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Novak Djokovic wins Court appeal against decision to cancel his Australian visa

Novak Djokovic wins Court appeal against decision to cancel his Australian visa
January 10, 2022
Legal / Sport /

World tennis number one Novak Djokovic has today won a Court appeal against the Australian Border Force’s decision to cancel his visa over his COVID vaccination status meaning he will likely be able to compete in the Australian Open as of next week.

Djokovic’s legal team secured a victory in the Federal Circuit Court quashing the decision to cancel his visa be quashed. Following the victory, he was immediately released from detention.

However, media reports suggest that Federal Immigration Minister Alex Hawke may be considering cancelling Djokovic’s visa again by exercising his personal powers.

After considering arguments in Court this morning, Circuit Court Judge Anthony Kelly read a consent minute agreed between the defending men’s Australian Open champion and Federal Home Affairs Minister, Karen Andrews.

Judge Kelly said it was “unreasonable” for Australian Border Force (ABF) officials to have interviewed Djokovic when he arrived in the country on Thursday morning and cancel his visa in circumstances where they had agreed to give him until 8.30am to speak to officials and respond to the proposed visa cancellation.

Court documents show Djokovic’s reason for seeking a medical exemption from Australia’s vaccination requirements was that he contracted COVID-19 in mid-December.

This was accepted by Tennis Australia and the Victorian Government medical panels which granted him the exemption on 30th December, but ABF decided Djokovic had not satisfied entry requirements.

Judge Kelly went on to state that if Minister Hawke personally cancelled the visa, this could also be appealed and warned he expected to be “fully informed in advance” if such a decision was taken.

Earlier, Judge Kelly queried “what more” Djokovic could have done to prove his medical exemption and criticised the Australian Government for reneging on a deal to give him more time to defend his visa from cancellation.

In a transcript of Djokovic’s interview with ABF officials, released after the hearing, the tennis star complained he had been put in a “very awkward position” by demands to substantiate the exemption.

Related Articles

6th January 2022 - Australian Border Force moves to deport tennis star Novak Djokovic after visa cancellation

4th January 2022 - Australian Open advises of medical exemption for Novak Djokovic to compete in Melbourne

23rd December 2021 - Small number of Australian Open players and staff to receive COVID-19 medical exemptions

3rd December 2021 - COVID-19 restrictions and player quarantine for Australian Open see Tennis Australia record $100 million loss

20th November 2021 - Vaccinated crowds to return for 2022 Australian Open but unvaccinated players will be barred

2nd September 2021 - Victorian Government to impose stricter rules for unvaccinated athletes at 2022 Australian Open

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