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Part III The Relationship Between the Judiciary and the Political Branches, 6 An Overview of Judicial and Executive Relations in Lusophone Africa

Fernando Loureiro Bastos

From: Separation of Powers in African Constitutionalism

Edited By: Charles M. Fombad

From: Oxford Constitutions (http://oxcon.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved.date: 22 January 2021

This chapter examines judicial–executive relationships in Africa’s Lusophone systems, Angola, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau, and the island nations of Cape Verde and São Tomé and Príncipe, which are often neglected in the English-language literature. These systems continue to follow the Portuguese system closely not only because of their colonial history but also due to an ongoing process in which Portuguese sources are widely used and judicial officers and law professors often receive training in Portugal. The result is the persistent view of the separation of powers wherein the judiciary is subordinate to the legislature, the executive, and to the law that those branches alone create; its role is understood chiefly as a resolver of disputes between private parties. While the constitutions of these states offer textual protection for the judiciary’s independence, only Cape Verde has made important strides to realizing this in practice. Executive influence over the judiciary is strong.

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