Novak Djokovic he won his battle. No racket or balls, this time his success comes in a courtroom in Melbourne, where Judge Kelly on appeal called “an unreasonable decision” to remove the Serbian tennis player’s visa and return him to Europe as originally planned for the vaccine case after its landing. He will then be able to stay in Australia and train and compete in the Australian Open: will seek the tenth career success.
The judge then ordered the government to release him from detention and to restore the visa that had been canceled because the world tennis number one arrived in Australia without being vaccinated but with a medical exemption (provided for by the regulations of the Australian Open). A move that had made the entire world of tennis and sport turn up their noses, to put it mildly, provoking political reactions as well. Like that of stopping it right once it lands in Australia and to isolate him, removing his visa. His lawyers, however, appealed the decision and won the case. There judgment arrives five days after Novak was detained at the airport upon arrival on a flight from Dubai but still does not guarantee the certainty that Djokovic can participate in the Grand Slam: the government has announced that it may decide to cancel his visa a second time, too. after the court decision, under an Australian immigration law. And then expel him and ban him from Australia for three years.
Djokovic, that’s why he was exempted from the Covid vaccine: “He contracted the virus in December”
The ruling of the Djokovic case
In the sentence, Judge Kelly read the report ordering the annulment of the decision of the Australian Border Force officer who had canceled Djokovic’s visa, ordering his release within 30 minutes. The judge ordered that the passport and personal effects be returned immediately to the number 1 in the world. “If Djokovic had had more time to consult his lawyers, he would have responded more clearly to the Border Force,” reads the motivations. Djokovic had told the border authorities upon entering Australia that he was not vaccinated and that he was having had Covid twice, in June 2020 and last December 16, then becoming negativized on December 22.
What can happen now?
The Australian government could overturn the judge’s decision once again, again removing the passport from the Serbian champion: “There is no suggestion that he had an acute serious illness in December, when he tested positive,” reads the written memo presented. by the Minister of the Interior Karen Andrews who underlined how, if the judge ruled in favor of Novak (a circumstance that actually occurred), the government could cancel his visa a second time.
Judge Kelly: I’m very worried
“Despite the enactment of this ordinance, the Minister reserved the question of whether to exercise the personal power to cancel the applicant’s visa – explained judge Kelly -. If the minister chooses to use his personal discretion to cancel the visa again, I feel very concerned about the potential outcome. “
“I arrived here because of these documents, otherwise I would not have been allowed to enter,” said Djokovic, after handing over the Tennis Australia exemption (shown above) to immigration officials. Djokovic learned of the warning that he wanted to consider canceling his visa just before 4am. He was initially given 20 minutes to find a reason to be allowed into Australia. “I was put in a very awkward position where at four in the morning I couldn’t call the director of Tennis Australia, I couldn’t interact with anyone from the Victorian state government through Tennis Australia. I was put in a very uncomfortable position, ”he explained. Djokovic was told at 5.20 am that he could have until 8.30 am to reply. At 6.14 am he was asked to comment. At 7:29 a decision was made to cancel the visa and was communicated to him at 7:42. Judge Kelly said if Djokovic was allowed until 8:30, he could consult other people about the decision.
Now Djokovic has to wait for the government’s decision, which could still challenge an immigration law and expel him from the country for three years. In this way he would not only not participate in this edition of the Australian Open but also in the next ones. The game, however, has yet to be played, because the lawyers will not stop. And the legal battle will go on.
The vaccine case
But what happened? Djokovic arrived in Australia with a visa and vaccination exemption to participate in the tournament, which begins on January 17, but border officials canceled the visa with support from Prime Minister Scott Morrison. His has become a worldwide case: several times Djokovic has asked for privacy on his choice to get vaccinated or not, however, hinting at his opposition. And until the last week he never revealed whether he was vaccinated or not. Then the exemption clarified every aspect. His lawyers said Saturday that the Serbian had tested positive for coronavirus in mid-December and had been granted a vaccination exemption by Australian Open officials for these reasons.
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Djokovic won the appeal: “He must be released.” But for the Australian Open the government is ready to appeal