This Country Profile provides a basic overview of the legal history and institutional structures of the Republic of Angola (Republica de Angola), based on research produced by GlobaLex at NYU Law School and the Library of Congress. Under Angola's Constitution, Islamic law (sharīʿa or fiqh) has no legal status.
Angola is a country located in Central/Southern Africa, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean. Angola is bounded by the Democratic Republic of Congo, Namibia, and Zambia. However, Angola has an additional exclave province (Cabinda) slightly north of greater Angola that is bounded by the Republic of Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The capital of Angola is Luanda. The official language is Portuguese. Over a quarter of the population also speaks Umbundu. The country’s population in 2017 was approximately 29.3 million. Angola is a predominantly Christian country, with about 41% of the population Roman Catholic and 38% Protestant.
It is important to mention that Angola endured a 27-year long civil war (1973-2002). Despite the post-war economic boom, the decades of conflict have led to over 40% of Angolans living below the poverty line and to widespread unemployment, especially among the large young adult population.
Constitution & Legal Structure
Angola is referred to as a presidential republic, in which sovereignty belongs to the people and the Constitution is the supreme law of the land. The most recent Constitution was adopted in 2010, and at present, has not been amended. The system of government is based on principles of separation and checks and balances and has three branches: legislative, executive, and judicial. The legal system of Angola is a civil law system that has been influenced by the Portuguese legal system and customary laws and traditions.
Constitutional Status of Islamic Law
Islamic law has no constitutional status in Angola. Although Angola's Constitution guarantees freedom of religion, in recent years, there has been a government crackdown on religion in the country (all religions, including Islam).
Jurisdiction(s) of Islamic Law
Islamic law has no official jurisdiction of operation in Angola.
Dominant School of Islamic Law
Angola has no official school of Islamic law. The vast majority of Angola's Muslim population is Sunnī.
Sources of Law for Legal Research
For an extended list of legal resources for this country, see the Library of Congress’s Research Guide, and for a narrative review, see the GlobaLex Foreign Law Research Guide (most updated version, where available). The Constitution is available in the LOC Guide in its original language and at Constitute in English translation. For full versions of past constitutions, amendments, and related legislation, see HeinOnline World Constitutions Illustrated or Oxford Constitutions of the World [subscription required for each].