The project focuses on the role of judicial institutions in relation to two central aspects of the process of democratisation: 1. excercising a control function vis-á-vis the other goverment branches (accountability) 2. how to provide justice for the poor and marginalised (access to justice) Understanding better how the judicial system functions through identifying its strength and weaknesses may have important policy implications for as to where resources should be channelled in order to construct and maintain a well-functioning judicial sector. Our analysis of the Angolan judicial system will form an integrated part of a larger comparative study of the role of courts in democratisation processes in Africa and Latin America.