School of Law

Dr Niovi Vavoula, (BA, University of Athens); LLM-PhD (QMUL)


Lecturer in Migration and Security

Room Number: Mile End


Dr Niovi Vavoula is Lecturer in Migration and Security at the School of Law of Queen Mary, University of London. Since 2014, she is Assistant Editor of the peer-reviewed New Journal of European Criminal Law (NJECL), responsible for the peer review of articles, case notes and analyses. In 2017-18, she was part-time teacher at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). She regularly collaborates with the ODYSSEUS Academic Network for Legal Studies on Immigration and Asylum in Europe (teaching in its summer school) as well the European Criminal Law Academic Network (ECLAN). She has given guest lectures at the Law School of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (2018), Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (2016), City University London (2014) and was a visiting researcher at ULB - Université Libre de Bruxelles (2014). In 2020, she will be Visiting Lecturer at the University of Bologna under the Erasmus+ scheme. Before commencing her doctoral studies in 2012, she qualified as lawyer (Athens Bar Association, 2011), served as a volunteer at the Legal Department of the Greek Council for Refugees, and did an internship for the Greek Desk at Eurojust. She publishes in the areas of EU Immigration and Criminal law and has acted as an expert consultant for the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Fundamental Rights Agency. Her doctoral thesis examined the privacy challenges stemming from the establishment and operation of EU-wide centralised information systems and will be published by Brill in 2020.


Dr Vavoula is generally interested in:

  • European refugee law and migration studies
  • The interplay between immigration and criminal law and crimmigration studies
  • Information exchange mechanisms, surveillance mechanisms, digitalisation of border controls, privacy and data protection law
  • Legal responses to trafficking in human beings and money laundering
  • EU Criminal law, mutual recognition and mutual trust, defence rights, EU citizenship and criminal law.



  • Immigration and Privacy in the Law of the European Union – The Case of Databases(under book contract with Brill Nijhoff, forthcoming 2020)

Edited Collections

  • Privacy and Surveillance in a Digital Era: Challenges for Transatlantic Cooperation and European Criminal Law (with Valsamis Mitsilegas) (under book contract with Hart, forthcoming 2020)
  • Securitising Asylum Flows: Deflection, Criminalisation and the Challenges for Human Rights (with Valsamis Mitsilegas and Violeta Moreno-Lax) (in production, Brill Nijhoff, 2020)
  • New Voices in European Criminal Law (with Valsamis Mitsilegas and Irene Wieczorek), special issue of the New Journal of European Criminal Law (Volume 27(1))

Articles in peer-reviewed journals

  • ‘Interoperability of Centralised Databases for non-EU Nationals in a Panopticon Union’ European Public Law (forthcoming March 2020) (in print)
  • ‘Consultation of EU Immigration Databases for Law Enforcement Purposes: A Privacy and Data Protection Assessment’ European Journal of Migration and Law (accepted, forthcoming March 2020)
  • ‘The "Puzzle" of EU Large-Scale Information Systems for Third-Country Nationals: Surveillance of Movement and Its Challenges for Privacy and Data Protection', European Law Review (accepted, forthcoming 2020)
  • ‘The Evolving EU Anti-Money Laundering Regime: Challenges for Fundamental Rights and the Rule of Law’ (with Valsamis Mitsilegas) (2016) 23(2) Maastricht Journal of European & Comparative Law, pp. 261-293
  • ‘The Role of Technology in the Fight against Human Trafficking: Reflections on Privacy and Data Protection Concerns’ (with Felicity Gerry QC and Julia Muraszkiewicz) (2016) 32(2) Computer Law & Security Review, pp. 205–217

Book chapters in edited volumes

  • ‘Digitalised Immigration Control under EU Law’ in Philippe De Bruycker and Evangelia (Lilian) Tsourdi (eds), Research Handbook in EU Immigration and Asylum Law (Edward Elgar, forthcoming 2020)
  • ‘Databases’ in Valsamis Mitsilegas, EU Criminal Law (second edition, Hart forthcoming 2020)
  • ‘Pan-European Centralised Databases and the Fight against Impunity’ in Luisa Marin and Stefano Montaldo (eds), The Fight against Impunity in EU Law (Hart, forthcoming 2020)
  • ‘Databases for Non-EU Nationals and the Right to Private Life: Towards a System of Generalised Surveillance of Movement’ in Francesca Bignami (ed), EU Law in Populist Times (CUP, 2020) pp. 227-266
  • ‘Criminalisation of irregular migration in the EU: The impact of El Dridi’ in Valsamis Mitsilegas et al (eds), The Impact of European Union Law on National Criminal Law Challenges and Constraints to Individual Liability in the Member States (Hart, 2019) pp. 273-289
  • ‘The EU Response to the Phenomenon of Foreign Fighters: Challenges for Fundamental Rights and the Rule of Law’ in Ulrich Sieber et al. (eds), Alternative, Informal, and Transitional Types of Criminal Justice and the Legitimacy of New Sanction Models in the Global Risk Society (Duncker & Humblot, 2018) pp. 307-334
  • ‘European Union Criminal Law’ (with Valsamis Mitsilegas) in Herwig Hofmann et al. (eds), Specialized Administrative Law of the European Union - A Sectoral Treatment (OUP, 2018) pp. 153-188
  • ‘EU Immigration Databases Under Scrutiny: Towards the Normalisation of Surveillance of Movement in an Era of “Privacy Spring”?’ in Gert Vermeulen and Eva Lievens (eds), Data Protection and Privacy under Pressure (Maklu, 2017) pp. 215-248
  • ‘Using Technology to Combat Human Trafficking: Recognising the Implications for Privacy’ (with Felicity Gerry and Julia Muraszkiewicz) in Nora Cronin and Kimberly Ellis (eds), Human Trafficking (Lawyers & Judges Publishing, 2017) pp. 111-133
  • ‘The Normalisation of Surveillance in an Era of Global Mobility’ (with Valsamis Mitsilegas) in Philippe Bourbeau (ed) Handbook of Migration and Security (Edward Elgar, 2017) pp. 231-251
  • ‘The Interplay between EU Immigration Law and National Criminal Law - The Case of the Return Directive’ in Valsamis Mitsilegas, Maria Bergström and Theodore Konstantinides (eds) Research Handbook on EU Criminal Law (Hart Publishing, 2016) pp. 294-314
  • ‘Access to EURODAC by Law Enforcement Authorities and Europol for the Purposes of the Prevention, Detection and Investigation of Terrorist Offences and Other Serious Crimes’ in Despina Anagnostopoulou (ed.), ‘Developments and Challenges of the EU Area of Freedom, Security and Justice’ (Jean Monnet Chair of the University of Macedonia, 2016) (in Greek) pp. 308-326
  • ‘The Recast Eurodac Regulation – Are Asylum-Seekers Treated as Suspected Criminals?’ in Céline Bauloz, Meltem Ineli Ciger, Sarah Singer and Vladislava Stoyanova (eds), Seeking Asylum in the European Union (Martinus Nijhoff, 2015) pp. 247-273
  • ‘Criminal Law: Institutional Rebalancing and Judicialization as Drivers of Policy Change’ (with Valsamis Mitsilegas) in Florian Trauner and Ariadna Ripoll Servent (eds), Policy Change in the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice – How Institutions Matter (Routledge, 2015) pp. 133-150

Case notes - annotations

  • ‘The Detention of Asylum Seekers Pending Transfer under the Dublin III Regulation: Al Chodor’ (2019) 56(4) Common Market Law Review, pp. 1041-1067
  • ‘Exchanging Information on Road Traffic Offences: - A Measure of Police Cooperation or Transport Policy? (Case note on C-43/12 Commission v Parliament and Council)’ (2016) 8(1) New Journal of European Criminal Law, pp. 113-122

Blog posts

 Book reviews

  • ‘The Greek Penal Code: English Translation by Vassiliki Chalkiadaki and Emmanouil Billis’ (2017) 8(4) New Journal of European Criminal Law pp. 566-567.
  • ‘On the Doorstep of Europe – Asylum and citizenship in Greece by Heat Cabot’ (2017) 31(1) Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Law pp. 75-76.
  • ‘EU Security and Justice after Lisbon and Stockholm by Diego Acosta Arcarazo and Cian Murphy (eds)’ (European Law Blog, 27 May 2014).