Australia agrees to delay deporting Djokovic after visa revoked again

The Australian authorities have agreed to delay deporting Novak Djokovic following a court docket listening to within the wake of its determination to cancel the tennis star’s visa, a authorities lawyer mentioned on Friday.

Lawyers for the lads’s world primary launched an pressing enchantment after the immigration minister revoked his visa for the second time, citing ministerial discretion on public curiosity grounds to justify the transfer.

A brand new listening to has been convened for Sunday morning, only a day earlier than the Australian Open will get underway in Melbourne.

Djokovic — who entered the nation regardless of being unvaccinated in opposition to the coronavirus — is combating to have the ability to bid for a tenth Australian title and a document twenty first Grand Slam win.

The lawyer, Stephen Lloyd, mentioned that the participant won’t be positioned in detention earlier than a preliminary listening to on Saturday morning, and won’t be deported earlier than the court docket guidelines on the visa cancellation.

The listening to on the Federal Circuit and Family Court befell earlier than Anthony Kelly, the identical decide who overruled the federal government’s preliminary determination to cancel the participant’s visa.

Djokovic’s lawyer, Nick Wood, requested the decide to dam the participant’s deportation and that he stay free from detention through the enchantment course of.

Earlier on Friday, Immigration Minister Alex Hawke mentioned in a press release that his determination to cancel the participant’s visa was taken “on health and good order grounds, on the basis that it was in the public interest to do so”.

The authorities was “firmly committed to protecting Australia’s borders, particularly in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic”, he added.

The controversy over the participant’s visa, his vaccination standing and his remedy by the Australian authorities has fully overshadowed the match within the days main as much as the occasion.

Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison welcomed Djokovic’s pending deportation, linking it on to the nation’s expertise with the pandemic.

“Australians have made many sacrifices during this pandemic and they rightly expect the result of those sacrifices to be protected,” Morrison mentioned in a press release. “This is what the minister is doing in taking this action today.”

For Djokovic, extra is at stake than this 12 months’s match: deportations from Australia often include a three-year-ban on returning to the nation.

Move follows seesaw week

It is the second time Djokovic’s visa has been cancelled since he arrived in Melbourne final week to defend his Australian Open title.

His exemption from a COVID-19 vaccination requirement to compete was accepted by the Victoria state authorities and Tennis Australia, the match organiser. That apparently allowed him to obtain a visa to journey.

But the Australian Border Force rejected the exemption and cancelled his visa upon arrival in Melbourne. He spent 4 nights in lodge detention earlier than a decide on Monday overturned that call.

The authorities’s determination to revoke his visa once more comes greater than every week after Djokovic first arrived within the nation. Since a court docket declared the primary visa cancellation invalid, the participant has been coaching in Melbourne for subsequent week’s match.

On Thursday Djokovic, the defending champion, was included within the draw for the primary spherical of the Australian Open as the highest seed — although his participation was nonetheless doubtful with a authorities determination pending on whether or not the unvaccinated tennis star may keep within the nation.

Controversy over visa kind and isolation

There was hypothesis that the data Djokovic revealed after the primary court docket determination may tip the steadiness in opposition to him. The immigration minister mentioned in his assertion that he determined to revoke the visa after contemplating info supplied by the federal government, the Australian Border Force, and the participant.

Earlier this week Djokovic admitted errors made on his visa software kind regarding his prior journey actions. The participant additionally apologised for failing to isolate following a constructive COVID take a look at in December.

At concern was whether or not his exemption to the foundations requiring vaccination to enter Australia, on the grounds that he had not too long ago recovered from COVID-19, was legitimate.

Djokovic’s software mentioned he had not travelled within the 14 days earlier than his flight to Australia. However, the Monte Carlo-based athlete had been seen in Spain and Serbia in that two-week interval.

The participant mentioned it had been submitted on his behalf by his help crew and that his agent had apologised for what was a “human error” and “not deliberate”.

Reports additionally emerged that Djokovic attended occasions in his native Serbia final month after testing constructive on December 16, together with presenting awards to youngsters the next day, in addition to giving an in-person interview to a French journal.

Australian authorities criticised

The Djokovic saga comes in opposition to the background of the pandemic, the place new coronavirus circumstances have once more been hovering, placing strain on hospitals. Capacity on the Australian Open has been restricted to 50%.

Many folks really feel strongly that to permit an unvaccinated, high-profile determine similar to Djokovic to play, whereas atypical Australians — notably in Melbourne — have been topic to stringent restrictions together with on journey, could be unfair and set an appalling instance.

Yet many have additionally criticised the participant’s remedy by the authorities total as a fiasco — with the tennis and state authorities granting him an exemption, border management and the federal government then revoking his visa, a court docket reinstating it, and at last the minister cancelling it once more.

“What a surprise! Morrison’s govt cancels #Djokovic’s visa to win the weekend media cycle—showing us all how hairy chested he is,” tweeted former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.


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