The Kanun is an arrangement of customary Albanian laws. The Kanun was principally oral and just in the twentieth century was it distributed in composing. The Kanun of Lekë Dukagjini (Kanuni I Lekë Dukagjinit) was systematized in the fifteenth century. Six later varieties inevitably developed:
The Old Kanun (Albanian: Kanun I vjetër);
The Kanun of Mirdita (Albanian: Kanuni I Mirditës);
The Kanun of Pukë (Albanian: Kanuni I Pukës);
The Kanun of Çermenikë (Albanian: Kanuni I Çermenikës);
The Kanun of Pope Julius (Albanian: Kanuni I Papa Zhulit);
The Kanun of Labëria (Albanian: Kanuni I Labërisë);
The Kanun of Skanderbeg (Albanian: Kanuni I Skënderbeut) otherwise called The Kanun of Arbëria (Albanian: Kanuni I Arbërisë).
The Kanun of Skanderbeg is the nearest in comparability with the Kanun of Lekë Dukagjini, and the last is typically the most referred to and is additionally viewed as an equivalent word of the word kanun. The Kanun of Lekë Dukagjini was created by Lekë Dukagjini, who systematized the current standard laws. It has been utilized for the most part in northern and focal Albania and encompassing territories previously in Yugoslavia where there is an expansive ethnic Albanian populace; Montenegro, Kosovo and Macedonia. It was first systematized in the fifteenth century yet its utilization has been extended substantially before in time. It was utilized under that frame until the twentieth century, and resuscitated as of late after the fall of the comrade administration in the mid 1990s.
The term kanun originates from the Greek “?????” (“group”), which means among others “shaft” or “control” and was transported from Greek to Arabic and after that into early Turkish. Kanun was likewise known by the expression of Doke.
The act of the oral laws that Lekë Dukagjini classified in the Kanun was recommended by Edith Durham as going back to the Bronze Age. A few creators have guessed that the Kanun may get from old Illyrian innate laws. Different creators have proposed that the Kanun has held components from Indo-European ancient times.
However a few stratifications can be effectively seen in the code, starting with pre-Indoeuropean, Indoeuropean, Ancient Greek, Roman, general Balkan and Osmanli.
As indicated by Serbian creators T. O. Oraovac and S. S. Djuric, it is to a great extent in view of Dušan’s Code, the constitution of the Serbian Empire (sanctioned 1349), which at the time held the entire of Albania. Noel Malcolm theorizes that an article in Dušan’s Code was an early endeavor to cinch down on the self-regulated standard law of the mountains, as later systematized in the Kanun of Lek Dukagjin, and provided that this is true, this would be the most punctual confirmation that such standard laws were in effect. Despite the likenesses the larger part of researchers concur that the Code of Leke Dukagjini isn’t the same as Dusans Code and that such conclusions may be “outlandish”. At the point when the Turkish trespassers vanquished the medieval Serbian state numerous standard laws of social life among the Balkan people groups were taken back to utilize, this incorporated the Albanians. The town of Shkodra had for instance, before Dušan’s Code, its own standard laws and tenets.
Lekë Dukagjini was supposedly the main who arranged the “Kanun” in the fifteenth century. The code was composed down just in the nineteenth century by Shtjefën Gjeçovi and mostly distributed in the Hylli I Drites periodical in 1913.The full form seemed just in 1933 after Gjeçovi’s passing in 1926. In 1989 a double English-Albanian variant was distributed. and after that reproduced in a 1992 variant.
In spite of the fact that the laws are credited to Lekë Dukagjini, the laws developed after some time as an approach to convey law and manage to these grounds. The Kanun was isolated into 12 segments, and Gjeçovi’s variant has 1,262 articles which control all parts of the rugged life: financial association of the family unit, accommodation, fellowship, tribe, limits, work, marriage, land, et cetera. The Besa (individual respect, contrast and Lat. fides) and nderi (family respect, Lat. respect) are of prime significance all through the code as the foundation of individual and social lead. The Kanun applies to both Christian and Muslim Albanians.
The absolute most dubious tenets of the Kanun indicate how kill should be dealt with, which regularly before at times still now prompted blood fights that last until the point when every one of the men of the two included families are killed. Ladies are just observed as makers of posterity and are alluded to in a biased way as are not viewed as commendable targets. In a few sections of the nation, the Kanun takes after the Italian vendetta. These standards have reemerged amid the 1990s in Northern Albania, since individuals had no confidence in the weak nearby government and police. There are associations that endeavor to intervene between quarreling families and attempt to get them to “exonerate the blood” (Albanian: Falja e Gjakut), however regularly the main resort is for men of age to remain in their homes, which are viewed as a protected shelter by the Kanuni, or escape the nation. The Albanian name for blood fight is Gjakmarrja.
Previous socialist pioneer of Albania Enver Hoxha successfully ceased the act of Kanun with hard suppression and an extremely solid state police. Be that as it may, after the fall of socialism, a few groups have attempted to rediscover the old customs, however some of their parts have been lost, prompting fears of confusion.
Eminently, the present Albanian Penal Code does not contain any arrangements from the Kanun that arrangement with blood fights, and no affirmation of this code is made in the contemporary Albanian lawful framework. In 2014 around 3,000 Albanian families were evaluated to be associated with blood fights and this since the fall of Communism has prompted the passings of 10,000 individuals.
Mainstays of the Kanun
The Kanun depends on four columns:
Respect (Albanian: Nderi)
Neighborliness (Albanian: Mikpritja)
Right Conduct (Albanian: Sjellja)
Kinfolk Loyalty (Albanian: Fis)