Legal-sociological researches about tribes in Montenegro and Albania by Valtazar Bogišić
Истраживања Валтазара Богишића племенског друштва у Црној Гори, Херцеговини и Албанији
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Valtazar Bogišić (1834–1908) is primarily known as a codifier of civil law in Montenegro, i. e. as the author of the Codex of the Civil Proprietary Law for the Principality/Kingdom of Montenegro from 1888. He was preparing this codex according to the request of Prince Nikola of Montenegro and the order of the Russian government because he was a professor at the University of Odessa. Born in close neighbourhood of Montenegro (in Cavtat, near Dubrovnik) educated in Venice, Vienna, Gussen and Paris, Bogišić studied common law and legal history of Slavonic peoples. He commenced his studies while he was working in Austro-Hungary (1863–1869), particularly in Vienna and southern parts of Hungary (Banat). When Bogišić came in Montenegro 1873, he commenced preparing material for his codex, especially on the basis of the voluminous questionnaire (about 2000 questions), which he completed up to the end of that year. One of informers was Marko Miljanov Popović (1833–1901), the leader of the Kuchi ...tribe (partially with an Albanian etnolinguistic component), at the border of Montenegro and Albania. He was also well acquainted with the common law of neighbouring tribes of Grude, Hoti i Kastrati, who respected him very much. In this way Bogišić came to know considerably common law of these tribes, primarily in the sphere of civil law relationships. He carefully compared these norms of common law with the similar norms in Montenegro and Herzegovina. Bogišić incorporated the common law into the Codex of the Civil Proprietary Law for the Principality/Kingdom of Montenegro. That's way his researches in common law had a very practical character. At the same time gathering these traditional legal norms, Bogišić got acquainted more deeply with the structure of the traditional tribal society in Montenegro Herzegovina and the northern Albania. This took place in the time when this type of traditional organization of the society was very alive. Bogišić was interested in common law in Montenegro and northern Albania after his codex went into effect in 1888. As the minister of justice of Montenegro (1893–1899), Bogišić observed the tribal life in Montenegro from a sociologic point of view. He collected a very precious material, but did not finish a written study. He endeavoured to discover the codex of the common law of Albanians known as Leka Dukadyin's Law (Albanian: Kanuni i Lekё Dukagjinit). At that time Bogišić was acquainted with the texts on Leka Dukadyin's Law already published in Shkodra and Brussels, but he wished to have the whole text of this codex. In this purpose he gave instructions to the local officers in the parts of Montenegro bordering to Albania and therefore he traveled to Shkodra. He found out that there was no written codex under this name, in spite of the fact that it had been applied as an oral common law a long time. After a lot of Bogišić's instructions an officer from Podgorica named Jovan Lazović managed to write down some codex provisions obtained from the leader of the Grude tribe - Sokol Baci. It was the first larger record of the Leka Dukadyin's Law, published later in Serbia. In this way a basis for the further studies on common law was found. This material gave a more complete ethnographic picture of the tribal society. It took place before the researchers of tribes in Montenegro and Albania appeared. Bogišić's studies served as a basis for other researches on common law and traditional society in the Balkans during the second half of the 20th century, both for the researches from former Yugoslavia and those from Albania. Namely, Bogišić's studies and material he gathered (now mostly located in his archive in Cavtat) have been published more and more and have become more and more valuable nowadays.
Valtazar Bogišić je bio glavni autor Opštega imovinskog zakonika za Knjaževinu Crnu Goru iz 1888. godine. Izradi Zakonika prethodila su Bogišićeva istraživanja običajnog prava u ondašnjoj Crnoj Gori, a delimično i u susednoj Hercegovini i u severnoj Albaniji, čime je on dublje upoznao strukturu plemenskog društva ovih balkanskih regija. Interesovanja za strukturu i institucije plemenskog društva Bogišić je pokazivao i kasnije kao ministar pravde Crne Gore 1893–1899. godine. U ovom radu govori se o fazama i metodama Bogišićevog prikupljanja građe o plemenskom društvu, a na osnovu toga daje se komparativni prikaz bitnih instituta običajnog prava u Crnoj Gori, Hercegovini i severnoj Albaniji u poslednjim decenijama 19. veka.