UPDATE: Novak Djokovic has won his battle to stay in Australia and has had his visa cancellation overturned.
Judge Anthony Kelly ordered the visa cancellation to be overturned and for Djokovic to be released from immigration detention within 30 minutes, claiming the cancellation “was unreasonable”.
The government has been ordered to pay all of the tennis star’s costs.
The judge presiding over Novak Djokovic’s deportation case has raised major questions over what more could the tennis star have done to enter Australia.
Tennis star Novak Djokovic’s visa was cancelled after arriving at Melbourne’s Tullamarine Airpot at around 11:30 pm on Wednesday, January 5.
The 34-year-old was due to play in this month’s Australian Open, after being granted a medical exemption to compete despite being unvaccinated. Djokovic was told to leave the country on January 6. Djokovic has been held in immigration detention at the Park Hotel in Carlton since his visa was cancelled.
Monday’s January 10 hearing was delayed by half an hour after technical issues plagued the live stream causing it to crash several times. The ongoing technical issues meant Djokovic was unable to watch the proceedings. Shortly after midday, Federal Court Judge Anthony Kelly made an order that the Australian Border Force must release Djokovic from immigration detention so he can view the hearing at another location.
When the hearing proceeded Kelly questioned “what more could this man have done?” in regards to the medical exemption Djokovic believed was valid.
“Here, a professor and a physician have produced and provided to (Djokovic) a medical exemption. Further to that, that medical exemption and the basis on which it was given, was given by a (panel) established by the Victorian Government,” he said.
“That document was in the hands of the delegate. The point I am somewhat agitated about is what more could this man have done?”
Lawyers for Djokovic told the court their client was “utterly confused” by the situation as he believed he had done everything that was expected of him and that he was of the understanding that he “ticked every box”.
Djokovic’s lawyers will argue that he met the criteria for a temporary exemption under Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) guidelines and that he was denied procedural fairness when his visa was cancelled and his entry into Australia denied.
The hearing is currently ongoing at the time of publication.
MORE TO COME.