon, first implied theme of murder, revenge and blood feuds, and then themes and other social problems.

Although in Albanian land has acted several canons, in this paper I will treat the main Albanian canons known, the Canon of Lekë Dukagjini, Kanun of Skanderbeg and Canon of Labëria.

1.1 Canon of Lekë Dukagjini

Canon of Lekë Dukagjini acted in northern Albania, mostly in the part of Kosovo. Canon of Lekë Dukagjin called such, according to some opinions are given by previous scholars, from people who are dealing with this issue. Some say that this canon was codified Lekë Dukagjini III13, some say it has done among the Albanian territories, which have dominated the major tribes and more popular, as is the tribe "Lekë, (Highlander of Shkodra) in Dukagjin ... for this job say one part that the Canon of Lek Dukagjin called not because there have coded from Lekë Dukagjini, but although there have implemented to the "Lekë" - "Dukagjin"”14. "This canon is the first major source of Albanian customary law"15 and also called the first constitution of Albania.

For his seniority, said "Canon of Lek Dukagjin contains rules in many cases are older than the time when lived Lekë Dukagjini by hisself”16.

1.2 Canun of Skënderbeu

Canon of Skënderbeu extends in the territory of Albania Central exactly in the territory that has been Kastriot principal, in "Krujë, Mat, Dibër, Valm (Elbasan) from Mat-Fand rivers in the north, down the river Shkumbin (Librazhd) to the south and from Adriatic Sea in the west to the borders of most eastern of Dibër and Ohër in the east"17.

This canon is also known as the canon of the mountains.

1.3 Canon of Labëria

Canon of Labëria acted in a broad territorial space of the Albanian territories, in the south of Albania, in Labëria, Qamëria, etc.

He applied to the villages of Vlora, in Himarë, on the coast in general, in Kurvelesh, Rrëzomë, in Kardhiq, Tepelena, everywhere where they live labe community, and in Mallakastër too, more limited scale until the cities of Gjirokastra, Delvina, Tepelena of Vlora.18

These canons, "regardless that have operated in different time and space, have a common basement, are part of the Albanian Canon, who survived the storms withstood foreign invasions over the centuries"19.


1 Prof.Dr. Ismet Elezi, Vrasjet për hakmarrje e për gjakmarrje në Shqipëri, Tiranë, 2000, page 10

2 Ibid, page 219

3 Dr.Ismet Salihu, E drejta penale, Pjesa e përgjithshme, Prishtinë, 2003, page 71-72

4 Dr. Ragip Halili, Penologjia, Prishtinë, 2005, page 83

5 Dr.Ismet Salihu, E drejta penale, Pjesa e përgjithshme, Prishtinë, 2003, page 71

6 Dr.Sc. Bajram Ukaj, Dënimet në të drejtën penale të Shqipërisë, Prishtinë, 2006, page 27

7 John B. Allcock & Antonia Young, Black lambs and Grey Falcons, (women traveling in the Balkans), Bradford, 2000, page 143

8 Ismet Salihu, Vrasjet në Krahinën Socialiste Autonome të Kosovës, Prishtinë, 1985, page 81-82

9 Dr.Ragip Halili, Kriminologji me penologji, Prishtinë, 1995, page 248

10 Kazuhinko Jamamoto, Struktura etike e të drejtës zakonore shqiptarët, Tiranë, 2008, page 53

11 Fjalori i Gjuhës së sotme Shqipe, A-M, Rilindja, 1981, fq. 780

12 Dom F.Ilia, Kanuni i Skanderbegut, Shkodër, 1993, faqe 1]1

13 Kanuni i Lekë Dukagjinit, Shkodër, Gusht 2001, faqe XXV

14 Po aty, faqe XXVI

15 Dr. Ismet Elezi, Kanuni i Labërisë, Tiranë, 2006, faqe 22

16 Dom F.Ilia, Kanuni i Skanderbegut, Shkodër, 1993, faqe 15

17 Dom F.Ilia, Kanuni i Skanderbegut, Shkodër, 1993, pg 15

18 Dr. Ismet Elezi, Kanuni i Labërisë, Tiranë, 2006, pg 7

19 Ibid, pg 26

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Aggravated Murder by Albanian Canons
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Naser Sopjani, Aggravated murder and The Cannon, Blood revenge, Skenderbeg, Laberia, Leke Dukagjini
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M.Sc. Naser Sopjani (Author), 2011, Aggravated Murder by Albanian Canons, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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