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Organised crime and judicial corruption in the Western Balkans: Are customary norms playing any role?

Fabian Zhilla (School of Law, King's College London, London, UK)

Journal of Financial Crime

ISSN: 1359-0790

Article publication date: 11 October 2011

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the interplay between customary norms and organised crime and consider their implications for judicial corruption.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper analyses the links between judicial corruption and organised crime in the Western Balkans generally, and focuses on the role of customary norms in Albania in particular. The paper takes stock from secondary sources and a series of semi‐structured expert interviews with judges, prosecutors, and lawyers in Albania.

Findings

This study explains that the impact of customary norms in the interplay between organised crime and judicial corruption in the Western Balkans generally, and in Albania more specifically, although not frequently used, is real and that it carries significant consequences.

Research limitations/implications

Due to differences among cultures in the Western Balkans, findings based on Albania are suggestive only for similar societies and indicate areas for future research.

Originality/value

The paper demonstrates that mechanisms of customary norms such as vendetta and blood feud killings can neutralise the judiciary and law enforcement agencies when they have been manipulated by organised crime out of their social context for criminal purposes.

Keywords

Citation

Zhilla, F. (2011), "Organised crime and judicial corruption in the Western Balkans: Are customary norms playing any role?", Journal of Financial Crime, Vol. 18 No. 4, pp. 387-404. https://doi.org/10.1108/13590791111173713

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited