Blood feud is one of the many problems that our country faces in this difficult and long, post communist transition. The roots of this negative phenomenon are in the past. Historical, ethnographic data, evidences of natives and foreign visitors at the beginning of the 20th century speak clearly about the large proportions that this social wound had especially in the northern regions of Albania.
With the lapse of the time, the blood feud dimensions started to diminish. In the period of the Republic and the Monarchy of Zog, there was a reduction of this criminality compared to the period before the Independence. But the situation was still disturbing.
A positive turn was that after the liberation of the country by the fascist and nazi invasion. In the conditions of the social and economic changes, of the increase of the level of education of the population and the big repressive power of the state, from year to year, the figures of blood feud diminished so much that people thought that this phenomenon belonged to the past. Unfortunately it was not like this.
It is paradoxical that in the conditions of a democratic society the blood feud is revived but this fact is a reality now. To explain it, profound sociological and criminological studies are needed, which are missing, but we can say that some of the causes of this revival are the great poverty of the population in the problematic areas, abandoning of education (which is not only a cause, but also a consequence of blood feud0 and especially the weakening of the state power and the law authority, which leaves space for the old canon norms to be applied, which were considered forgotten forever. So there is a return to the past and exactly when our country aims to be integrated in the United Europe besides other countries, which are more progressive that us. Today giving justice is closely connected with the judicial power. But it was not always like this.
When people were organised in a society, the notion of justice was organised also, as a way of settling conflicts, the ones coming out of crime committing and those arising from different disagreements. In the conflicts coming as a consequence of crime, the pre-historical judicial historians scholars distinguish three stages:
a) The stage of the private revenge;
b) The private justice;
c) The public justice.
In the private revenge the justice is the right of the person who has been a victim of the other person, caused to the latter (or to the family or social group part of which he is) a very big damage, with no rule existing to limit the revenge. The private justice, besides the number of the people involved in the conflict, foresees some rules to be respected, example, lex talions (eye for eye, tooth for tooth). Public justice, which comes out when a central powerful authority has been established, is the expression of the right of this authority to solve, by imposing, the various conflicts among members of the society. This public justice has developed in centuries: at the start the judicial power was not divided, but joined with other functions. Today the principle of the division of powers and based on it, the affirmation of the autonomy or the independence of the judicial power are closely connected with the concept of justice as a social phenomenon. Taken separately, as a power aiming to give justice to everyone, it is a prerogative belonging only to the state; it is a state power, monopoly of the state and a constituent element of the state sovereignty.
An example of the private justice is the Kanun of Lek Dukagjini and other canons acting before in Albania. They acted in the conditions of the Middle Ages when in our country the state power was weak and divided and later; when the ottoman power existed, which preferred to leave a certain autonomy to the mountainous regions and interfere not in their daily life. It is understandable that the establishment of a national centralised state would mark the end of the Canons activity. It happened so in Albania after 1928, when with the creation of a modern penal and civil legislation, the end came to any reference to canons for various conflicts solving, which was allowed and practiced before.
Since that time, the Kanun remained a monument of our cultural heritage, which showed the ability of the Albanian people for judicial self-arrangement. In the conditions of the lack of law or the non-acceptance of the invaders law, the use of Kanun norms was justified.
In the conditions of the existence of the state and the laws, the application of the canon norms is not only a regress, a return to an already passed epoch, but it is a criminal activity, because self justice is punished by law. Starting from this sense, the calls of some people to apply the canon norms as the smallest bad, as a way out to limit the circle of the blood feud victims must be punished not only morally but also judicially. These people, though they may start from a good wish, enter in a wrong way, which leads to the justification of the crime, be it even limited crime. Only the strict application of the law by the courts may act today. Of course there are defects and weaknesses in the fight of the state against the criminality and especially against revenge. But it is a duty of all the citizens to support this fight anyway, so that it becomes ever powerful and effective.