Judicial review of the detention order


Country Report: Judicial review of the detention order Last updated: 10/07/24


Nikola Kovačević

The applicant can challenge his or her detention before the competent Higher Court within 8 days from the delivery of the decision.[1] The appeal against the Asylum Office’s detention decision does not have suspensive effect.[2]

Since the decision is drafted in the Serbian language, and if the foreigner does not have legal counsel (which is quite often the case), there is no real possibility of challenging it.

Since the refugees detained in the transit zone of Nikola Tesla Airport are not considered persons deprived of liberty by the border police officials, they do not have the possibility of challenging their situation before the relevant authority. In other words, the placement of foreigners in the transit zone is not accompanied by a lawful decision depriving them of liberty, specifying the duration of the deprivation of liberty and their rights, such as the right to have access to a lawyer, the right to notify a third person of one’s deprivation of liberty and the right to be examined by a doctor.

Foreigners who are sentenced for the misdemeanour of irregular border crossing or stay in Serbia may lodge an appeal against the first-instance decision. However, since the majority of cases are processed in an accelerated manner, where the foreigners are deprived of the possibility of challenging the charges against them in a language they understand and with the help of an attorney, appeals in these procedures are quite rare.[3]




[1] Article 78(5) Asylum Act.

[2] Article 78(6) Asylum Act.

[3] CAT, Concluding observations on the second periodic report of Serbia**, 3 June 2015, CAT/C/SRB/CO/2*, para 14.

Table of contents

  • Statistics
  • Overview of the legal framework
  • Overview of the main changes since the previous report update
  • Asylum Procedure
  • Reception Conditions
  • Detention of Asylum Seekers
  • Content of International Protection