Nikola Kovačević


Nikola Kovačević is a human rights lawyer from Serbia. He is the coordinator of the Asylum and Migration Program at the Center for Research and Development IDEAS. He won the 2021 Nansen Refugee Award for Europe for his contribution to the development of the Serbian asylum system (representing almost 30% of persons granted asylum in Serbia) and his work on documenting and legally challenging illegal border practices. Nikola has been a writer for AIDA since 2015 and involved in ELENA as a coordinator for Serbia since 2016. ELENA and AIDA both operate under the auspices of the European Council for Refugees and Exiles. He has almost ten years of experience in litigating asylum cases at the national and international level, including in cases that imply a need for cross-border cooperation with CSOs and individuals from Hungary, Croatia and Bulgaria. He has litigated cases of collective expulsions, the arbitrary deprivation of liberty at transit zones, the flawed application of the safe third-country concept and others. By Resolution CM / ResCPT (2021) 3, adopted by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on 22 September 2021, he was elected as a member of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT). Nikola is also a teaching assistant at the Union University School of Law where he teaches criminal law while studying for his PhD.