Republic of Angola - Legal System and Research


By Paula Rainha


Paula Rainha graduated from Faculdade de Direito de Lisboa in 2000, having joined the Portuguese Bar Association in 2002. Paula studied for an L.LM at King's College London in 2002-2003 and then practiced as a lawyer at Miranda, Correia, Amendoeira & Associados, the largest law firm working in Lusophone Africa. During that period Paula followed the African Legal Systems course, with Prof. Armando Marques Guedes at Universidade Nova de Lisboa Law School. Currently Paula works with Thomson Legal & Regulatory in the area of online legal research and training in Southern Europe and Africa.


Published September/October 2007
Read the Update!



Table of Contents







1.1  Executive Branch

1.1.1  The President

1.1.2  The Government

1.2  Legislative Branch

1.2.1  National Assembly & Government

1.3  The Courts


2.1  Primary Sources

2.1.1  Legislation

2.1.2  Custom

2.1.3  Cases

2.2  Secondary Sources

2.2.1  Books about Angola  Books in Portuguese  Books in English

2.2.2  Journals about Angola

2.2.3  News sources about Angola


3.1  Online Bookshops / Major publishers (Portuguese)

3.2  Online Bookshops/Major Publishers (English)

3.3  Online Library Catalogues (Portuguese)



5.1  Lawyers               



Explanatory Note: For the purpose of understanding Angola's legal system it is very important to take a close look at its geography, ethno-linguistic groups, and at the impact of foreign actors and external factors in the shaping of Angola's history. Only then can one perceive the huge challenges posed by the task of state-building and enforcing the rule of law in such a vast and diverse territory. Therefore, the first two sections give a very brief overview of Angola's recent history and country profile, with links to further information. Section III and Section IV deal with Angola's legal system and research.


I. Angola's Recent History


Located in the West coast of Southern Africa, Angola was under Portuguese colonial rule until November 11, 1975 when it became an independent nation. Quite symbolically the first Constitutional Law of Angola is dated 10 November 1975.


Already before independence, the three main political nationalist groups that fought the Portuguese - MPLA - Movimento Popular de Libertação de Angola; FNLA - Frente Nacional de Libertação de Angola; and UNITA - União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola - were fighting between themselves for the control of the country. With the departure of the common Portuguese enemy, the three movements went straight into civil war.


In 1976 the United Nations' General Assembly admitted Angola as a member of the United Nations, thereby recognizing the MPLA government as legitimate. Since the MPLA was supported by the communist block (namely, USSR and Cuba) the USA abstained from voting the Security Council decision that put forward Angola's membership to the United Nations.


The years to follow were of violent war between MPLA and UNITA over the control of different parts of the country. This war was fuelled by the cold war divide between the USA and the former USSR. The USA together with the People's Republic of China and South Africa supported the then rebel groups FNLA/UNITA, whilst the USSR and its allies supported the MPLA.


The dismantling of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the imminent end of the Soviet block would be a turning point in Angola's recent history: the country could finally start moving towards democratization.


In 1990 UNITA recognized José Eduardo dos Santos from MPLA as the President of Angola and in 1991 a new constitution and a new law allowing the creation of new political parties were approved (Law 12/91, of 6 May 1991 approving changes to the Constitution and Law 15/91, of 11 May 1991).


In the end of May of 1991 the Bicesse Accords tried to put an end to 16 years of war and elections were scheduled for 1992.The MPLA won the elections but UNITA did not recognise the elections' results hence the country plummeted again into war.


In the aftermath of the democratic election's results Angola's National Assembly approved the 1992 amendments to the constitution. The constitutional law as amended in 1992 is still in force and has not been amended since.


In 1994 the Lusaka Protocol tried again to bring peace to the country. Unfortunately to no avail as UNITA kept on expanding its presence throughout the country and reinforcing its military force.


The war only ended in 2002, with the death of UNITA's leader, Jonas Savimbi and the celebration of the Luena Memorandum of Understanding having UNITA become a non-armed political party.

II. Country Profile


Angola extends over an area of 1,246,700 Km2 bordering Congo-Brazzaville at the Northern province of Cabinda, the Democratic Republic of Congo (former Zaire) to the North and East, Zambia to the East, and Namibia to the South.


It is divided in 18 provinces (Bengo, Benguela, Bie, Cabinda, Cuando-Cubango, Cuanza Norte, Cuanza Sul, Cunene, Huambo, Huila, Luanda, Lunda Norte, Lunda Sul, Malanje, Moxico, Namibe, Uige, Zaire) and the capital is Luanda.


The main ethno-linguistic groups are Ovimbundu and Mbundo, Kimbundu, Bakongo, Lunda-Chokwe and Ngangela.


Angola is a member of the United Nations, Southern African Development Community (SADC), the African Union (AU), the Economic Community of Central African States (CEEAC) and the Community of Portuguese speaking countries (CPLP).


There are plenty informative and up to date websites in English and Portuguese with Angola's country profiles, general information, documents and papers on different topics:



III. Introduction to Angola's Legal System & Research


During colonial times Angola was under Portuguese Law, although the traditional customary law was in many cases tolerated or tacitly accepted. (A summary of this aspect can be found in Narana Coissoro, African Customary Law in the Former Portuguese Territories, 1954-1974, JAL 1984, 28(1-2), 72-79).


When independence arrived, Angola obviously rushed to repeal the old colonial system and its laws and rulings. However, in order to prevent a legal void article 84 of the first constitutional law of Angola guaranteed that the laws and regulations of the Portuguese legal system in force in Angola would remain applicable until revoked or amended and insofar they did not go against the new Angolan Constitution and the Angolan revolutionary process in course.


What followed Angola's independence were 26 years of war and so far more than 30 years of restless legislative activity in a constant attempt to extend the State's view and rule from Luanda to the whole country and population.


Understandably, the Angolan legislator took the Portuguese legal system as a model when structuring its own. This was the natural option due to the previous colonial tie and the sharing of a common language and legal education. However, even if the similarities are quite considerable one should not jump into concluding that today's Portuguese and Angolan legal systems are the same. Even less if we look into the law in action instead of looking into the "law in the books".


Despite the huge legislative production of these last 30 years the road built so far seems rather patchy and unfinished. Quite understandably so if one considers Angola's history in detail. Even finding the way to that patchy and unfinished road is certainly almost a "mission impossible" as it is not easy to get hold of historical or current Angolan legislation (even in the original language) and keeping up with amendments and changes.


Angola's legal system can be considered civil law based (at least the formal legal system) and legislation is the primary source of law. Courts base their judgements on legislation and there is no binding precedent as understood in common law systems. Therefore, not being able to easily find legislation may indeed be a researcher's most upsetting hurdle.


As to secondary sources, books are in reduced number (both in English and Portuguese) but there is a considerably large number of journal articles and studies (mostly in English), which can be found online albeit scattered through dozens of websites. Most of the books and articles to be found would more likely be classified under African studies, anthropology, history, human rights, political sciences, sociology, war studies or a mix rather than strictly under "Law".


Just a last note to say that many authors defend that Angola is not merely a civil law based legal system, but rather a pluralistic one. The size of the country, the diversity of the population and the many years of war meant that the Angolan State was never, in practical terms, able to reach and rule the country and the population in its entirety. Therefore, in many areas of the country, traditional customary law still plays an important role, as does the local way of applying State law. Needless to say that in this case no investigation of the Angolan legal system will ever be complete without studying the law in action.


IV. Angola's Legal System

1. Political System


The text of the Constitution of the Republic of Angola currently in force was adopted by Law 12/91 of 6 May 1991 and was further amended by Law 23/92 of 25 August 1992. As explained in the preamble, the 1991 Constitution aims at reflecting the "prevailing reality" resulting from the important social, political and economical changes occurred in Angola in the turning of the 80's to the 90's and to foster and regulate those changes. The 1992 revision was made following the first multiparty elections and it intends to clarify "the political system, the separation of powers and the interdependence of sovereign bodies" outlining the essential principles of the political system so that the newly elected sovereign bodies could build a democratic state based on the rule of law.


The Constitution declares Angola as multiparty democracy with a semi-presidential system but it is in many other places said that "the President of the Republic has an active role", this obviously meaning that Angola has in reality a strong presidential system.


According to article 53 of the Constitution the sovereign bodies in Angola are the President, the National Assembly, the Government and the Courts, which are separated but interdependent.


1.1 Executive Branch

1.1.1 The President


The current Constitution states that the President is both Chief of State and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. The President is elected by universal ballot for a five-year term and may be eligible for a second consecutive or discontinuous term (articles 57 and 59).


However José Eduardo dos Santos has been Angola's President for 28 consecutive years. President Dos Santos was originally elected without opposition under a one-party system in September 1979 and then won Angola's first multiparty elections in 1992. These were the last presidential elections, the next being expected to take place in 2009.


The Constitution gives the President vast powers, which have been actually extended even further. Thereby Angola may currently be considered to have a strong Presidential system. As stated in article 66, the President shall have the following powers over the other sovereign bodies:


(a) To appoint the Prime Minister, after hearing the political parties represented in the National Assembly;

(b) To appoint and dismiss the other members of the Government and the Governor of the National Bank of Angola, on the proposal of the Prime Minister;

(c) To end the term of office of the Prime Minister and dismiss the Government, after consultation with the Council of the Republic;

(e) To decree the dissolution of the National Assembly after consultation with the Prime Minister, the President of the National Assembly and the Council of the Republic;

(g) To appoint and dismiss ambassadors and receive the credentials of foreign diplomatic representatives;

(h) To appoint Supreme Court judges after hearing the High Council of the Judicial Bench;

(i) To appoint and dismiss the Attorney General, the Deputy Attorney General and the Assistants to the Attorney General on the proposal of the High Council of the Ministry of Justice Bench;

(j) To appoint members of the High Council of the Judicial Bench, in accordance with Article 132 of the Constitutional Law;


The President has a consultative body called Conselho da República (Council of the Republic) to which he presides. This body advises the President in very specific situations such as the dissolution of the National Assembly, discharging the Government, declaration of war etc. (Section II, Chapter I, and Title III of the Constitution).


The President also presides to the Council of Ministers (article 66 d) and article 68 of the Constitution) and signs and promulgates laws approved by the National Assembly and Decrees approved by the Government (article 66 s); article 69 to article 71 of the Constitution).


1.1.2 The Government


The Government's structure, composition and activities result from the Constitution and presently also from Law 16/02 of 1 December 2002 (and its amendments).


The Government is composed by the Prime-Minister of Angola and the Ministers. The cabinet or collegial body (Prime-Minister, Ministers and Deputy Ministers) is also called Conselho de Ministros (Council of Ministers).


The President convenes the Council of Ministers and sets its agenda, after hearing the Prime-Minister. The President may expressly delegate the Prime Minister to preside over the Council of Ministers or direct himself the Council's meetings (article 66 d) and article 108 of the Constitution).

Besides having executive powers the Government has legislative powers as stated directly in article 111 of the Constitution, either in areas of its own competency or through delegation of the National Assembly.

Both the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers have their own websites, although there is not much information or documentation available yet. Below is the current list of Angola's ministries, with a link to the respective websites. Most of the websites are still under construction, but some already have information and documents available, although none of the websites is exhaustive or up too date. The best way to get hold of specific materials is by contacting the respective ministries by telephone or e-mail.


Agriculture and Rural Development

Tel: +244 222 323 857 / +244222 323 859


Ministério da Agricultura e do Desenvolvimento Rural


Tel: +244 222 311 191 / +244 222 310 935


Ministério do Comércio


Tel: +244 222 32 20 70 / +244 228 74 01 15


Ministério da Cultura


Tel: +244 222 330 354

Ministério da Defesa Nacional



Tel: +244 222 321 236



Ministério da Educação

Energy and Water

Tel: +244 222 337 836 / +244 222 335 039              


Ministério da Energia e Águas






Family and Promotion of Women

Tel: +244 222 310 057


Ministério da Família e Promoção da Mulher


Tel: +244 222 310 479 / +244 222 310 560


Ministério das Pescas


Foreign Affairs

Tel: +244 222 394 827


Ministério das Relações Exteriores


Former Combatant and War Veterans

Tel: +244 222 321 648


Ministério dos Antigos Combatentes e Veteranos de Guerra



Tel: +244 222 336 095


Ministério das Finanças

Geology and Mines

Tel: +244 222 322 905


Ministério da Geologia e Minas


Tel: +244 222 391 641


Ministério da Saúde

Hotels and Tourism

Tel: +244 222 311 448


Ministério da Hotelaria e Turismo


Tel: +244 222 332 971


Ministério da Indústria



Tel: +244 222 335 976


Ministério do Interior





Tel: +244 222 336 045


Ministério da Justiça





Tel: +244 222 337 448


Ministério dos Petróleos





Tel: +244 222 390 188 / +244 222 332 731


Ministério do Planeamento



Post and Telecommunications

Tel: +244 222 310 164


Ministério dos Correios e Telecomunicações




Public Adm, Work and Social Security

Tel: +244 222 399 506


Ministério da Administração Pública, Emprego e Seguranca Social




Public Works

Tel: +244 222 334 429


Ministerio das Obras Publicas




Science and Technology

Tel: +244 222 330 218


Ministério da Ciência e Tecnologia




Social Assistance Re-integration

Tel: +244 222 440 370


Ministério da Assistência e Reinserção Social

Social Communication



Ministério da Comunicação Social




Territorial Administration

Tel: +244 222 321 072 / 00244 222 321 791


Ministério da Administração do Território





Tel: +244 222 311 800


Ministério dos Transportes




Urban Development and Environment



Ministério do Urbanismo e Ambiente



Youth and Sports

Tel: +244 222 443 521 / +244 222 443 781

Ministério de Juventude e Desportos





Decree-Law 2/07 of 3 January 2007 deals with the structure and composition of the Provincial Government, Municipal and Communal administrations. There are 18 Provincial Governments and below are the links to the respective websites, which are all under construction.



·         Governo Provincial do Bengo

·         Governo Provincial de Benguela

·         Governo Provincial do Bié

·         Governo Provincial de Cabinda

·         Governo Provincial do Cuando Cubango

·         Governo Provincial do Kwanza-Norte

·         Governo Provincial do Kwanza-Sul

·         Governo Provincial do Cunene

·         Governo Provincial do Huambo

·         Governo Provincial da Huila

·         Governo Provincial de Luanda

·         Governo Provincial da Lunda-Norte

·         Governo Provincial da Lunda-Sul

·         Governo Provincial de Malange

·         Governo Provincial do Moxico

·         Governo Provincial do Namibe

·         Governo Provincial do Uíge

·         Governo Provincial do Zaire


1.2 Legislative Branch

1.2.1 National Assembly & Government


The Assembleia Nacional is a unicameral National Assembly with 223 seats. Members are elected by proportional vote to serve four-year terms. Last elections were held in 1992 and the next are due to be held in September 2008.


The National Assembly is Angola's main legislative body, having the power to approve laws on all matters (except those reserved by the Constitution to the Government) by simple majority (except if otherwise provided in the Constitution). Each legislature comprises four legislative sessions of twelve months starting on 15 October each year.

National Assembly members, Parliamentary Groups or the Government hold the power to put forward all draft-legislation. No entity can however present draft laws that involve an increase in the expenditure or decrease in the State revenue established in the annual budget.  

The Constitution determines the areas in which only the Assembly can pass legislation (article 89) and all other areas in which the Assembly can delegate its legislative powers to the Government (articles 90 and 91).


The National Assembly also approves international treaties on matters within its exclusive legislative powers, as well as peace treaties, Angola's participation in international organizations, the rectification of borders, friendship, defence, military matters and any other matters put forward by the Government (article 88 k) of the Constitution).


As stated above, also the Government has legislative powers. These are directly and specifically set in the Constitution (e.g. article 111 no. 1 a) and no. 2) or may result from delegation by the National Assembly (articles 88 c), 90 and 91 of the Constitution).


The President promulgates laws approved by the Assembly and signs Government Decrees, which need to have been previously signed by the Prime Minister (article 66 s) of the Constitution). 


1.3 The Courts


The current constitution of Angola devotes an entire section to the court structure (Section I, Chapter IV, article 120 to article 131). The main laws that regulate the Judiciary are Law 18/88, Law 20/88 of 31 December and Decree 27/90 of 3 September 1990, which lay down the framework of the Sistema Unificado de Justica (Unified Justice System).


On 31 January 2005, a Presidential Dispatch created a work group that is currently putting together a new legal framework for the whole of the Judiciary.


The courts are independent sovereign bodies who administer justice on behalf of the people. They guarantee and ensure compliance with the Constitutional Law, laws and other legal provisions in force; protect the rights and legitimate interest of citizens and institutions; and shall decide on the legality of administrative acts (article 120 of the Constitution).


According to article 125 of the Constitution there shall be the following courts in Angola:


·         Constitutional Court (articles 134 and 135 of the Constitution)


This court has not yet been created. Therefore, the Supreme Court is the temporary guardian of the Constitution (article 6 of the Preamble to the 1992 Constitutional Law).


·         Supreme Court


The Supreme Court is called Tribunal Supremo and thus based in Luanda it has national jurisdiction. It is composed by the President, Vice-President and a minimum of 16 Judges appointed by the President.


The Supreme Court currently works as constitutional court; as 1st level court in a number of matters; as court of appeals for all provincial court decisions and as court of appeals for the municipal court decisions in criminal matters.


·         Provincial Courts


There are 19 courts (one per province, except Benguela that has two) each with different divisions called "salas" for civil and administrative, family, labour, maritime, children & minors and criminal matters. Appeals from the decisions of the Provincial Courts go directly to the Supreme Court.  


·         Municipal Courts


They have limited jurisdiction in civil and criminal matters in the municipal areas. Appeals from decisions of these courts go to the Provincial Courts in civil matters and to the Supreme Court in criminal matters.


According to no. 3 of article 125 of the Constitution military, administrative, auditing, fiscal, maritime and arbitration courts may also be created by law.


There are already the Supremo Tribunal Militar (Supreme Military Court) created by Law 5/94 of 11 February 1994 and the Tribunal de Contas (Auditing Court) created by Law 5/96 of 12 April).


Administrative matters, maritime, labour and minors are currently under the common courts jurisdiction. 


2. Legal Sources


I want to mention that both the Commercial and Criminal Code were from the 19th century (the Portuguese ones). Just like in Portugal most of the Commercial Code is no longer in force and has been replaced by a number of un-codified/loose acts in corporate and commercial matters (some can be found in the Ministry of Commerce website). There is a new Criminal Code to be approved anytime now so I suppose publishers are waiting for this new one.

The only place where one can find cases in print is the Supreme Court or the Bar Association. These are not very important in our legal systems, i.e. in law school we do not study cases just legislation and secondary sources about legislation...cases are only mentioned occasionally.


2.1 Primary Sources

2.1.1 Legislation


Draft laws produced by the members of the National Assembly, Parliamentary Groups or the Government are sent to the President of the National Assembly, together with a detailed motivation.


The President of the National Assembly sends them to the relevant parliamentary commission for an opinion. As soon as this opinion is released the draft laws are included in the National Assembly's agenda to be discussed, possibly amended and finally approved (or rejected) in the next plenary meeting.

Any draft laws that are definitively rejected shall not be assessed in the same legislative session unless there is a new election of the National Assembly; the draft laws presented by the Government shall be forfeited upon its resignation (article 93 no. 3 and 4 of the Constitution).

Government decrees resulting from an authorisation of the National Assembly can still be scrutinised by the later for amendments or ratification. These Government decrees are automatically ratified in case the National Assembly does not call for them.

After being signed or ratified, laws and decrees are sent for signing and promulgation by the President, who within 30 days after receiving them can request a full or partial revision of the text to the National Assembly. If the National Assembly approves the Act by a 2/3 majority, the President is obliged to promulgate the act within 15 days.


After signing and promulgation by the President all acts are published in Series I of the Official Gazette. The types of acts published are:


·         Constitutional Laws

·         Laws and Resolutions enacted by the National Assembly

·         Presidential Decrees and Dispatches

·         Decree-Laws, Decrees and Resolutions of the Council of Ministers

·         Executive Decrees and Ministerial Dispatches, when of legislative nature


The date of the Acts is the date of publication in the Official Gazette (Diario da Republica de Angola) and is only in force after that date. In case the law does not expressly state a start date it is understood that laws enter into force in Luanda Province 4 days after publication, in other Provinces 15 days after publication and abroad 30 days after publication.


All acts published in Series I of the Official Gazette have the following citation format:


·         Type (law, decree etc.)

·         number (each type of act has an annual independent numbering)

·         year (two digit format)

·         date (day and month)

·         short description


(e.g. Lei 12/91 de 6 de Maio de 1991 - Aprova as alterações a Lei Constitucional)


Angola's official website can be a starting point for finding legislation although it is still under construction. There is already a "Legislation in Force" section, unfortunately not comprehensive or up to date. As explained above it may be useful to contact the Ministries directly in order to get hold of legislation in their respective areas of action.


The Angolan Bar Association offers a database with the scanned copies of Series I of the Angolan National Gazette from 1975 to the current issue. The pricing of all legislation up to year 2002 is USD 1000 and then USD 20 per month for years 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006. There are no prices for 2007 and even the prices detailed above are said to be for Angolan lawyers, meaning that they would be surely higher for foreigners. Furthermore, the purchasing procedure seems a bit cumbersome and payment itself may become complicated as the subscription amount needs to be wired to a local bank and payment proof showed in order to get access. There is also a DVD that may be regularly updated, which seems to be the favourite option for locals but not a good option for foreigners as the DVD needs to be physically taken to the Bar Association for the said updates. The best to do is to contact the Angolan Law Society by e-mail and telephone and ask how you can proceed from where you are located:


Ordem dos Advogados de Angola

Avenida Ho Chi Min (Edifício da Direcção Nacional de Estatística)

Luanda - República de Angola         

Tel. +244 222 326 330 

Fax: +244 222 322 777      



There is also a project called Legis-Palop funded by the program EUROPEAID to help in the creation of online databases with legislation and cases for the 5 Lusophone countries: Angola, Cabo Verde, Guiné Bissau, Moçambique e São Tomé e Príncipe. There was a public bid for this project, which should have been concluded in 2006 for a provisional start date in early 2007. The first stage consisted of a portal with some Angolan legislation. However, it is neither comprehensive nor current. In fact, it seems that the project reached some kind of standstill so again the best option may be to contact the people in charge for the project and try to get further information.


Some other websites offer some Angolan acts, namely in the fields of finance, foreign-exchange and foreign investment. In any case one should verify if the legislation published in such websites is current. Below are some examples:



2.1.2 Custom


It was arguable that custom was a source of law in Angola during colonial times and it still is today, despite the most recent studies in this area pointing in the direction of legal pluralism.

In any case, customary or traditional law is not currently recognized as a source of law by the Angolan constitution. It is said that custom may be recognized as a source of law when the new Constitution is finally approved.


2.1.3 Cases


Angola has a civil law based legal system where legislation is the primary source of law. Therefore cases do not have the binding authority as in common law systems and are not considered a source of law.


The landmark cases would be decided by the Tribunal Supremo, which besides being the Supreme Court of the Country is temporarily also taking the jurisdiction of the Constitutional Court that is yet to be created. 


Unfortunately the Tribunal Supremo does not yet have a website and cases are unreported. Therefore it is very difficult to find an Angolan case online or even in print format.


The contacts of the court are:


Tribunal Supremo de Angola

Rua 17 de Setembro (Palácio do Povo)
Tel. +244 222 339183/239283
Fax +244 222 335411 


It may be also useful to check the Forum of the Lusophone Supreme Court Presidents website. Although it does not publish any cases it may do so in the future or it may be easier to get access to the Angolan Supreme Court through the Forum's head office. 


The Angolan Bar Association library has started compiling Supreme Court cases in late 2006. Their contacts are:


Ordem dos Advogados de Angola

Avenida Ho Chi Min (Edifício da Direcção Nacional de Estatística

Luanda - República de Angola         

Tel. +244 222326330 

Fax: +244 222 322777



2.2 Secondary Sources

2.2.1 Books about Angola


Since there is not a great deal of books dealing with the Angolan legal system the following section indicates books published in Portuguese and in English about different topics pertaining to Angola.


Notwithstanding the attempt to point out the most recent legal publications, some of them may be partially outdated due to changes in the Angolan legal system occurred after its publication.


This section also includes books that cannot be classified under the topic "Law" but that are considered to be of interest when researching the Angolan legal system.


The ISBN is always indicated in order to help researchers finding them in library catalogues. Books in Portuguese


Andrade, Justino Pinto / Vidal, Nuno (org.) - O Processo de Transição para o Multipartidarismo em Angola, Lisboa: Edições Firmamento, 2006;

ISBN 972-99270-4-9 / 978-972-99270-4-1

[The transition to a multiparty system in Angola]


Angola - Código Civil e Legislação Complementar, Lisboa: Vislis, 2005;

ISBN 972-52-0188-4 / 978-972-52-0188-6

[Angola Civil Code and Additional Legislation]


Angola: Constituição, lei eleitoral e legislação complementar, Lisboa: Edições 70, 1995;

ISBN: 972-44-0921-X / 978-972-44-0921-4

[Angola: Constitution, Elections Law and other constitutional legislation]


António Vilar & Associados, Advogados - Guia de Negócios em Angola, Lisboa: Vida Económica, 2007;

ISBN 978-972-78-8220-5

[Angola Business Guide]


Antunes, Carlos / Perdigão, Carlos - Legislação do Trabalho nos Países de Língua Portuguesa, Coimbra: Coimbra Editora, 2006;

ISBN 978-972-32-1405-9

[Labour Legislation in the Lusophone Countries]


Araújo, Artur - Os sistemas de governo de transição democrática nos P.A.L.O.P., Coimbra: Coimbra Editora, 2000;

ISBN 972-32-0779-6 / 978-972-32-0779-8

[Political Systems of Democratic Transition in Lusophone Africa]


Código de Processo Civil : Legislação Avulsa, Luanda: Sem Tir-te Nem Guar-te, 2005;

[Code of Civil Procedure and Additional Legislation]


Código de Processo Penal e Legislação Complementar. Luanda: Ler & Escrever, 1994;

[Code of Criminal Procedure and Additional Legislation]


Correia, Adérito / Sousa, Bornito - Angola - História Constitucional, Coimbra: Almedina, 1996;

ISBN 978-972-40-0923-0

[Angola - Constitutional History]


Cruz, Elisabete Ceita de Vera - O Estatuto do Indigenato e a Legalização da Descriminação na Colonização Portuguesa - O caso Angola, Lisboa: Novo Imbondeiro, 2006;
ISBN 9728102569 / 9789728102562

[The Statute of the Indigenous and Legitimating Discrimination in Portuguese Colonization - The Angolan Case]


Cruz, Rui - Angola: Colectânea de Legislação Fiscal, Lisboa: Cosmos, 1998;

ISBN 972-76-2135-X / 978-972-76-2135-4

[Angola: Tax Legislation]


Cunha da Silva, José Paulino - A problemática do novo Direito Internacional do Mar e os Espaços Marítimos sob jurisdição de Angola, Lisboa: Novo Imbondeiro, 2004;

ISBN 972-81-0251-8 / 978-9728102517
[The new international law of the sea and the maritime areas under Angola's jurisdiction]


Feijó, Carlos Maria - Problemas Actuais de Direito Público Angolano - Contributos para a sua Compreensão, Cascais: Principia, 2001;

ISBN 978-972-85-0055-9

[Current issues in Angolan Public Law]


Feijó, Carlos Maria (et al.) - A produção de informações de segurança no estado democrático de direito: o caso angolano, Cascais: Principia, 2003;

ISBN 972-8818-03-3

[The construction of security information in democratic states: the case of Angola]


Feijó, Carlos Maria - O Novo Direito da Economia de Angola - Trabalhos Preparatórios / Legislação Básica, Coimbra: Almedina, 2005;

ISBN 978-972-40-2373-1

[The New Economic Law of Angola: Preparatory Works and Fundamental Legislation]


Fernandes, Ana Paula - EUA e Angola: a diplomacia económica do petróleo, Cascais: Principia, 2004;

ISBN 972-8818-35-1

[USA and Angola: the economic diplomacy of petroleum]


Guedes, Armando Marques - O Estudo dos Sistemas Jurídicos Africanos, Coimbra: Almedina, 2004;

ISBN 978-972-40-2161-4

[The study of African Legal Systems]


Guedes, Armando Marques / Feijó, Carlos / Freitas, Carlos de / Tiny, N'Gunu / Pereira Coutinho, Francisco / Barradas de Freitas, Raquel / Pereira, Ravi Afonso / Ferreira, Ricardo do Nascimento - Pluralismo e Legitimação - A Edificação Jurídica Pós-Colonial de Angola, Coimbra: Almedina, 2003;

ISBN 978-972-40-1959-8

[Pluralism and Legitimacy - Legal Building of Post-Colonial Angola]


Gouveia, Jorge Bacelar - As Constituições dos Estados de Língua Portuguesa, Coimbra: Almedina, 2006;

ISBN 972-40-2879-8

[Constitutions of the Lusophone Countries]


Gouveia, Jorge Bacelar - Estudos de Direito Público de Língua Portuguesa, Coimbra: Almedina, 2004;

ISBN 972-40-2307-9 / 978-972-40-2307-6

[Studies of Public Law in Portuguese Speaking Countries]


Guedes, Armando Marques - Sociedade Civil e Estado em Angola, Coimbra: Almedina, 2005;

ISBN 978-972-40-2680-0

[Civil Society and State in Angola]


Marques, Antonio Vicente - Legislação Comercial.  Código Comercial. Lei das Sociedades Comerciais. Legislação Complementar, Vol. I. Luanda: Editorial Luanda Editora, 2004.  

ISBN  980-47-1162-1

[Commercial Legislation: Commercial Code and Company Act]


Marques, J.P. Remédio / Miranda, A. Pereira de - O Novo Direito Mineiro Angolano, Lisboa: Reproset, 1998;

ISBN 972-44-1162-1

[New Angola Mining Law]


Medina, Maria do Carmo - Código da Família Anotado, Luanda: Faculdade de Direito da UAN, 1998;

[Annotated Family Code]


Medina, Maria do Carmo - Angola: Processos Políticos da Luta pela Independência, Coimbra: Almedina, 2005;

ISBN 978-972-40-2529-2

[Angola: Political Processes of the Fight for Independence]


Miranda, Agostinho Pereira de - Direito Mineiro Angolano, Lisboa: Edições 70, 2003;

ISBN 9724411621 / 9789724411620

[Angolan Mining Law]


Morais, Carlos Blanco de - O Direito a Autodeterminação dos Povos: o estatuto do enclave de Cabinda, Lisboa: Universidade Lusíada, 1998;

ISBN 972-8397-03-8 / 978-972-8397-03-6
[The Right to Self-Determination and the Statute of Cabinda Enclave]


Neto, António Alberto - Instituições Politicas e Sistemas Constitucionais nos Países Africanos de Expressão Portuguesa, Lisboa: Livraria Kiazele, 2003;

ISBN 972-95998-7-4 / 978-972-95998-7-3
[Political Institutions and Constitutional Systems in Lusophone African Countries]


Oliveira, Joaquim Dias Marques - Aspectos da Delimitação das Fronteiras de Angola, Coimbra: Coimbra Editora, 1999;

ISBN 972-32-0919-5 / 978-972-32-0919-8

[Aspects of border delimitation in Angola]


Ordem dos Advogados de Angola - O Sistema de Advocacia em Angola - Documentos, Luanda: Ordem dos Advogados de Angola, 2003;

ISBN 978-216-84-4076-8

[The Legal Profession in Angola - Documents]


Pereira, Jorge Brito - Contratos de Organização Comercial no Direito Angolano, Coimbra: Almedina, 2004;

ISBN 978-972-40-2233-8

[Commercial Organization Contracts in Angolan Law]


Vasques, Sérgio - As Reformas Fiscais Africanas, Lisboa: Fim do Século, 1998;

ISBN 972-754-116-X / 978-972-754-116-4

[African Tax Reforms]


Vilar, Antonio - Código Civil Angolano, Luanda: Luanda Editora, 2007;

ISBN 980471163X

[Angolan Civil Code]


Vilar, António - Código de Processo Civil Angolano, Luanda: Luanda Editora, 2007;

ISBN 980471227X

[Angolan Code of Civil Procedure] Books in English


Bender, Gerald - Angola Under the Portuguese: The myth and the reality, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1978;

ISBN 052-004-274-3 / 978-052-00-4274-2


Birmingham, David - Portugal in Africa, Athens: Ohio University Press, 2004;

ISBN 089680237X / 978-0896802377


Birmingham, David - Trade and Conflict in Angola, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1966;

ISBN - 0198216300 / 978-0198216308


Birmingham, David - Empire in Africa: Angola and its Neighbours, Athens: Ohio University Press, 2006;

ISBN 0896802485 / 978-0896802483


Birmingham, David - The Decolonization of Africa, Oxford: Routledge, 1995;

ISBN 1857285409 / 978-1857285406


Birmingham, David - Frontline Nationalism in Angola and Mozambique, Oxford: James Currey Ltd, 1993;

ISBN - 0852550839 / 0852550839


Chabal, Patrick - Power in Africa: An Essay in Political Interpretation, Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan, 1993;

ISBN 033-35-5579-1 / 978-033-35-5579-8


Chabal, Patrick / Vidal, Nuno (ed.) - Angola, The weight of history, London: Hurst and Company, 2007;

ISBN 185-06-5884-6 / 978-185-06-5884-9


Chabal, Patrick / Daloz, Jean-Pascal - Africa Works: Disorder as Political Instrument, Oxford: James Currey Ltd, 1999;

ISBN: 978-085-25-5814-0


Chabal, Patrick / Daloz, Jean-Pascal - Culture Troubles: Politics and the Interpretation of Meaning, London: Hurst & Company, 2005;

ISBN 185-06-5800-5 / 978-185-06-5800-9


Chabal, Patrick / Birmingham, David / Forrest, Joshua / Newitt, Malyn / Seibert, Gerhard / Andrade, Elisa - A History of Postcolonial Lusophone Africa, London: Hurst & Company, 2002;

ISBN 185-06-5589-8 / 978-185-06-5589-3


Guedes, Armando Marques / Lopes, Maria José - State and Traditional Law in Angola and Mozambique, Coimbra: Almedina, 2006;

ISBN 978-972-40-3051-7


Hodges, Tony - Angola: Anatomy of an Oil State, Oxford: James Currey Ltd., 2003;

ISBN 0852558759 / 978-085-25-5875-1


Hodges, Tony - Angola from Afro-Stalinism to Petro-Diamond Capitalism, London: James Currey Ltd., 2001;

ISBN 0852558503 / 978-085-25-5850-8


Mendes, Pedro Rosa - Bay of Tigers: A Journey Through War-torn Angola, London: Granta Books, 2004;

ISBN 186-20-7648-0 / 978-186-20-7648-8


Newit, Malyn - Portugal in Africa: The Last Hundred Years, London: Hurst and Company, 1981;

ISBN 090-58-3849-1 / 978-090-58-3849-6


Newitt, Malyn / Chabal, Patrick / Macqueen, Norrie (ed.) - Community & the State in Lusophone Africa, London: Kings College London, 2003;

ISBN: 189-77-4715-2 / 978-189-7747-1


2.2.2 Journals about Angola


Searching the word "Angola" in journals included in an online database such as Westlaw can be a starting point, as it brings out thousands of articles. Also, some of the libraries indicated below in points 3.3 and in 6 of this guide catalogue journal articles about Angola. 


2.2.3 News sources about Angola


News about Angola can be found in the Angolan Press Agency and in Journal de Angola. Other places that may be worth a visit are Angola's National Television and National Radio websites. Angola's embassy in Russia also publishes a newsletter in Portuguese called Angoflash. Three good sources for news in English are the BBC's Africa Section, the NY Times Angola Section and IBA's LegalBrief.


3. Other Resources

3.1 Online Bookshops / Major publishers (Portuguese)


In the absence of a prolific Angolan legal publisher this section gives an indication of some online publishers/bookshops where researchers can find and order books about Angola in Portuguese Language



3.2 Online Bookshops/Major Publishers (English)


This section indicates two online bookshops where the English language publications listed above can be found and the main English language publishers that have books about Lusophone Africa and Angola.



3.3 Online Library Catalogues (Portuguese)


The Angolan National Library does not yet have a website or an online catalogue. Therefore, one can only contact the library through a personal visit or by telephone:


Angola National Library / Biblioteca Nacional de Angola
Av. Norton de Matos
Caixa Postal 2915
Luanda, Angola
Tel: +244 222 337 317


The Angolan Law Society library also lists publications about Angola, although there is no online searchable catalogue.


In any case, all of the Portuguese language books listed above (and more) and journal articles can be found in the catalogues of the Portuguese National Library and Portuguese university libraries listed below. They may be available for inter-library loans.



A few examples of Portuguese keywords that can be used to search these catalogues: África, Angola, PALOP, Colónias, Colonização, Colonial, Lusófono, Lusofonia.


4. Legal Education


There are currently a few law schools in Angola:


Universidade Agostinho Neto is a state-owned university created in the 1960s. The university library can be of help in the search for local materials. You can get in touch through the switchboard +244 222 311 125 or e-mail.


The Universidade Católica de Angola (owned by the Roman Catholic Church) began teaching law in 1998. This university library has got a searchable catalogue and may be of help in finding local materials. You can get in touch through the switchboard +244 222 33 19 73 or e-mail


There is also Universidade Gregorio Semedo, which has some relevant titles under their library catalogue.


There are also the Universidade Lusíada de Angola, which began teaching law in 2000, Universidade Jean Piaget and Universidade Lusófona de Angola, but they do not yet have their own local websites.


5. Legal Profession


5.1 Lawyers


The Angolan Bar Association was created in 1996, after the enactment of the first Lei da Advocacia (Law 1/95 of 6 January 1995) and after approval of its regulations (Decree 28/96 of 13 September 1996). As stated in the Bar Association regulations: "Advocacy in Angola is a "liberal" or free profession within an organizational system similar to the one existing in Continental Europe and where the regulatory and discipline functions incumb upon the Angolan Bar Association in its capacity as a public professional corporation.

Only practicing lawyers and lawyers on probation registered with the Bar Association can undertake consultancy, represent and exert judicial sponsorship inherent to the profession throughout the national territory and before any jurisdiction, authority, or public or private body."


6. Research Centres (outside Angola)


There are many research centres focusing on African studies. Below are a few suggestions of centres that housed recent research projects about Angola and that have very good (and searchable) online library catalogues.