Speech of his excellency joão Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço, President of the republic of Angola, at the opening session of the v Congress of the conference of constitutional jurisdictions
Luanda, June 9, 2019
Honourable Madam President of the National Assembly,
Mr President of the constitutional court,
Mr President of the supreme court,
Lord attorney general of the Republic,
Mr Representative of the commissioner and representative of the African Union,
Mr President of the conference of constitutional jurisdictions of Africa,
Mr Secretary-General of the world conference of constitutional justice,
Gimbel gentlemen judges presidents of constitutional jurisdictions,
Gimbel Gentlemen of central government and Luanda Province,
Gimbel members of the diplomatic corps accredited in Angola,
Ladies and gentlemen,
I have the pleasure to welcome all the individuals present and, on my behalf and on behalf of the Angolan people, to present the warm welcome to all delegates and participants from abroad, to whom i wish a pleasant stay in our country.
The Republic of Angola has today the privilege of welcoming the v Congress of the conference of constitutional jurisdictions of Africa, a forum of constitutional justice established in Kampala in July 2010, and became effective the following year in Algiers, to open doors to the Africa’s progress on the rule of law, democracy and the fundamental rights of the human person.
I congratulate the commission of the African Union, present in this and in all the previous congresses, which demonstrates its firm determination to support the ideals of the pioneers of the organisation, and also all the countries that have maintained so far the flame of the conference of Africa.
The Republic of Angola, which has peace in 2002 after decades of war, fortunately outdated, approved in 2010 its current constitution, which reiterates the construction of a state of law founded in political pluralism, in democratic conviviality and In economic freedom.
For this reason, the realisation of this congress in our capital, with the presence of judges from several countries of our continent and of extra-African guests, represents for us a recognition of the progress made internally in the political and constitutional plan, fruit of the People, their elected representatives in Parliament and the judges of the various superior courts.
We recognise, however, that we still have a long way to go. In progress is a deep reform of the judiciary, both with the creation of the comarca courts, both with the approval of new legal systems, such as the new penal code and criminal proceedings.
A fight is being carried out not only against corruption and against all practices affecting the public interest, but also against speculation and the exploitation of the most vulnerable, with a fairer and equitable distribution of the country’s resources.
There are also preparations for the first municipal elections, which will allow a more direct participation of citizens in the solution of local problems and a better harmonious development of the country from the municipalities.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The General theme of this conference – ‘the implementation of the rule of law and the independence of the judicial system: from theory to current practice’ – is a call to all judicial operators, to assume the guardianship of fundamental rights.
In a rule of law, as is known, it is up to the judges to perform justice, seen as a social well that lacks the protection That is why it is recognised to judges independence within the legality and attaches the greatest importance to constitutional justice.
The Constitutional courts are thus part of a global political and economic project, which presupposes an efficient, impartial justice, free from any trait of corruption, favouritism or nepotism, evils that still plague many countries of our continent.
The topics under discussion in this conference will allow to go through the various African constitutional jurisdictions, share experiences and explore the advances and achievements achieved by each of them, opening new paths for the consolidation of the rule of law, in an Africa that is increasingly intended With access to education, health and housing and the right to security, free movement, employment and freedom of expression and religious confession, among others.
In Angola, the role of the constitutional court is very clear, being the highest jurisdiction in constitutional matters. Judge the constitutionality of laws and guarantees the fundamental rights of the human person and public freedoms. It is the regulatory body of the functioning of the institutions and the activities of the powers of the state, thus constituting the safeguard of the building of Political stability in most countries has in the constitution its gold key.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The Independence and impartiality of the judges are therefore fundamental to this stability.
In General, constituent assemblies make constitutional courts the guardians of constitutionality, giving them powers and means that do not exist in other branches of law, such as the power to declare the nullity of standards or acts that violate the constitution, What also happens when constitutional courts have electoral skills.
The value and respect of the institutions, the respect for the legality and independence of the magistracy are currently linked a little everywhere to the idea of democracy and freedom. Hence its strength and importance in the legal order.
We recognise the progress of Africa in the establishment of constitutional jurisdictions, although only from the 50 s, with the major outbreak of political independence, it was growing the creation of these jurisdictions.
Only a few years ago, Constitutional Justice was entrusted to the supreme courts, which would provide a room or constitutional chamber In other cases, constitutional jurisdiction was formally created, but without functionality, despite its organic autonomy.
Today, in our continent, the constitutional judge is the guarantor of constitutionality and legal order. Constitutional Jurisdictions ensure the constitutionality of laws and have varied skills. Some are limited to the control of constitutionality, but most of them are endowed with the functions of regulation of the functioning of the public authorities and the guarantee of fundamental rights, they know extraordinary resources, preventive standards and solve electoral disputes, among other colleges.
However, this success should not prevent us from strengthening the constitutional judiciary, seen as a priority in strengthening democracy on our continent, and it is important to ensure legal instruments that check out the independence of the judiciary, with a view to the the Keynesian models of constitutional justice, on the one hand, and the North American Judicial Unit, on the other, which influence the various jurisdictions of Africa, should not divide us because they are different. These are classic models founded on the way of organising jurisdiction and both have the task of ensuring the rule of law, democracy and the fundamental rights and freedoms of citizens.
The Conference of the constitutional jurisdictions of Africa facilitates the exchange of ideas and experiences among its members, in the context of the promotion and defence of democratic ideas, the strengthening of the authority of each member institution and the guarantee of respect for the dignity of the It is developing relations between the constitutional courts of the various countries that contribute to the deepening and consolidation of the rule of law in our continent.
Today, the role of constitutional courts is no longer restricted to the interpretation of National Constitutional law alone. Constitutional courts cooperate with each other on a bilateral basis and at a multilateral level and, increasingly, define their vision on the jurisprudence of other constitutional courts in order to find solutions for domestic problems that have already been solved in other stops.
In times of globalisation of constitutional justice, dialogue must be permanent. The exchange of ideas and experiences on questions subject to constitutional courts or which are interested in their organisation and operation is favoured by the topics that this congress is proposing to I hope, therefore, that your work will succeed and achieve the objectives that are recommended
I declare open the v Congress of the conference of constitutional jurisdictions of Africa.
Thank you very much!