The Horror of Blood Feud

In Albanian Feuds, Isolation Engulfs Families

SHKODER, Albania â?? Christian Luli, a soft-spoken 17-year-old, has spent the past 10 years imprisoned inside his familyâ??s small, spartan house, fearful he will be shot dead if he walks outside the front door.


Christianâ??s misfortune is to have been born the son of a father who killed a man in this poor northern region of Albania, where the ancient ritual of the blood feud still holds sway.

For a history of how European societies escaped blood feuds through “composition” of disputes, that is, compensation of the victims or their heirs, see Harold Berman’s great (and eminently readable) work of scholarship Law and Revolution: The Formation of the Western Legal Tradition.

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