4. Rational Dispute Resolution
4.1 Rule of Law
4.2 Enforcement of Contracts
4.3 Commercial Dispute Resolution
In-Country Assessment

4. Rational Dispute Resolution – Very Weak


Goal – An efficient institutional framework that balances the rights of the public, owners, lenders and borrowers in the event of a dispute or loan default

4.1 Rule of Law


Core Question: Do all market participants abide by the rule of law and have confidence in the courts and the ability of police to control crime? No – Very Weak, basic court system not fully operational



4.1.1   What is the confidence level of the strength and impartiality of the police, courts and contract enforcement? Very Weak – Percentile Ranking –  10.3 Trend  

Source: Governance Matters  2011, World Bank –


4.1.2   Can members of the judiciary be held accountable for their actions?  No – Very Weak Score 26 out of 100

Source: Global Integrity Report  2010,


Costs of Crime

4.1.3   What are the business costs of crime and violence? High Costs – Very Weak – Score 2.4 out of 10

Source: Africa Competitiveness Report 2007, World Economic Forum,

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4.2 Enforcement of Contracts


Core Question: Are systems in place for timely and efficient enforcement of contracts?
Commercial – No – Very Weak
Residential – Unknown  


4.2.1  Judicial Enforcement

Commercial – Very Weak – Ranking 183st out of  185 What is the number of procedures involved in resolving a commercial dispute? 46 What is the time between the filing of a lawsuit and resolution in judicial enforcements? 1,011 days  What is the cost of judicial enforcements as a percentage of debt value? 44.4%

Source:  Doing Business 2013 –


Residential – Unknown

Survey Questions

SQ 12  What is the time between notice of intent to foreclose and loan collection in judicial enforcements? Unknown

SQ 13  What is the cost of judicial enforcements as a percentage of property value? Unknown


4.2.2  Summary Proceedings

SQ 14  Summary proceedings are alternative dispute resolution processes where creditors can apply for a direct court order in property disputes.  What is the time between notice of intent to foreclose and loan collection in summary proceedings if available to lenders?  Very Weak – Not available

SQ 15  What is the cost of summary proceeding if available to lenders as a percentage of property value? Very Weak – Not available


4.2.3  Power-of-Sale

SQ 16  Power-of-sale agreements give creditors to power to sell properties after notice to the borrower without court intervention. What is the time between notice of intent to sell and loan collection for power-of-sale agreements if available to lenders? Very Weak – Not available

SQ 17  What is the cost of power-of-sale agreements if available to lenders as a percentage of property value? Very Weak – Not available

Source – Financing Homes 2008, World Bank and International Housing Finance Corporation




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4.3 Commercial Dispute Resolution


Core Question: Can commercial disputes be resolved fairly and efficiently without exorbitant expense and delay? No – Weak – laws passed but implementation mechanisms not in place

Survey Questions

Commercial Courts

SQ 18  Do specialized commercial courts exist for the handling of property disputes and foreclosures? No – Very Weak – the basic court system is far from fully operational, especially at the municipal level. Access to courts outside the capital is virtually non-existent.

Source: Courts under Construction in Angola, Chr. Michelsen Institute 2006


Alternative Dispute Resolution

SQ 19  Are alternative dispute resolution mechanisms in place including commercial arbitration, private mediation and community based processes? Yes – Weak – processes do not follow the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Arbitral Awards

Source: Investments in Sub-Saharan Africa: the Role of International Arbitration in Dispute Settlement,


Commercial Treaties

SQ 20  What bilateral, regional and international commercial treaties exist concerning business between countries? Weak – Ratified: Cape Verde; Unratified: Portugal, South Africa, the United Kingdom, Italy & Germany

Source: National Agency for Private Investment

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In-Country Assessment (as of May 2008)

FQ 8.  To what extent do practitioners report the use of formal contracts and trust institutions to support contract enforcement?

Given the underdevelopment of the court system, there is little evidence of trust in using the courts to resolve disputes. Research confirmed that the level of land-related conflict is low and that most people would take disputes to the traditional leader in rural the community or to the local administrator in the peri-urban community.

A land dispute resolution procedure has been developed that includes community sensitization on conflicts over land and introduced a progressive system of addressing disputes that began with traditional conciliatory methods and advanced to and through formal adjudicative processes until the matter was resolved. Local leaders—both traditional and official—play key roles in the identification and enforcement of land rights and in the resolution of land disputes. As such, local leaders are a critical resource and necessary partner in the ability of land rights formalization processes to bridge the gap between customary and formal laws and encourage social change.

Source: Strengthening Land Tenure and Property Rights, USAID – Angola May 2008

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